Today was an exciting day! Not only did we get to sleep in for an extra half hour, but we set out to explore two Mayan ruin sites. Our first stop was at Lubaantun, which translates to “place of the fallen stones” in modern Maya. Lubaantun is probably best known as the home of the mysterious Crystal Skull, which was discovered in 1924. For many of us this was our first experience at a ruin site. The site itself was as massive as it was beautiful. Lubaantun holds three ball courts, which were an important part of ancient Maya culture. After exploring these courts we set out to see the rest of the site which included the Butterfly Plaza, and the Sacred Alter. We recollected on the steps of the Great Plaza where we hung out in the shade and admired the beauty of where we sat.
After a quick lunch in the car we arrived at our next site, Nim Li Punit. Nim Li Punit is home to many amazing sites. The first thing that we noticed when we arrived were large stone columns called Stelas. Each Stela had its own unique carving which portrayed texts or pictures of the Ancient Maya. These Stelas ranged in size, but Nim Li Punit is home to the largest one in Belize! Nim Li Punit was named after this massive Stela, which stands 14 feet tall! The Stelas weren’t the only thing worth noting about the site. Nim Li Punit is a royal burial site! Many of these tombs have been unearthed by archeologists, but are on display to the visitors. After we all had our fill of exploring the ruins we headed back to the van.
On our ride back to the retreat center many of us were exhausted from such an exciting day. Even though we were tired the van was still buzzing with memories and stories from the last week. It’s hard to believe how fast this week has gone. Tonight we are going into town for dinner to celebrate our last night in Punta Gorda, and celebrate an impactful week of service. Tomorrow morning we travel to Hopkins to start the final leg of our journey! Make sure you stay tuned for more to come!
Jack Nash, Class of 2013