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Spring has Sprung at Marco Gonzalez Maya Site

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With the coming of spring brings the annual celebration at our small but very cool Maya ruin site located in South Ambergris Caye. Being that I have not mastered my powers of magic enough to be in two places at once, I got lucky on this one. While my temporary roommate Heather and I were in San Ignacio, my friend Robbie volunteered to help cover the event for you.

Marco Gonzalez Spring Equinox Blessing By Robbie Zeskie

Nothing like a ritual of bringing in the new spring season to pull you out of the winter doldrums. And here on San Pedro we got to collect as a community and indulge fully in a refreshing ceremony filled with incense burning, dancing, anointing with water and prayers offered by an authentic Yucatan priest. The weather lately couldn’t have been more perfect leaving the grounds of the Marco Gonzalez Archaeological Reserve prime for the trekking of so many visitors at one time. The most rustic and beautiful raised walking trail was made from remains of an old nearby dock donated after the last hurricane blew through. Signage strategically placed along the trail to notify visitors of different flora, both dangerous and healing as well as some history of the dig site and of course artifacts and ancient building sites that are being excavated. For a history buff like me, well, I was in heaven!

Marco Gonzalez Spring Equinox Blessing

In conjunction with the ceremony of the blessing of the Spring Equinox, there were some educational guides on hand to discuss the artifacts and their use to interested visitors both local and tourists. There were Mayan spears to throw, raffles to enter and festive food and drink to purchase. Belize Chocolate Company was also set up at a table to explain how the Mayans would process and use the cacao bean.

Marco Gonzalez Spring Equinox Blessing

One of my favorite parts of the ceremony was the Mayan princess and warrior in costume. It was so easy to imagine yourself 1500 years back in time with these two in character. The costumes seemed authentic even though they were obviously modern day garnished with real animal skulls, teeth and embellished with the springtime Mayan symbol of the rabbit.
After the Spring Equinox Blessing Ceremony was complete tours of the excavation site were available for all visitors.

Marco Gonzalez Spring Equinox Blessing

The tour was so much more than I expected! Numerous shards of pottery, bones, stones, and mounds of seashells where homes made out of them once stood. Most fascinating to me was the idea that the land crabs actually did most of the uncovering of daily artifacts! Nature at it’s finest! The area can be swampy sometimes with tides creeping up making it a prime blue crab habitat. These crabs bury themselves down into the earth and disrupt the centuries-old artifacts from their ancient burials, kicking them right out their front door for the archeologists and volunteers to pick up. Toward the end of the tour, we were treated to an encounter with a nice sized boa constrictor and a beautiful blue-headed snake I often see on my bike rides up north.

Marco Gonzalez Spring Equinox Blessing

I needed to shake off the winter from my cold visit back to the states and jump into my spring cleaning. You should definitely fit it into your “To Do” list for next year! Or if you visit the island, be sure and look up Marco Gonzalez Maya Site on FaceBook and schedule a tour. Hats off to the many volunteers and board members who spent hours planning, cleaning and working so all of us could enjoy such a unique and authentic Mayan tradition.

Tips for Marco Gonzalez Maya Site Tour

  • Dress for the jungle.
  • Pack repellent.
  • No pets or kids under 5.
  • 1/4 mile hike into the site, single file on a rustic boardwalk.
  • Carry out what you carry in, no more no less.

To book a tour call Jan Brown at 672-2725 or email – janetbrownbz@gmail.com

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