500 years ago,
The Yucatan Peninsula
We invite all the community to the plaza at noon today for the "Descent of the Gods"
ceremony. Local youth will be participating in this coming-of-age ceremony.
Thirteen-year-old boys, be prepared for the formal ritual with our priest, who'll
be cutting the white bead you've worn in your hair for the last eight years. After
this ceremony, you'll be living in a separate house with the other unmarried young
men of our town. Young ladies of 13 and up, remind your mothers that they'll be
removing the red shell from the string you've worn around your waist since you were
5. The shell's removal is a sign of your availability for marriage. Families and
friends are all invited to join and especially wear our special colors, mapped to
the four cardinal directions. As a reminder: we associate red with the east and
black with the west. White identifies the north, while yellow symbolizes the south.
In other news, those of you traveling to Chichen Itza, please be advised of
heavy foot traffic. Many individuals plan to see the great pyramid for the special
vernal equinox display. As you know, we Mayans often align our temples to the sun,
moon, stars, and particularly the planet Venus. Next week, during the vernal
equinox (March 21), the great pyramid's shape will seem to reflect a picture of the
great sky-serpent, that appears out of the stone's pattern and descends in a short,
34-minute period. Those of you traveling, please have a safe journey.
In news about crops, the Spaniards have been slowly taking over more of our
cropland. While they have steel and iron tools, and the ability to manage large
tracts of land, let us remember that we are the ones who labor. We are the ones who
actually grow the tobacco, sugar cane, fruits and vegetables. The foreigners
shouldn't be the only ones to profit, and we must be very careful about who holds
Book now for special rates on our tour of Livingston, on the east coast.
This city is the heart of our Garifuna population, descendants of African slaves
forcibly resettled off the Honduran coast by the British after they refused to work
on the island of St. Vincent, in the Caribbean. While the Garifuna and native
indigenous populations still struggle to rise above inequalities in status and
opportunity, ladinos, or intermixed Mayan natives and opeans, hold much of the
socio-economic power, as well as the older Hispanic families.
Sale on huipiles today! Let's remember to support our local Mayan culture by
shopping at the downtown crafts fair. Huipiles, the popular embroidered, sleeveless
tunics, have worldwide recognition for their detailed depictions of our popular
bird, the quetzal, as well as diamonds, toads, and jaguars, all important
mythological symbols. The Mayan indigenous peoples have kept their more than 21
languages, distinct traditions, and unique culture intact despite 500 years of
colonization. By buying huipiles and other traditional clothing like trajes and
enredos (wraparound skirts), we can bring fair market value and attention to these
finely-made pieces and their makers.
Remember, church on Sunday for the estimated 70% of Guatemalan Roman Catholics.
Have you or a family member recently joined another faith tradition? In the last
twenty years almost 3 out of 10 Guatemalans have become evangelical, protestant
In agricultural business, sales of Guatemalan coffee, an international delicacy,
are up. In fact, almost any schoolchild around the world could walk into their
local coffee house and ask to see what types of coffee beans are from Guatemala.
Also, crops of sugar cane, cotton, bananas, fruit, and vegetables, particularly on
the Pacific coast, continue to do well.
That's all the news that's fit to print!