Thursday, February 18, 2010

Mayan Ruins: A Perspective from the Past

I recently stumbled upon a fifty-year old guide to the Mayan ruins. When purchased, it cost twenty pesos.

No matter the date nor the price, I learned a few interesting tidbits. I knew the Mayans inhabited the Yucatan and Guatemala, but did not realize ruins of their civilization could also be found in the Mexican states of  Tabasco and Chiapas, as well as modern-day Belize. (When the book was published, Belize was still known as British Honduras.)

Even more fascinating to the modern reader is the view of wildlife back in 1959. The ability to purchase alligator belts, shoes and other accessories was mentioned often. When discussing the island of Cozumel, readers were told how they could hunt for deer and jaguars in the island's "hinterland."

The book is "Maya Cities: Official Guide I.N.A.H." by Roman Pina Chan, translated by Dr. Pablo Martinez del Rio.

One can only wonder what the author and translator would make of today's bustling resorts of Cancun and Cozumel.

Happy trails,