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Dia Tres

After another delicious breakfast at Imelda’s, our morning moved into lecture and discussion time. We discussed readings by Bellcourt, Peat, Wente, and King, which addressed indigenous views of science and education versus those of western academia. We also watched a video about the Pacasan sun circle discovered in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. This circle not only points to the position of the sun at the time of each solstice, but the spawning areas of the salmon as well. It is fascinating to see the ways which cultures throughout history have found to communicate information of importance. Anyone making the argument that early indigenous cultures were made up of “savages? would have a hard time supporting their opinions with all of the archeological information available that proves otherwise.
We also enjoyed a presentation by Lairey Hilare Hiler, or “Hilario,? as he is called by the Mayans. An artist, he has been living with the Maya people since 1976, and speaks Maya himself. He shared slides and stories of his experiences.
Hilairo also brought along a number of conch shells, which the Maya used for many different purposes. The shells which make up the circle in the photo below have small holes bore into them and were used as horns. The conch in the middle would have been used as a dagger.
It is always somewhat of a surprise when I wake up each morning. I have to remind myself that those birdcalls I am hearing are not from Minnesota. I am in Mexico and I am not leaving for another two and a half weeks!
Today we took a hike along a windy road past fancy vacation homes and manicured resorts to go snorkeling in Yale-Ku lagoon. On the way we stopped at Half Moon Bay to see the exposed 'karst' or limestone bedrock that is found beneath this area.
Mark showed us the remnants of an oil spill that have left distinct black spots throughout the entire karst. Despite the oil remnants, it was a beautiful spot to sit, reflect, and watch iguanas cautiously examine us.
Several of us have commented on how many opportunities we have had to discuss and debate topics. Our group has a wide variety of perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences that has led to insightful conversation.

After some reflection time on the rocks, we continued on our way to Yal-Ku lagoon. Upon arriving in the lagoon, we found a beautiful scene of freshwater pools and rocks, and many tourists. I jumped in right away with my snorkel gear on, and I found that the experience made me feel like I was in an aquarium observing the fish. There were so many different types of fish, and most of them were pretty friendly.
I saw two schools of fish that were yellow and grey, and I especially enjoyed the small black fish with yellow stripes, known as sergeant major fish. We also saw a barracuda which was not as scary as I expected. Hopefully our next snorkeling trip will be as amazing as this one!