For those of you have been following our Central American trip we are changing the name to The Route of the Maya. We are doing this to include some our new friends we have met on the tour.
Our tour started on the 19th, or that is to say that is when we all arrived at the hotel for our first night of rest. In actuality it was Wednesday the 20th for breakfast and a meeting before boarding our bus. After introductions and some general guidelines we were on our way. First we had a quick tour of San Salvador - a city of two million people that claims it is the fastest growing in Central America. We headed to the center of town passing the Plaza Las Americas and Monumento A EL Salvador Dell Mundo. We stopped at the Cathedral Metropolitana, El Salvador’s national cathedral. It is historically significant because it was the site of a deadly massacre prior to the country’s civil war that started in 1980 and did not end till 1992 with a great celebration at the church. San Salvador is a city of contrast, from the affluent to the eternal poor. Our tour housed us in a beautiful hotel across the street from the gleaming new World Trade Center that would make any city proud. Although we came close to areas, we missed the market that caters to the people who are struggling just to survive. We begun to really feel some of the poverty by how austere and tarnished the church still is 18 years after the war though there was work being done to return it to its former glory. We then passed the American Embassy, the largest is the western hemisphere and then headed north to the Joyas de Cere’n Ruins. The ruins give one the best glimpse in the daily lives of the regions’ Mayan ancestors. Like Pompii, Joyas de Cere’n was buried beneath the ash of a volcanic eruption. Most of the ruins we will see are ceremonial or civil centers and were made out of stone. The “common” people lived in adobe thatch homes that could not withstand the areas environment and only this site remains because it was covered with ash. We headed on north on the Pan-American Highway stopping at a Salvadorian Restaurant on “Lago de Ilopango”, a large lake in a large cauldron. Here we had one of the first of many ethnic meals. We headed on north for the first of two border crossings, first into Guatemala then on into Honduras. At sunset we reached our hotel (Posada Real) for the night close to the ruins of Copan.