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Thursday, August 20, 2015

Lacandon Maya Birds in Metzabok

We originally planned to spend a week in the Lacandon Maya village of Metzabok and a few more days in Naha, but we had a medical emergency and had to return to Palenque and Villahermosa for treatment, so we were only able to spend just over 5 days in Metzabok.  We stayed in some nice cabins that they have on the edge of the village, and ate meals with a local family.  We spent our mornings hiking around the village, and afternoons reviewing bird books and recordings with members of the community.  We saw or heard almost 100 species near the village, and recorded the names of many more.

Juan showing us his milpa--this one has 10 days of corn growth.

Lacandon Maya selfie with our friend Juan in his milpa

Reviewing bird illustrations with Juan.

Tourist cabin compound in Metzabok--nice rooms with double beds, running water, and electricity.  

Many Maya families enjoy having pet parrots

Chicken soup and tortillas.  Very good food with a family in the village.

Digi-binned shot of an Ornate Hawk-Eagle near Metzabok.  Apparently not the day to leave my good camera in the cabin.

Tarantula in Juan's milpa--showed up less than 5 minutes after we asked about tarantulas in Lacandon culture.

With Juan on Lago Metzabok.

We hiked up to the lookout on this hill on the far side of Lago Metzabok.

View from the lookout, looking across the lake towards the village.

Happy to be on top of the hill--it seemed higher than it looked!

Ancient temple ruin on top of the hill overlooking the lake

Juan with traditional Lacandon Maya god pot at the temple ruins

Lacandon Maya god pot, used for offerings in traditional ceremonies

Pulling faces with our Mayan buddy

Cave offering pots and skull

Cave opening, with offering pots

Another view of the cave offering pots and skull

Fish dinner in Metzabok.  Perhaps the boniest fish I've ever eaten, but very tasty with black beans, salsa, and tortillas.

At night on Lago Metzabok, looking for owls and cayman

Professor Kerry Hull being schooled on Lacandon Maya ethnobotany

Hummingbird nest on the trail near Lago Metzabok

Our time in Metzabok was too short, and we look forward to returning--perhaps next Spring when more birds are singing.  We also look forward to visiting the other nearby Lacandon community of Nahรก.

More information about how to schedule your own visit to Metzabok (in Spanish) here.

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