ZACULEU

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About five years ago I was in Huehuetenango, Guatemala having crossed the border from Méjico and rattled into town on a chicken bus.  It was getting late so I stayed in a sketchy little hotel near the bus station, probably cost around 40 queztales or five bucks American.

Huehue is a kind of bustling town although hardly on the tourist trail. I heard of a Mayan site outside town so I decided to prolong my stay by a day to check it out.  It’s about 4 kilometres out of town, close enough to hotfoot it so I did, starting in the centre of town and following the signs.

 

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On the fringes of town I came across this guy.  Doesn’t look Guatemalan, does he?  He’s not.  Can’t remember his name but his country, yes. South Africa – Joburg, Cape Town, Durban or Pretoria I couldn’t now say but he told me he had been in town for quite a few years and cheap cocaine wasn’t the least of his motivations for being there.

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Eventually I came across some local folk.

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Nice people.  They told me I was on the right track.

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Nice scenery too, bucolic.

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After an hour maybe, I made it.

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Perhaps not as impressive as Chichén Itzá, Tikal, Copán or Palenque but I enjoyed checking it out.

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Wikipedia says occupation of the site dates to the early classic period (AD 250-600).  It was the capital of the Post Classic Mam kingdom and conquered by the K’iche’ Kingdom of Q’umarkaj as you no doubt read about in middle school history class.

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Close up of some stone work.

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I met some future doctors at the top of one of the pyramids.

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And then spent some time imagining I was Kayb’il Balam (the last Mam leader, in power at the time of the Spanish conquest.)

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Later, I flagged down a chicken bus for the trip back to town.

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