Deep in the heart of Chiapas, buried beneath the rainforest canopies and high rising hills, beyond the boundary of San Cristobal, lies the pathway into the realm of Yaxchilan and Bonampak – two ancient Mayan ruins that hug the banks of the Rio Usumacinta. This broad, slow river defines the border between Mexico and Guatemala. And it is a land of howler monkeys, jaguars, laughing children and the ancient Lacandon.
The Lacandon people are one of the most isolated societies and part of a more conservative branch of Mexican culture. They live in a community that focuses on the abundance of natural resources for their sustenance.
Currently we are witnessing how this culture, the last to preserve ancient customs and language of the great Maya, are slowly being affected and influenced by contemporary society, and its transformation of their ways.
Today, their population has grown significantly from the dire numbers of the 1970’s, but they still remain relatively small, with approximately 650 speakers of the Lacandon language surviving today.
The next time you visit Chiapas, or you are simply on the lookout for things to do in Chiapas, be sure to take a tour of the Lacandon forest, to witness the ways of the indigenous people and experience the remarkable adventure on offer.