Sunday in San Pedro: Summer Solstice, global yoga, a Mayan blessing and the hunt for a stolen golf cart
Sunday morning came early and I awoke with a 50-pound quandary sitting on my chest.
Should I take the 5:45 a.m. water taxi to Belize City with Rose and participate in the International Day of Yoga events, which would no doubt bring harmony and peace to my troubled mind?
Should I wait beside the road at 9:10 a.m. for my friend Nick Barton and travel south to the annual Summer Solstice ceremony at the Marco Gonzalez Mayan Site? Perhaps I could ask the Mayan priest Martin Choc to pray for the recovery of our golf cart.
Or, should I just go looking all over the island for the golf cart that was stolen on Saturday night while we partied at the annual Lobsterfest Block Party?
What to do. What to do.
I shall spare you the suspense.
After bicycling to the taxi dock with Rose in the wee morning hours, and seeing her safely off with her yoga friends, I went to the police station and was successfully ignored for two hours in my quest to file a stolen vehicle report. Roundly defeated by the bureaucracy, I headed home for a quick shower and snack.
Then it was off to the Mayan blessings with Nick.
The Marcos Gonzalez Mayan Sit is one of 18 identified on this island, but the only one designated as a National Park. Compared to other Mayan ruin sites, this one is quite primitive. Its development, under the enthusiastic guidance of Jan Brown, is only in its infancy.
But with a little bit of imagination, and a lot of mosquito repellent, you can see that this site is steeped deep in potential.
Who knows? This might have been the first island resort for wealthy and powerful Mayan merchants and rulers from Tikal or Lamanai. It wouldn’t shock me one bit if the Mayans came up with the All-inclusive resort vacation concept. They were an awfully sophisticated people.
Smarter folks than me say this was a busy trading site some 2,000 years ago. They have identified 49 possible structures on the 7.57-acre site that rises up from the mangrove swamps. Reaching the site requires hiking on a quarter-mile-long raised footbridge.
On Sunday, about 30 of us made the trek to bear witness to the Mayan blessings of Martin Choc and enjoy some lovely ethnic dances by a local troupe in this most-appropriate setting. Here is a brief video of one of the dancers. Mr. Choc’s son gamely translated and summarized his father’s comments and incantations.
Even without the son’s assist it is quite moving to just hear this ancient language spoken in this most appropriate of settings. I for one felt a profound connection to the grounds as I listened to Mr. Choc intone the prayers that have been handed down over 2,000 years from priest to priest.
As an ancient merchants trading site, Marco Gonzalez holds the potential for profound discoveries some day. Who knows? They might have traded goods with sea voyagers from all points of the world. Buried deep in this site could be distinctive artifacts from Asia or Scandinavia or Africa. That is just my imagination talking. This is just a big sprawling birthday present and nobody really knows what is inside until it is opened up.
Meanwhile, I didn’t give a moment’s thought to my stolen golf cart while falling under the calming spell of Martin Choc’s prayers and incantations. It will be found, I’m sure and I’ll have something else to write about for for now, walking in the shadows and footsteps of this ancient people was quite blessing enough for a Sunday morning.
Here are some more images of Maya Priest Martin Choc as he performs a blessing over the grounds of the Marco Gonzalez Mayan Site:
More images of the ethnic dancers who entertained the gathering on Sunday:
Some images from around the Marco Gonzales Mayan Site: