Saturday, January 08, 2005

Mayan Village

After an overnight in Belize City I flew down to Punta Gorda in the Toledo district of Belize. I decided to stay in a Mayan Village to learn a bit more about their way of life. I had read that the Toledo district was for "those who are truly adventurous" as well as "be prepared to rough it". Did I listen, not really.

I woke up my first night in the village to go use the bathroom only to find two huge black transulas. I don't know much about these spiders so I decided it was best to just stay away. Then I went back to sleep. I woke up early, (it was still dark) turned on my headlamp only to see a scorpion right next to my head! It was inside of the mosquito net with me, so it probably slept with me the whole night! The little village children said that they have all been stung and if the scorpion bites to kill it, and squeeze the green stuff out of their bodies and rub it on the bite! Luckily I was never stung.

I learned a lot about the Mayans during my stay in the village. I really wanted to learn a bit about their religion so I started asking questions. I found out that in the villages, the people were either Catholic or Christian. The Mayans I met didn't know much about the Mayan religion. I had this group of women try and sell me a carving of a Mayan God in a rock. I asked "which God is this" and then replied " I am really not sure, I think that it is the God of Corn". I just thought it was crazy to have people continue with the arts celebrating the religion, but yet know nothing about the religion itself.

I did meet some lovely people in the village. The girls in the pic below are from the Choco family and I just loved hanging out with them and their family. I would sit on the porch and the girls tried teaching me their language Katchi, and we would watch the other villagers. These little girls knew 3 languages, English (the official language of Belize), Spanish, and Katchi. The families in the village are usually quite big with up to 10 people sharing a small room and sleeping in hammocks or on the floor.

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