Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Mérida temple and Itzimná ward

Iglesia Itzimna
The Relief Society (La Sociedad de Socorro)

We attended a local ward (barrio) in Merida- Itzimna ward. The church building is on the edge of a park that has a catholic church. The building is very nice! And the ward is wonderful. Although attending church in Spanish is difficult at times, the ward has a great spirit and we are sad to leave it. The girls in the group performed "A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief" ("Un Pobre Forastero") in Relief Society on our last Sunday. Also, some of us even bore our testimonies on the last fast Sunday- a lot harder in Spanish, we discovered!

We also attended the temple twice while in Merida. The temple is in downtown Merida (El Centro) on a quiet street. It was built in 2000 and it is beautiful! We went once just our group, and once with the ward. What a great experience to do the work, and in Spanish too!


Our trip to Uxmal was amazing! A favorite trip for many of us. Uxmal is another pre-Columbian Mayan city, like Chichen Itza was. It is beautiful there! The city was dedicated to the rain god, Chaac. After touring during the day, we got dinner and then went back for the sound and light show that night. Great last trip!

ISP Backpacks

Cenotes at Cuzamá

(Ok, so we're no longer in Merida. I still wanted this to be documented though! Sorry I am slow.)

We had a really fun trip to the cenotes at Cuzama! We took carts pulled by horses on a train track and got to swim in 3 gorgeous cenotes! We also did our fair share of diving and climbing on rocks! On the way back to Merida, we went to a hammock factory and a bunch of us bought hammocks, which we took advantage of at our goodbye party (despedida) at Rancho Las Palomas a few days later.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Anthropology museum

We visited the famous Anthropology museum in Mérida. It was phenomenal! We learned a lot of new things about the Mayas. It is housed n what used to be the home of the Montejo family, richest family in Mérida in the Colonial times, so that was neat too!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Chichén Itzá!

Chac Mool. Click here to read a story about these statues that Ellis and Dannielle read in their literature class. Very cool!
Malcolm and an abuelita maya.
The group with our guide, Miguel (?). The pyramid is in the very back.

Tzompantli (skull rack).

The guardian iguanas of Chichén Itzá.

This is the temple on the north side of the ball court. In the center there is a carving of a white, bearded man...

Ball court.

Our trip to Chichén Itzá was definitely one of the highlights of our trip! We saw everything there, from El Castillo (the pyramid), the ball courts, the sacrificial cenote, the group of thousand columns, and the observatory. We also did some shopping and bartered with the vendors. We left to eat just as a storm was coming in! It was a great day and we learned a lot about how the ancient Mayas lived.