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Modern Maya
Jaguars, banditos, and earthquakes, oh my!

Polenta grill at Solola marketPolenta grill at Solola market (Jeri Fritz)
Our guide took us to visit a local family whose house had been badly damaged by an earthquake mud slide a few years ago. The family was tremendously warm and inviting, but the harsh realities in the lives of the average villagers were evident. We were again fortunate to witness a ceremony while visiting Maximon,a carving of a Mayan folk deity who resides in the home of a carefully chosen resident. Maximon is an auspicious figure and those seeking his favor offer candles, cigars, flowers, incense, rum, or money. Maximon is dressed in clothing and often is smoking a cigar or cigarette during ceremonies. A local couple sat motionless and quiet as a priest prayed. We later explored the market of Sololá and were amazed by the colorful costumes and variety of produce and food stuffs. Our local supermercado just doesn’t carry baskets of live chickens and turkeys, cow hooves, beef brains, and braided innards. During our return to Antigua, we barely missed a close encounter with two “chicken” buses, careening around a hairpin mountain curve at high speed.

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