Part 1 – The Yucatán – A brief history of Mesoamerica

Hola Amigos! taking this opportunity to finally write an actual blog post about my recent adventure traveling to beautiful Merida Mexico! Nothing beats getting out of the cold midwestern weather and being greeted by the breezy sweet smelling air of the Yucatán!

First a little geography and history lesson for those unfamiliar with the Yucatán state.

Southern Mexican States

As you can see it is one of the southern states of Mexico. It’s nearby Cancun and Cozumel but those destinations are part of a separate state called Quintana Roo. The Yucatán is also far less touristy and that my friends is a beautiful thing! The Yucatán is one of the safest states in Mexico and most visitors will feel at ease and right at home.

Mayan Ruins at Dzibilchaltun

As far as a brief the history of Merida and the Yucatán we can start back about 4 millennia ago with what became a very complex and advanced Mayan civilization. Years before the European powers traveled the world or even accepted that the world was a sphere the Mayans had developed an elaborate calendar, studied the climate, made almanacs, built brilliant infrastructure for their cities, had sporting events and arenas rivaling those of Greece and Rome, and built architecturally amazing structures that have remained until today.

Mayan Almanac

Eventually the European conquistadors arrived and as happens in many colonial conquests the indigenous people and their culture suffered and was very heavily repressed throughout the years. While I am definitely not qualified to make in depth statements about what transpired with the Mayan people and happened to their beautiful culture over the hundreds of years that followed, I am very aware of the impact and cultural importance that indigenous people can have on society as a whole and why we need to learn about them and from them.

I was in awe of the beauty of their culture and contributions to the world in so many different ways of life. I plan on doing far more research now on the subject of the Mayans and mesoamerican cultures. What I learned in school was not enough. Learning about these cultures is part of learning about the whole history of the Americas.

Please take time to learn about the maya as well as indigenous cultures in your own home area as well. It’s part of the fabric of life that contributes to all of our history.

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