Video One of a Three Video Series
by Richard L. Thornton, Architect and City Planner
The ancient Maya buildings around Hopelchen, Campeche are the most ornate in the Indigenous American world, but are rarely, if ever mentioned by TV shows and textbooks. You are going to see many spectacular Maya buildings in this video, but there is another plot brewing.
Throughout the summer, I had been frustrated because there was an invisible wall between me and the “locals” further north in Mexico. The college students were very friendly in Mexico City, but not so for the regular folks and indigenous peoples in the Campos in Central Mexico.
Georgia Tech did not prepare for the radical changes that were to occur in Southern Mexico. My hotel maid in Merida begged me for a week, to let her 16 year old daughter shack up with me. In the photo above, I am in a confrontation with an angry Maya grandmother, because I refused to pay 36 pesos to rent her 16 and 13 year-old daughters for the night. A week later, a Zoque father and mother in Tabasco State would be offended when I refused to accept a 400 peso gift from them with which I was supposed to rent their 18-year-old daughter at a nearby brothel.
The star of this three part series makes her appearance mid-way in this video. Her name is Ana. She is a rising senior at the University of Campeche, majoring in History Education. She is destined to obtain a PhD in Anthropology and become a highly respected ethnologist.
Life is indeed, stranger than fiction!