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Belize’s ATM delivers shivers, not cash

10 February 2011 No Comment

The following article appeared on Thestar.com, Canada’s largest online news site.

Deep in a cave called Actun Tunichil Muknal are the shining white bones of a long-dead Mayan. By the time I reach his skeleton, I am tired enough to want to join him.

Actun Tunichil Muknal, or ATM, as the locals call it, is located a four-hour drive inland from the Belizean coast. Then there’s a hike for two hours through heavy, humid rainforest. Then there are three rivers to cross. By the time my guide, Edward Alfaro, and I get to the cave, we are soaking wet. Which is excellent, because we spend half the time in the cave swimming though icy pools of water.

Inside the cave, huge stalactites hang from the ceiling. Clusters of dusky grey bats appear. We pass shards of pots from AD 900, pots that once held offerings to the God of corn, annatto and chillies. When the Mayans felt these offerings weren’t enough, they upped the ante and offered live sacrifices.

Read the full story here: Belize’s ATM delivers shivers, not cash