Thursday, March 26, 2015

connected again

Since my last blog, we have travelled miles to the North and then spent 2 weeks out of contact at a farm in the area near Rio Dulce, not far from Belize. Back to the Ciudad  Guatemala today after a 7 hour bus ride. Lots of catching up to do!
The drive to Tikal 2 weeks ago brought back many memories. We had driven there in 1974 in our Bell Canada van, driving from Mexico (San Cristobal de las Casas) in Chiapas, and I remember the terrible condition of the road through the jungle, in a van full of holes and therefore dust. The black man we had travelled with was white by the time we arrive in Flores to get the suspension repaired before continuing. Today we drove from the south and the road is in good shape. It is a major autoroute connecting Guatemala Ciudad with Tikal and then onto Belize.
My memory of Flores is of a small town that welcomes you as you arrive cross over the lake Tikal Belen. I remember Pierre swimming in the lake seeing raw sewage float past him as he swam. Today it is a pretty town, with a pleasant board walk along the edge of the lake. There are many tourists but the roads remain small and narrow and the children playing in the park never change.

The church in Flores

Tikal, the Mayan cultural centre, was just opening to tourists in 1974 when we came here. We camped at the foot of the ruins and were able to scamper over them with no restrictions. Today much has changed. It is just as impressive, as it rises from the jungle. There are a lot more sites opened and of course it is protected and is a Unesco site. It was a privilege to be able to see again these important ruins and to learn the culture of the Mayan people who were here for hundreds of year prior to the arrival of the Spaniards. Today 65% of Guatamalans are Mayan descendants and proud of their heritage.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jennifer, glad to see you back online. Many memories for sure And now you are making many more . Hope all is well and I look forward to the next chapter.