Kabal,, Ek Balam and the Chocolate Story
Day 5 was an early start. We began our trip to the ruins by riding with our excellent host, Hermillo, who told us all about the Mayans, their architecture. and culture. We learned the the ruins we were going to visit are the best example of the classical Mayan culture and how, because there is no water near them, the Rain God was their most important god. The Mayans had many gods. We first stopped by one of Hermillo's friends who has a bee farm and artist workshop on the top of a hill near the ruins. He showed us his bees, which are stingless bees that he has been keeping with his family for many generations. He is also an artist and he showed us how he took the fruit from the Jicara tree and carved Mayan symbols into the dried fruit.
We then went to see Kabal, which is a small ruin also from the Classical Mayan Period. We learned how they did the rain ceremony and saw many iguanas there as well.
On to Ek Balam which is a very large ruin in very good shape. Many archeologists are studying there and learning about hos the Mayans lived. We hiked up very steep steps to get to the top of the pyramid, walked all around the structures and found out how hot it must have been for the Mayans as they constructed their altars. It was a great day to learn a lot about the Mayan Civilization, and we recognized many of the symbols on the ruins from our Mayan epigraphy class the day before.