Greeting from Lamanai Mayan Ruins! The ISLP group traveled by boat to visit three breathtaking temples with the help of a friendly tour guide, Eddie, and his nephew Eddie Jr. During the 45 minute boat ride, the group encountered an indigenous monkey and students were able to feed it bananas. We also encountered a baby crocodile sunbathing on a log. Upon arriving to the island, the group had lunch which consisted of rice and beans, chicken, and habanero coleslaw. We began our hike towards the first temple where the group learned about the history and culture of the Mayan people who inhabited the island. Students eagerly climbed the temple and stood in amazement at the advanced structure of that time period. Before we reached the second temple, we were greeted with the howls from the island's Howler Monkeys. The howls were completely terrifying and sounded like a clip from Jurassic Park (if you are curious to hear this sound, find one of the ISLP students to hear their recording). Soon after, the tour-guide informed us that the termites, nesting in the tress, tasted like mint. Curious and willing students tasted this Belizean delicacy and were pleasantly surprised by the taste. For the final trek, the students came across the last and tallest Mayan temple for which we used a rope to help aid the climb since the steps were steep. Once the group reached the top, we were able to take in a "breathtaking" (no pun intended) 360 degree view of the island.
After seeing the ruins, we felt like we have learned a great deal of the Mayan history and culture. We really enjoyed spending the day viewing the architecture and enjoying the warm Caribbean sun.
Stay tuned for future endeavours!
Kimi Rakes and Jasmina Keserovic
School of Nursing