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Sunday, July 6, 2014

Sunday morning in La Palma



It is Sunday morning, 6:15 am in La Palma, El Salvador. This is a beautiful town in the mountains. We are surrounded by pine trees and bamboo and the guest house we are staying at is serene and beautiful.

We arrived here yesterday afternoon after a long drive from the Mayan ruins at San Andreas. Before that we visited the Joya de Cerén Mayan ruins (a UNESCO World Heritage Site).  The ruins are incredible.  Joya de Cerén was a small Mayan village that was covered with volcanic ash and debris, eventually covering the entire site in 10 metres of sediment.  The site is perfectly preserved, right down to the fingerprints in the food the inhabitants were eating before the eruption.

San Andreas - it is thought that there is a path that links the two sites
Close by is San Andreas, a spiritual and economic center for the Mayans.  Only 5% of this huge site has been uncovered.  To date there doesn't seem to be the money of the political will be start more excavations.

Both sites show the power and complexity of Mayan society in this part of Mesoamerica.  Just like our Romero tour, our Mayan tour was an essential part of setting the historical context for our tour.

One of the excavations at Joya de Cerén

Today, we will be visiting an artisans co-op in this area and then we are off to Miramundo near La Palma.  This will be a first visit for me, so I can't write anything about this, but if it is these mountains, it will be beautiful.

Later this afternoon, we will set out for San Jose las Flores, a community that is very close to my heart.  Holy Trinity High School and St. Gregory School in Ottawa are both linked up to this community.  We will have two days here and this will be a great experience for the group.

Here they will learn about the struggles of the people during the war and the incredible community spirit that is now working to counter the threat from Canadian mining companies, certainly the pirates of the 21st century.

More on this later.

a painting in San Jose las Flores that became the logo for Compadres y Comadres

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