The Maya settled in Belize as early as 1500 BC with the estimated population exceeding one million during the Classic Period (250 AD to 900 AD). Although the civilization went into a political decline around 900 AD and many large Maya centers abandoned, several cultural centers, such as Lamanai on the New River, were still thriving at the time of contact with the Spanish in the late 1500’s. Today a significant Maya population still resides in rural villages primarily in southern Belize.
When you don the miner’s headlamp, settle into the inner tube and float past ancient Maya artifacts, you’re not on the set of an Indiana Jones movie. You’re living an authentic adventure that reveals a multitude of unique charms you’ll find only in Belize. Experience less of a float trip, more of an adventure. Cave tubing in Belize puts you on the lookout for crocodiles, iguanas and howler monkeys. You float past limestone and crystal formations where ancient Maya people once worshipped.
The Maya area, which includes that area of Southern Mexico, the Gulf Coast, the Yucatan and Quintanaroo; the area which includes the countries of Belize, Guatemala and the North Western portions of El Salvador and Honduras was the landscape in which the people that will be known as the Maya will thrive and create this amazing culture we know of today.
The smell of rain drifts through the atmosphere with a tinge of calcium carbonate mixed with moss. You close your eyes and you can sense the concert of an establishment where at the very top, the CEO, the living god King commands the rain, the sunlight, the time, and who lives and who dies.
With surnames like Pascasio, Enriquez, Palacio and Cayetano to name a few, the Garinagu, the name of the people, came into Belize from Honduras initially in 1802 and later a larger contingent coming in 1832, this culture planted itself firmly on the Southern Coast of Belize on beautiful beaches where they fulfilled one of their cultural cornerstones creating fishing villages.
What we should realize is that there were no borderlines as we have today as between countries. There was however limitations to property based on one kingdom from another. Some were fully independent and others – and it seems Xunantunich was one of them – governed by larger, more powerful kingdoms.
Nine Belize is a VERB!