Firstly the Mayan village. I am, by nature, a questioning, cynical person (Moi? Surely not) and that makes me a questioning, cynical tourist. But I have to say that, putting a little folklorists colour to one side, our visit to the village was totally without the sort of 'look at the funny natives' patronising guff we've had during similar visits in other countries. We saw a community as it is now (water from a well, open fires and clay ovens, one electric light powered by a car battery into which a small solar panel fed). Without most of the material trappings we consider essential for our lives but at ease with their way of life. It's a community that embraces the present and wants to provide a different future for its young. It's also a community on the brink of tremendous change for across the road from them a new Mayan archaeological site, Muyil, is opening up new areas soon. This will attract many more tourists to their village and surrounds and there will be accompanying developments (hotels, restaurants etc). We asked the question "what did they think about it?". Some did not want any change, preferring the old ways, but the majority wanted to give their young more opportunities than they had. It's going to happen so they may as well benefit from it.
|Concern for their future is shaping the way the community is positioning itself.|
|Nohoch Mul: a doddle after Dartmoor|
|Look who's lurking in the cenote|