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I´m Michelle and I am traveling in Latin America. I have always wanted to travel here and I finally left my home in Boston, MA in July 2013. I have been traveling since then, working here and there and continuously realizing that the world is filled with opportunities for exploration. I hope to travel for a long time but I always find a cozy place to stay for some time. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions I am more than happy to take you up on them. Live long, travel far, love often.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Merida y Izamal, Yucatan Peninsula: MEXICO

Headed up to the good ol' Yucatan. There we saw a very detailed and informative Mayan museum in Merida then continued on to visit more ruins. We opted to base ourselves on the pueblito of Izamal instead of the city of Merida. Izamal was beautiful, a small town with buildings all in yellow. We ended up staying for a couple of extra days because the place was just that nice.
Mayan dresses of today worn by the women in the Yucatan region.
Izamal.
Ruins in the town. We saw a few ruins in Izamal and they were all for free!
The name of the site.
Izamal, very famous for the horse drawn carriage rides, although it was just too hot for the poor horses.
Izamal.
The convent where Pope John Paul came to visit.
Their Virgin, who resembles a couple of women in my fam, it's strange.
Pyramids.
Chichen Itza: we visited this Disney Land of ancient Mayan sites. It was beautiful, but the amount of people and vendors have it a stressful Disney World type theme. Que lastima!
But the ruins were beautiful and very detailed.
Observatory.
Many iguanas, probably because it was soo hot!
Gringa by the pyramid.
Skulls, this temple was used to display skulls to scare off enemies.
The "hoop" for the ball game. This game was played to make important decisions over wars perhaps, the losers would be sacrificed.
Huge court, they most likely used some sort of bat as well.
Cenote or sink hole, the Maya from Chichen Itza threw sacrifices into the sink hole, it was looked at like an opening to the world below.
El Balam: Ruins near Izamal that weren't as infested with tourists.
Climbing up was no problem, coming down though.., i just ley picturing my body rolling down to the bottom, very steep, so i used my Granny Greene skills to slowly get myself down.
View from top.
This is a Shaman. One arm is longer than the other. This is because they wanted to keep the genetics soo puré in the noble class that they promoted and incest. So when deformities like this ocurred they looked at is a gift from the gods.
Ek Balam.
Little sneak shot of how they dressed.
Another cenote or sink hole. I swam in this one, it was so refreshing after walking around in the sun all day. There were birds flying above as well, very peaceful.
A bird, there are soo many birds. I now can see why people are into bird watching.









































Palenque: MEXICO

We arrived in Palenque and were welcomed by the heat and humidity. Pheww, it sure was hot there. However, there was also a mystical feeling in the air. We visited the ruins in the jungle. Aha, now I see where this mystical energy is coming from. The Mayans were here 2000 years ago, and their footprint has been left. Thus we began our travels on the Ruta Maya. So much history, culture and energy. One could spend an entire trip going to all the sites and learning about the cultre of the Maya from yesterday, today and what their future holds.
Palenque.
We hiked ino the jungle to see the covered ruins. I believe from space they reported over 1000 ruins in this area.
Waterfall, the Maya choose this region because of the easy access to water.
A tree that is being over taken by another tree, #junglelife.
Ruins and the entrance into the ruins, now a home for jungle wild life.
Ruins in the jungle, and a home for a snake.
Jungle berries.
Palenque: inhabitance of the Maya.
Ruins.
It was soo hot. Most of the ruins were actually painted and had designs covering them, of snakes, jaguars, Mayan faces.
Or even skulls!
The palace with a watch tower.
Covered by the trees are the steps to reach this temple.
Inside a temple.
These are carvings of prisoners that were captured and then later killed as offerings. Notice the hand over the chest, this is a display of respect.
The Maya also mutilated their scalps so that they were long and oval shaped and wore their hair in pony tails on top. They started the mutilation of the scalps when they were babies.
Impressive structures.
Aqueducts to retain and move water. 
I believe this guy is a warrior.
The color still remains on this stelae. To tho top right are symbols which represented the Mayan language.
A wall with carvings.
The structures were built to represent he 13 layers of the Mayan realms, their hell, heaven and earth.
This is a god. To the right is a head coming out of a corn stalk. The Maya believed that humans were formed from the corn.
Palenque.
A shaman smoking something.
An image of a god that was adorned in the temples.
A jade mask found in a tomb, most likely of a noble.
This is an elaborately decorated tomb of one of the leaders in Palenque, he had this commissioned before his death.