In between traveling to tropical islands during our Rainforest & Reefs trip in Belize, we stopped by ancient Mayan ruins in the middle of the jungle to learn about the country’s rich cultural history. Thousands of Mayan peoples still live in the region today, and carry forward ancient traditions with their family heritage. One day we visited an organic cacao farm run by a family who continues to make ceremonial cacao drinks as their ancestors have for hundreds of years. Having the pleasure to taste their fruit and participate in their cacao ceremony was such and enriching experience— the difference in taste alone compared to the factory farm food back home was striking. Working organically in harmony with nature rather than against it with pesticides and fertilizers really makes all the difference! Indigenous people have so much wisdom about living in harmony with Earth— we should really take time to listen to their perspectives when working to fight climate change and environmental destruction.
Another day, we visited an ancient archaeological site where a lost civilization once mapped the stars. These people had figured out an extremely accurate calendar just by watching the sky change position every night— they knew when to plant their crops, when to expect eclipses, and how to navigate the world based solely on their astronomical research. Standing in the ruins of their observatory made me wonder what life must have been like thousands of years ago. Hauling every one of the enormous stone blocks by hand to build the stargazing platform, then sitting out under a completely dark sky and just watching— I bet the stars were unbelievable with no light pollution. Sometimes I wish we could go back to an era before the world became electric.