A Peek into the Life of a Mayan Family
On our recent trip to Belize, we stayed in the south near Punta Gorda where our private guide had arranged a visit to a local village to meet with the Mayan Community there. Getting under the skin of ancient cultures and understanding other ways of life is innate to cazenove+loyd’s experiential travel and this extraordinary day proved an amazing insight into the mystical Mayan culture.
We entered a small wooden house where one family lived all together in one large room. Although small and simple, the traditional trinkets that decorated the space shed light on the family and what occupied their day to day. You can’t help but draw comparisons with your own way of life, and it really brings a refreshing perspective, in a way that all travel should. Everything that made up their home was hand-made; a bed made of bark, a drum made of deer skin, a small ‘marimba’ (traditional Guatemalan musical instrument) carved from wood. The family chatted away to us and introduced themselves, explaining their family and community.
The mother and daughter proceeded to teach us how to hand-grind corn and make tortillas, which are a staple food in Belize. We were hopeless at it and they made it look so easy as they do it every morning, but it was amazing to see them at work and creating such a tasty treat from scratch. The family prepared a delicious meal for us of heart of palm, plantain, tortillas and then after lunch explained all of the beautiful flora surrounding their home. They were incredibly knowledgeable and in touch with their surroundings, which is such a contrast coming from an urban lifestyle, where so much of that instinct and understanding of the earth is lost.
We met another family in the village who trade in crafts, the father hand-making hammocks, the mother weaving baskets and the daughter carving wood. It was wonderful to see the creativity and resourcefulness in this remote location, and we so appreciated them letting us in and getting to experience the Mayan lifestyle for a day.