The next book I’m writing for Sourcebooks, BETRAYED, features a heroine from Central America, and I picked up some fantastic background material for her while on a trip to Central America a few weeks ago. I learned about the educational system, the drug trade, health care, and political corruption. And I watched the military men striding around with their automatic weapons at the ready.
There’s so much to recommend this part of the world that I keep going back. I love the people, the birds and animals and the amazing flowers. And I especially love tramping around Mayan sites where thriving cities flourished more than fifteen hundred years ago.
In Belize we started our trip at a zoo Harrison Ford helped establish when he was filming Mosquito Coast. All the animals there are native to Belize, including this boa constrictor I’m holding.
And here are vegetables at the indoor market in a village called Chichicastenango.
Our next stop was Antigua, a World Heritage city, where we stayed for three days, exploring the cobblestone streets, the ruins, the markets, and several museums, like the Mayan music museum.
One of the highlights of the trip was an abbreviated Mayan ceremony, where we purified ourselves with bunches of rue and cast colored candles into a fire in a metal cauldron. It was the dry season, but as we tossed blue candles symbolizing water into the fire, a light rain began to fall.
Here’s an Antigua street scene near our hotel.
I loved the macaws at the entrance to Copan.
The carved stelae inside the ancient site are spectacular.
And here’s a replica of the temple that archaeologists found underneath another temple–so that the coloration on the exterior was preserved.
And look at Norman providing a perch for some parrots.
Do you like to travel. And if so–what’s your favorite destination?