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Experiencing the Maya

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When we hear about the “Mayan civilization”, many of us think of an ancient “lost” culture that flourished hundreds of years ago and then mysteriously disappeared.That’s not completely true, as I learned recently on a tour of Mayan sites in Mexico’s Yucatán peninsula, and Guatemala.Many descendants of the original Maya still live and worship to various extents traditionally and are eager to share their ways with visitors.



The site is dominated by the “castle” pyramid, constructed to not only produce echoes (as demonstrated relentlessly by clapping tourists) and solstice and equinox light changes, but also to symbolize Mayan spiritual beliefs, such as the number 9, referencing the number of days it takes corn to germinate, or the feathered serpent. 
Corn (maize) is still a staple in the Yucatán diet; in fact, the dough for the tortillas served with every meal still contains a bit of limestone powder to give it robustness.Despite a limited number of basic ingredients, though, the cuisi…