As this is currently my quiet part of the year, I finally found the time to look through a few photos that I took on my travels around the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. Followers of my blog may have seen the post I did just after I got back of the underwater portraits, I decided that I also wanted to do a post about the little adventure we had around the area and the people we met along the way.
We hired a little car and set off on our adventure. The first set of these photos were taken in a little place called Ek Balam, a very sweet little village in the middle of the jungle. I can honestly say that this place was one of my favourite travel experiences of my life. Mainly because it was very real, there were no other tourists around – it felt like a true insight into Mexican life. The people there welcomed us into their homes, showed us how they live, where their children go to school and what they do for work. They asked for nothing in return, it was refreshing and inspiring. We learnt about their worries in life, and saw how the community were working to raise funds for the school. The children played in the streets and found joy in flying handmade plastic bag kites. They are Mayan people so my poor attempt at learning Spanish before we went was no good anyway! We communicated as best as we could through the odd spanish word and hand gestures. We fell so in love with Ek Balam that we are already planning a trip back this year. We discovered a wonderful little place to stay for our next visit called Genesis Retreat, run by lovely people. Can’t wait!
After Ek Balam we spent the Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) weekend in Merida. I had heard that it would be a good place to see the festival because the locals celebrated on the streets as well as in their houses. It was so interesting to see how different cultures view death. We saw how the locals create their own private altars called ofrendas, honouring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favourite foods and beverages of the departed. We also visited the cemetery where a lot of people gathered to honour the dead. It was just as awesome as I was expecting.
It was an interesting contrast, seeing how city life is different from the small village of Ek Balam. Mexico is a huge country and we only saw a tiny fraction of it in the two weeks that we were there. As well as these two places, we also visited Chichen Itza, Celestun, Cancun and Tulum – I didn’t take many ‘travel’ photos in these areas – mainly we sat around, reading, drinking, eating, and generally relaxing. I’ll leave those photos off this blog!