Time Among the Maya: Travels in Belize, Guatemala, and Mexico

Ronald Wright, Author Grove/Atlantic $22.95 (451p) ISBN 978-1-55584-291-8
While the cultures of the ancient Mayas, Incas and Aztecs are elevated to the status of national icon in Latin America, their modern descendants--barefoot, uneducated, potentially rebellious peasants--are viewed by the Ladino majority (of mixed European ancestry) as obstacles to progress, a source of embarrassment. Traveling on foot, by bush plane, boat and train, Wright explored the home of the ancient and contemporary Mayas. He portrays a people who are shattered but unbroken in spirit. This impressionistic travel diary starts in Belize City, ``a cloacal, clapboard Venice,'' then moves to Guatemala, ``a country where things are easily hidden, especially the truth'' and where a symbiosis of U.S. business interests with the ruling Ladino elite holds down the Indian majority and squelches grass-roots change, according to the author. In the Mexican Yucatan, he ponders a Mesoamerican civilization perpetually aware of its own fragility. A likable companion who shares his breakfast with ocelots and visits remote ruins, Wright ( Cut Stones and Crossroads ) fuses adventure, politics, archeology and history in a riveting read. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1989
Release date: 04/01/1989
Paperback - 453 pages - 978-0-8021-3728-9
Paperback - 451 pages - 978-0-8050-1470-9
Paperback - 464 pages - 978-0-14-305437-5
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