I felt like an happy kid would feel if he or she discovered santa claus is actually real, when I learned Mayan culture isn’t extinguished and lives on in small communities where families pass their traditions, their craftsmanship, their knowledge, their rituals and their language.
And there were two very interesting people who took on as their long life mission to make sure the importance of conserving the jungle of Chiapas as well as the people living in it was communicated to the outside world. These were the Swiss anthropologist and photographer Gertrude Trudy and her Danish archaeologist husband Frans Blom. Their house in San Cristobal was turned into a research centre and named “Na Bolom” which means “Casa del Jaguar” or Jaguar’s House in Tzotzil language.
Today the house continues to serve as a research centre and an organisation to help to preserve the jungle and the indigenous culture. I highly recommend a visit – remember,, by doing this, you’re also helping them.
And another great way to help – buy your souvenirs in the Mercado de Artesanías de San Cristobal. Here you can buy handmade objects from the people from the indigenous communities for fair prices. So, head there and rejoice – it’s of course as colourful as the rest of the city!
This got me thinking – how does it take for a culture to survive through for hundreds of years? How strong does it need to be to live through the conquests of others, to the contact with unknown languages and illnesses? To not to be damaged by the modern world, to simply live on as strong as ever, even if not as much as before?