Between Gratitude and Hope on the Lenca Trail: travels into the mountainous west of Honduras

When thinking about indigenous people in Central America, the Maya are usually the ones that come to mind. We had our fair share/overdose of Maya culture in Belize and in Guatemala. Honduras has Maya too – exemplified by the ruins of Copán which we’d visit later in our trip. The most numerous indigenous group in this country, however, are the Lenca. They’re famous for their tenacity and their fluorescent headdresses. A sharp tourism marketing genius dubbed their homeland the Ruta Lenca or Lenca Trail. We were keen to explore those rugged and inhospitable mountains of southwestern Honduras and the string of traditional villages that lies within them. Continue Reading →

12 hours in Tikal, Guatemala: a plunge into the world of the Maya

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Anete and I sit on top of the second highest pre-Columbian structure in the Americas – Temple IV in Tikal, aka the Temple of the Double-Headed Serpent. Our gaze is directed eastwards, where a couple of stone colossi stick their necks out of the jungle. Minutes earlier, we’ve stared a spider monkey straight into the eyes. A couple of Olive-throated parakeets skim over the canopy. We remain on our throne for an hour – not speaking much, solely admiring the view. Anete tries to meditate, I climb up to the highest step of the staircase to check if the view gets even better. Any minute now, we’re expecting a group of tourists to join us, but they never arrive. We have Tikal all to ourselves. It’s a magical experience, a highlight of our trip through the land of the Maya. What a difference a day makes. Continue Reading →