The 2012 summer holidays present a rare opportunity to learn about ancient Maya culture and history in the Heartland of the Maya, a noted Belizean anthropologist said.
The Lodge at Chaa Creek’s resident Mayanist, anthropologist Joe Awe, said 2012 is an exciting time not only for the Maya people of Belize, but for archaeologists, anthropologists, Maya healers, academics and professionals from around the world, and this created rare opportunities for tourists interested in Maya culture.
“It’s a very exciting time in Belize and the entire Mundo Maya right now. With so much interest in 2012 there has been more attention to Maya culture in general as legitimate researchers work to bring Maya history and culture to light and debunk many of the myths and nonsense we see in the media and on the internet,” Mr Awe explained.
The Mundo Maya, or Maya World, commonly refers to the range of the ancient Maya Empire, stretching from Belize, Guatemala, Mexico, Honduras and El Salvador. The December 21 2012 Winter Solstice marks the completion of a 26,000 year cycle of the famously accurate Maya Long Count calendar, and has been the subject of sensationalist theories, films and internet articles.
Mr Awe said that while the end of the world scenarios made popular by films such as 2012 were “pure nonsense”, the true history of the Maya is more fascinating than any fiction and that Belize, with its concentration of Maya temples and large city states such as Caracol, Xunantunich, Altun Ha, Cahal Pech as well as a vibrant contemporary Maya culture was the ideal place to discover it.
“Belize is called the Heartland of the Maya for a very good reason. At the height of the Maya civilisation Caracol had a larger population and was considerably bigger than today’s Belize City. In fact, the largest buildings in Belize today are the Maya temples at Caracol and Xunantunich,” he said.
Mr Awe has been presenting lectures on ancient Maya civilisation at The Lodge at Chaa Creek as part of the eco resort’s 2012 Year of the Maya programs, which feature celebrations during the spring and autumn equinoxes and summer and Winter Solstices, as well as year round tours and the comprehensive Belize Maya All inclusive Vacation packages.
“The Belize Maya all inclusive Vacation packages are not only the best way to get an immersion into Maya culture while enjoying a summer vacation, they’re also a great deal. Chaa Creek sits within a private 365 acre rainforest reserve with over 70 Maya archaeological sites and Maya temples, and with all the activities available, an excellent restaurant, the Natural History Centre, Butterfly Farm, Spa, pool and everything else, Chaa Creek’s a pretty complete Maya destination in itself.
“And being so close to Caracol, Tikal and other ancient cities it’s very easy for families, friends and couples to get an in-depth Maya education while enjoying an amazingly affordable, complete Belize summer vacation. It’s a way to spend your summer holidays together doing something fun and exciting and coming away have learned and experienced something truly remarkable,” he said.