Copan is a small hillside town in the south west quarter of Honduras. Brimming with rural charm, the ethos of this town is sustainability.
We arrived to a welcome of tea and chocolate from the family owned and run Tea and Chocolate Place . This haven of health homestead reminded me a lot of Ubud in Bali. Waste your worries away in the hammock overlooking the rainforest treetops, drinking a Mayan inspired tea that has been locally manufactured from a plantation that is designed to combat soil erosion. This family is successfully proving that a business can thrive and be sustainably run. I couldn't help but be inspired by the enthusiasm and passion that owner had for this sustainability initiative. Well inspired enough to order a spicy hot chocolate anyway.
Next we were off to the UNESCO world heritage site Copan Ruins. A 24km/sq archeological gem partway through excavation. This site came to life with our informative and entirely hilarious local guide, Marvin. He told us stories of each of the buildings and animated the characters depicted in the hieroglyphics with stories of their reign. It is an unusual feeling when you get transported back to an age when someone didn't live to their 30 birthday, where the captain of a victorious sports team would become the willing human sacrifice to bring them closer to the gods, where body disfiguration was considered a form of beauty. I guess a lot hadn't changed is the past 1000 years. People are still dying before their time, sporting heroes are being slaughtered by the media and both men and women continue to reshape, inject and modify their appearance as a means to be more 'attractive'. Like art can reflect reality, so to the past can reflect the present. Sorry about that. Rant over.
I again found myself in awe of the architecture being recovered from the rubble. The painstaking effort that the archeologists go through to piece by piece put the jigsaw back together again. In the process revealing artifacts that still hold their original paint colour, paved segments that have not shifted from where they were first laid and and stairways that were so symbolic that not even the kings of the time would walk on them.
Copan ruins is an example how a global effort can help to preserve a piece of a long history.