The first real day in the jungle was full of information gathering. The students would be working with two local workshops. Our first stop was at the woodworkers where we met the woodworking team – Ofelia, Miriam, Ricardo, and Sayuri – in their open air shop.
And then we visited Doña Rosa, a master weaver,
and her daughter, Zaidé, who showed us how they make hammocks.
I tried out the goods.
After lunch we visited Chicana, a Mayan archeological sight. My greatest fear came to life when we saw a VERY POISONOUS SNAKE on the path between buildings, but it was all worth it to see this doorway in the shape of a serpents head – see the eyes and teeth. The ancient Mayans apparently had great respect for snakes too. The doorway is a representation of Itzamna, the earth force, part snake and part jaguar, and all very cool. In its heyday it would have been brightly painted and made a tremendous backdrop for the Mayan Priests.
Lots of info to stew on. We start designing tomorrow.