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Belize and the Mayan Calendar
By Rita Cook
The big buzz for the past year has been 2012 and what it means since the Mayan calendar actually ends next year at Winter’s Solstice. It’s when the astronomical alignment between the Winter Solstice point in the constellation of Sagittarius and the constellation of the Pleiades as predicted by the Mayan for 2012 will be on display in the night sky above. For a bird’s eye view there will probably be no better place than Belize to take part in 2012 or to understand the underlying meaning of it all.
The ancient Mayan people living in the Yucatan area were known to be astronomers, scholars and scientists practicing mathematics, astronomy and writing on a daily basis and, because of their knowledge, much has been said of their predictions as well.
The real significance of the calendar is still undetermined, but some folks say it’s the end of the world while others believe it will be a shift in the consciousness of mankind. As for the Mayans, most of them believe 2012 is a time that will encompass renewal, reflection and celebration on the earth.
The Mayan ancient culture has been preserved in the country of Belize even today where not only English is spoken countrywide, but there are also three dialects of Mayan still spoken too. What is left of the ancient Mayan culture today, other than the people who are ancestors from this earlier civilization, can still also be seen in hieroglyphs inscribed on ancient temple walls or in ceremonial caves that have been discovered over the years.
It’s a fact that you can barely dig a posthole or clear land without uncovering some Mayan artifact in Belize and that means for visitors it’s easy to get an up close and personal view of the culture when visiting the country. Ka'ana Boutique Resort is the perfect place to have energy work done with a local shaman named Dr. Rosario Panti (Doña Rosa) who can read body language and energy. Panti started her training at the age of seven learning about the healing powers of the rainforest from her grandfather, a healer named Eligio Panti. When her grandfather died at the age of 103 it is said he left his knowledge and experience behind in the hands of Panti who had worked with him for over 20 years. As for Ka’ana Boutique Resort, the name means “Heavenly Place” in the Mayan language.
Located in the Maya Mountains the resort is in Belize’s Cayo District and is all about eco-friendly. With just 15 rooms set in a jungle atmosphere, the entire experience will make you feel as if you have stepped back in time. From Ka’ana Boutique Resort you can visit Mayan Archeological sites with the foremost site being the ancient Mayan city of Xunantunich or Maiden of the Rock. Located on the Western Highway, the site is across the river from the village of San Jose Succotz and a ferry from the village to the site is offered daily. Built in the “Classic Period” the highlight of Xunantunich are two temples. The lower temple is known for its large stucco frieze and a mask with large ears seen on this temple is said to represent the sun god. Next to this mask, there is a moon sign with a border of signs representing Venus.
At The Lodge at Chaa Creek the owners have a package already set up for visitors to the property at the end of 2012. However, between now and then Chaa Creek will also be creating a living Maya Village with Maya centric basket, cloth and hammock weaving, stone carving, chocolate making and coconut oil making. They are also hosting workshops and speakers including Mayan Rosita Arvigo who will be giving a workshop on Maya Medicinal Remedies, shaman Joe Awe who will teach Maya counting and how the Maya Calendar works and an in-house astrologer and astronomer.
On the eve of December 21, 2012 Chaa Creek will have a torch lit procession to the nearby Mayan Temple site of Tunichilen for a Mayan invocation and traditional ritual celebration. Located along the banks of the Macal River and near to the foothills of the Maya Mountains, The Lodge at Chaa Creek sits on 365 acres within a rainforest reserve. The property offers guests an adventure travel experience that includes not only visiting the various Mayan archaeological sites, but also focusing on Belize’s ecology and natural
Located in Central America’s Caribbean coast, Belize is only 70 miles by 180 miles long. It’s easy to get around and from the ancient traditions such as Mayan farming methods and cooking that is still practiced today to the Belize barrier reef, there’s no need to get bored with a diverse number of activities for everyone. For more information please visit www.travelbelize.org.
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