This last week has been very exciting, but exhausting! Our first few days were devoted to learning about the area and getting orientated to our new surroundings. Friday, we made our first site visit, Chichén Itzá, a Maya archeological site dating back to 900 AD. Or, at least that's what they thought. However, within the last year, researchers have unearthed a new platform under the Castillo, the largest pyramid at that site that dates back to 300 BC. This suggests that Chichén Itzá was inhabited long before what scholars have thought.
Unlike earlier in the week when temperatures were in the lower 70's, the temperatures reached well into the 90's when we visited Chichén Itzá. So, on the way back to Akumal, we stopped off at Cenote Ikil de Chichén Itzá, a cenote about 150 feet deep. We all took turns jumping off a 20 foot platform into the cool refreshing water. I must say it was very intimidating, but exhilarating jump!
We celebrated the new year with a feast, card games and lots of loud music. Many walked down to a local beachside night club, La Bueno Vida, to celebrate the actual countdown to the new year. Needless to say, many slept in late Saturday morning!
Saturday night, we had our first "Movie Night." We set up a small LCD projector in one of the dorm rooms with external speakers. Students comfortably positioned themselves on one of the many bunkbeds to watch the movie being projected onto the wall. Our feature presentation was the "Bourne Identity." It was a nice relaxing way to end our week. Most were tired and one feature movie seemed adequate for one night.