The location of this old Mayan city was well chosen.

It is a place Mayan elite lived for the best part of the year,entertained visitors, enjoyed food and drink on porches as their sun sank into the Caribbean sea. There were simple platforms on the grounds upon which slaves and servants lived in thatched communal homes. There are altars overlooking cliffs where offerings would have been left for Mayan Gods.

Most of the city has crumbled and front porches have been claimed by iguanas, prehistoric reptiles that survived the dinosaur extermination.They bask on stone floors in palaces off limits to tourists, their coloring matching that of the stones around them. They run oddly with their tails swinging left to right and legs moving like robot legs, surprisingly quick, tongues testing the air as they move towards shade.

The pyramids still standing tell the story of this ancient culture.

They have a wide, solid base that supports the entire structure.

On top of the base have been built smaller and smaller levels like an extended telescope. At the top of the pyramid is a single living unit for the head of the society. There is no agonizing discussion of equality and fairness. All major decisions come from the top of the pyramid and all below the top support the King.

If the base shifts, or weakens, the entire pyramid is in jeopardy.

There are carvings in stone that show strange symbols and half animal-half human faces.

Streets, then, would have been filled with places to drink and eat .Foreign ships would have been anchored in the harbor as merchants squabbled for the best deals. There would have been spiritual advisers interpreting the King’s dreams as they stood at the top of the biggest pyramid and reached hands up towards the stars asking for good crops and good fortune, shedding blood to see that it was so.

It is strange to walk in one of history’s graveyards.

We have better toys today but we play in the same sandbox the ancients played in.

The iguana’s will outlast us all.


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