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Mayan Macal Magic

July 26, 2013

Tropical Ecology Institute

Our amazing day started touring the Belize Botanical Garden and meeting students who attend and are learning about horticulture here at Duplooy’s Lodge.  Several of us held a Cane Toad, whose defense is releasing a hallucinogenic compound in the mouth of a predator.  The botanical highlight from our morning walk was the Black Orchid, the national flower of Belize.  Collared Aracaris,  a Bat Falcon and colorful Social Flycatchers kept our binoculars glued to our faces.

After crossing the Mopan River on a hand-cranked ferry, we hiked up a long hill to the Xunantunich archeological site, which means “maiden of the rock.”  This ruin is the longest established archeological site in Belize, presenting the accomplishments of the ancient Mayan culture.  From the top of the ruin we could see the border between Guatemala and Belize.

We learned how the word “Mayan” came to be:  when Columbus arrived and communicated with the…

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