My Road Trip Through Mexico Taught Me Something Unexpected

Our GPS constantly mispronounced the indigenous names, like Coatzacoalcos. I was always Googling food and ingredients.

The Aztecs were already enjoying guacamole when Hernán Cortés arrived. The Maya have been eating corn tortillas for thousands of years.

UNESCO made Mexican food an Intangible World Heritage because of its antiquity.

Mexico is wealthy in natural resources. Our road trip took us through jungle, along the coastline and swamps, up mountains and past volcanos. The roads were lined with fields of sugarcane, pineapple, coffee, grapes and corn, as well as oil industrial towns.

We bought this Mayan chewing gum in Yucatán, Mexico, made the Mayan way, long before anyone else in the world was chewing gum!

For thousands of years, the Maya played competitive games with rubber balls! Mexicans are proud of their indigenous ancestry, but holding onto these traditions was not easy.

Hernán Cortés Set Out To Destroy The Indigenous Culture, Stone By Stone

February 14, 2020.

We’re standing in the Aztec ruins in the heart of Mexico City. This pyramid once reached almost to the height the of the cathedral in the distance.⁣

The Aztec city of Tenochtitlán fell to Hernán Cortes in 1521. Cortés and the Spaniards took Tenochtitlán apart, using the stones to build other buildings. They didn’t want any reminder of the once-great civilization inspiring the people. That’s what conquest is all about.

You kill a snake by cutting off its head. Cortés cut off the head of thIs basalt stone serpent from the Aztec Temple, and then placed it under the weight of this building.

The idea was to destroy the spirit of the indigenous people, but that’s never as easy as history’s conquerors think. You can probably list a few great failures off the top of your head.

Hernán Cortés’ First Stop: Veracruz, Mexico

February 28, 2020.

We’re in the archaeological ruins in Cempoala in Veracruz, Mexico.

Let me introduce you to our guide, José Aburto. That’s him above me. I’m not sure how he climbed up there so fast, since he’s 78 years old!⁣

José is well known for hosting an episode of the History Channel‘s Secrets of Veracruz.⁣

This was the first indigenous site on Cortés’ way to Mexico City. Hernán Cortés landed here in 1513. Although he had superior weapons, Mexico’s indigenous population vastly outnumbered his army. Most indigenous people hated the Aztecs, so Cortés easily divided them. The diseases he unknowingly brought from Europe were his other advantage.

Mexico’s Indigenous People Remember Their Past All Too Well

The human spirit of this Mayan sculpture, with the jungle in his heart

Our road trip: Mexico brought us to Tulum along the Riviera Maya, where we saw thIs Mayan sculpture, with the symbolic jungle in his heart.

July 15, 2020.

Nelva Is a waitress at a resort in Tulum. When the resort closed in March, her Mayan village didn’t want her back.

Maybe she would bring the virus. When you know the history of the indigenous people and diseases in Mexico, it makes sense.

During our road trip, we passed Centla, a town with sandbags blocking the entrance to every street leading into the town. The supermarket entrance on the main avenue had police blocking the entrance, making the only way in from an inner street of the town. They’re protecting themselves from infected outsiders.

Indigenous Secrets You And I Will Never Know

Silvia, the resort’s esthetician, and I hit it off right away on a spiritual level. I wanted to find a shaman healer to teach me how to channel my spiritual energies. I have a natural ability to see beyond the physical world. Silvia told me that a true Mayan shaman would not teach me anything, since these are secrets they keep only among themselves.

People in Mexico still speak 63 indigenous languages!

Mexico’s National Institute of Indigenous Languages

Human Spirit In All Of Us

We all have this human spirit within us. It comes out when its most needed, when we’re fighting for survival or in danger of losing our identity. The human spirit unites us in the worst of times. It inspires us.

My first experience with Mayan culture was in Guatemala. Read about my adventures here: Mayan Culture And Everyday Life.

Shorter but always interesting stories @moodandmystery on Instagram

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