eco kids at chaa creek maya temple

Ancient Maya lessons at Chaa Creek, Belize


MONDAY July 25, 2011 – Nothing sets the mood of the day better than an early morning hike and that’s exactly what the eco campers did today as they trekked to learn about the ancient Maya that once inhabited the area that now makes Chaa Creek.

Everyone left the Macal River Camp grounds at 8AM and headed to Tun Chilen, the largest on-site Maya temple at Chaa Creek and even though most of it is covered by dirt and foliage, the temple structures are obvious.

Joe Awe, one of Chaa Creek’s senior guides asked the kids if anyone had previously visited an excavated Maya site such as the nearby Xunantunich or Cahal Pech, and almost everyone responded with a yes. “Well something similar is underneath here, this is where your imagination will come in handy,” said Joe.

eco kids at chaa creek maya temple

The entire area of Chaa Creek is said to once been a satellite city of Xunatunich, Tun Chilen is also called the “Look Out’ since you can see directly to El Castillo – which is Xunantunich’s highest temple.

The most important lesson of the day was that education and taking care of the environment is crucial, the ancient Maya leaders used their literacy to control the masses and their civilization flourished for a while. Only the leaders were educated and with this power, they were able to predict the rain patterns and the peasants thought they were living Gods. The Maya were incredibly smart but they weren’t good environmentalist, because of overpopulation, they cleared most of the trees to plant crops and in the end this caused an immense drought. The Maya leaders could no longer please the crowds and everyone lost faith, the leaders then abandoned the temples and since the masses had no literacy and couldn’t manage the sites – there was turmoil!

Joe Awe told the kids to add the book, Lord of the Flies to their summer reading list, to an extent, similar depicted chaos was one of the causes of the ancient Maya’s demise.

After the tour, the children went to Chaa Creek’s Mariposa restaurant where a delicious lunch was waiting for them. Then it was canoeing time for the rest of the afternoon, dinner and camp fire activities.

eco kids go canoeing at chaa creek

macal river camp fire area

Here are some candid photographs of the happy eco campers and councilors.

eco kids at chaa creek belize

eco kids canoeing

eco boy at chaa creek

eco kid alex

belize eco kid Lonzelle

lucy fleming dancing for the belize eco camp games


Tomorrow’s theme of the day is Traditional Healing.

To read yesterday’s story, click here: Eco Kids learn about Belize’s Biodiversity and Conservation

Or check out what happened on the first day: Chaa Creek’s Eco Kids Camp 2011 commences

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3 thoughts on “Ancient Maya lessons at Chaa Creek, Belize

  1. Good Job, Chaa Creek! The experience of the camp will live on with the children for a long time. I am certain my daughter Kaitlynne is enjoying herself and learning a lot. We, as parents, are pleased that there is a place that offers children the opportunity to experience the natural wonders of Belize and foster appreciation for the country.

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