In the morning we helped clear out CEA’s office as they are in the process of renovating the space. Other CEA staff then painted the office. After lunch we split into two groups of 5 to prepare presentations on the book “Life Under the Tropical Canopy” by Ellen Kintz. One group decided to prepare a game of jeopardy to review the material on modern Coba. This was a lively game ending with Mark being the winner. The second group had a more traditional approach and each member of the group presented information from the chapters on ancient Coba. Overall we realized that ancient and modern Coba have many similarities due to the fact that modern Coba has reverted back to familiar ways of living. For example, extended families still exist and corn remains an important crop. Kintz informs us that some changes in Coba have been the expanding traditional roles for women and how the young men view the gods differently than older generations.
After the presentations we had a free afternoon to get much needed shopping done. Some of us went to Wally World in Playa del Carmen. Melinda continued to carry out her water quality sampling. She has been testing two of the constructed wetlands here on CEA property. One is behind Paul’s house, the director of CEA, while the other is located by Imelda’s restaurant, where we eat lunch and breakfast everyday. These wetlands serve to naturally treat the wastewater as the plants uptake nutrients for growth. However, the samples from the intake and the outtake both show very high counts of total coliforms as well as E. coli. This demonstrates that the wetlands are not performing as expected and within the coming days she will finish her sampling and analyze the results. On Wednesday she is also hoping to take samples from Yalku lagoon nearby to determine the bacteria levels of the water being discharged from the underground rivers.