Our group woke up to a giant breakfast made by the community. There was scrambled eggs, soft tortilla chip bake, hot cakes, and lots and lots of fresh fruit. We also got to use this incredible honey and crema on our food!
We drove with Padre Felix to another one of his communities to help with a work project at a church. We helped dust, scrape off old paint, sweep, and paint alongside the local community. After we finished painting we went outside and introduced ourselves to some of the young girls who helped paint. They also taught us some words in Mayan and we tried to sing “head shoulders knees and toes” with them in Mayan
We picked up snacks at the local shop on our way to Chichén Itzá. Chichén Itzá is one of largest persevered Mayan ruins with the biggest temple. The main temple at Chichén Itzá is one of the seven built wonders of the world.
When we arrived at Chichén Itzá where Tristin and Karianne used their bargaining skills to buy two sun hats with yellow and pink ribbons to wear in the ruins.
Our tour guide Fernando was very knowledgeable and we learned so much about the Mayan culture:
We learned that the main pyramid is built based on the Mayan calendar. 4 sides for the 4 seasons and 91 steps up to the top on each side to equal 364 days with one at the top for the 365th day. There are 9 levels on each side of the stairs for a total of 18 months. There are also three rectangles on each level, expect the top level which had two. These rectangles were 26 on each side, totaling 52 for the number of years in their cycle before they rebuilt their temple, which had been done three times, that research has found so far. Research had also found a cenote below the temple, and a man had explored within before, but couldn’t see everything. Another manned exploration is in the works, and visitors are no longer allowed to climb the ruins partly to preserve them better for this future discovery. A final fun fact we learned about the temple is that standing in front of the one staircase, you can clap and hear the sound of the Mayan bird the Quetzal echo back at you. It is incredible what the Mayans accomplished building this temple without the technology awe have today.
We also learned about their observatory, their temples of chiefs, and their game field. In the game field, the Mayans built the blocks of their field walls to be smaller on one side and larger on the other to echo seven times, their sacred number. We stood in the center of the field and clapped and listened to it echo around. We were also amazed by the rules of the Mayan games, and that they used the field to offer prisoners their freedom, IF they could run to the other side without being hit by the deadly dagger of the hunter following them.
After Chichen Itzá we went to a buffet dinner where we had lime soup, rice, tacos (made with a variety of meats), panuchos, and a dish similar to barbecue pulled pork. One of the coolest parts of the dinner was the lady who was making fresh tortillas right in front of us! We also had a variety of our favorite drinks like horchatera and himika . For desert we had oranges, candied papaya, rice pudding, and a Yucatán dessert similar to French toast. It was so delicious after a fun day exploring Chichén Itzá.
We then started the long trek back to Merida and had such a fun time singing and talking in the car. However one of our favorite parts was stopping on the side of the road to admire the stars. We saw both the big and Little Dipper as well as many other amazing stars. We finally got back home and ended the day with a long and powerful reflection before heading off to bed for another exciting and busy day!
las caballeras de educadas