We live in the land of the Maya and have taken away more from this community in the last few years than any other experience we have had through out out life. Our learning has been on hands, through interaction and observation. With the unfortunate destruction of ancient Mayan texts, this is the best way to understand the culture of the Mayans.
What have we learned from our experiences in the Mayan culture?
Too many to really write down, but in a reflection for the past few weeks, orr learning can be summed up with the following:
Precision – We have visited many Mayan ruins in Mexico, in our neighborhood, in Guatemala. The precision used by the Mayans to build their communities is mind blowing. As we hear about the dangers of poor building practices where pieces of condos are falling to the sidewalk, lawsuits are being filed for millions of dollars due to poor construction, the ruins in the Mexico and in our backyard (the Tulum Ruins) which have gone through centuries of natural disasters, continue to stand and inspire architectual design worldwide. The precision used to build these buildings, the natural effects of the wind, sun and in our case the sea that was studies to ensure these physical communities were built to last is amazing.
Tolerance – The Mayans have been abused, destroyed, caught in the middle of political, racial and economic strife for thousands of years. Has that killed their spirit, no. Have they given up, no. Does this community shun others due to the history of the abuse and racial tension against their culture. No. Bottom line is they know their history, they welcome others, they are happy and just want to do a great job each and every day. They roll with the punches and make things work. The Mayan community is a community that looks for solutions, not problems. Something that many of us could learn from each and every day.
Design – Graphic design has been heavily influenced by the simple lines and colors of the Mayan culture. The use of symbols in graphic design to create a story is what graphic designers look to do with each piece of their work.The Mayans were the first recognize the four primary compass directions! Each direction was associated with a color: North with white, South with yellow, East with red and West with black. The center, or the “fifth direction” was a blue-green color – which represented a great ceiba tree. Checkout pantone colors to see the influence this color representation has.
Sustainability – Mayans react to their climate and natural surroundings ensuring that they preserve what they have, and use the gifts that nature provides us to live in harmony with nature. Our sustainable solutions on the property of Casa de las Olas are more efficient and easily achieved due to the knowledge of our staff that work with us on the property. Could we have done this without them, maybe, would it have been as effective or as efficient, no.
Happiness – ‘Nough said, we are learning to be happy each and every day, no matter what happens, what comes our way and what we have to do. Really it is just….happiness.
When on your next vacation in Tulum, identify what you have learned by being in and around this culture. If you want to learn about the Mayan culture this is a great place to start. We have learned a ton and are nothing but thankful for our continued experiences.