Perhaps the Maya are most well known for their magnificent ruins that are found throughout Mexico and Central America. The Maya were experts in astronomy, calendar making, mathematics, agriculture, architecture, and aesthetics. During the late Maya Preclassic Period (300 BC – 300 AD), countless temples and other structures were meticulously built and beautifully decorated. The Maya ruins date long before 300BC and extend well past the 300 AD mark. Modern descendants of the indigenous Maya live on the same lands and continue many traditions of their ancestors.
Today the Mayan people are hardworking and friendly. In the villages that we visit, we find the people to be shy but eager to engage in conversation. They have strong family ties. Many of the people speak Mayan and enjoy foreigner’s willingness to learn their language. Their diet consists of primarily of beans, rice, and tortillas. They are gracious hosts and often offer to share their modest meals with visitors. The people in the villages have their water pumped directly from untreated shallow wells (cenotes).