We had some free time to wander around town before lunch, so I asked the staff where they would recommend that I go, and they suggested the central park. They said that I could hop on the local motorized rickshaw that could provide my taxi service around town, yet I chose to walk to take it all in. The city was abuzz with so much activity. Mothers were in town with their children buying groceries; the boys were playing soccer in a nearby field; and you could smell the aroma of lunchtime in the air.
I made conversation with a local lady shucking corn in her front yard and drying the corn husk. I asked her if she was going to make tamales, since corn husks are the only thing that I know used to wrap the tamales. Tamales are one of my favorite foods made with corn flour, pork, potatoes and peas wrapped in a corn husk. Of course, there are different variations and fillings, but my mother always made it as described. The sweet lady, Doña Rocha, said that she was making dolls to sell to the tourists. They dry the corn husks, dye them in many different colors and make beautiful dolls out of them. What a clever idea! I could not pass up the opportunity to purchase one of these souvenirs. Doña Rocha continued with her story on doll making as I slid into a hammock next to her with a glass of fresh pineapple juice with crushed ice that she had just made for me. What great simple nostalgic hospitality.
For more information about The Maya and More program, visit: http://www.roadscholar.org/n/program/summary.aspx?id=1%2BJB%2B86