Chetumal and Oxtankah











            So finally this is the last bit of pictures from Mexico!  Chetumal was great place to catch up on things but overall there's not much to do there.  It's a good stopover-border town with reasonable rates.

            Oxtankah is a small/medium sized ruin site about 10 miles north of Chetumal.  The site contains the only Spanish Church as part of a Mayan ruins site.  The story there:  Gonzalo Guerrero and Jeronimo de Aguilar were the first Spanish leaders to reach the Maya when their ship wrecked outside of Cozumel.  They remained with the Mayans for many years but eventually Aguilar returned to Spain and helped the Spanish conquer the Mayans.  Guerrero, however, married a Mayan Princess and completely assimilated with their lifestyle and helped them fight the Spanish.  Aguilar ended up as a hero in Spain and Guerrero became a hero to the Mayans.  Guerrero married a Mayan princess and started his own kingdom and it's thought that the remains of the Spanish church at Oxtankah, below, were originally built by him.

            I found a couple versions of the same story on the internet but it seems that if Guerrero had completely assimilated with the Mayans he wouldn't have build a Spanish church.  Maybe he was just homesick.

Click on the image and marry a cross-eyed princess.


Info for following picture basically saying thanks to all the other towns that helped during hard times after hurricane Janet on Sept. 27, 1955.

Janet. I've never seen a statue theme like this, honoring the memory of a hurricane, but it seems like a cool idea.

The Mayan world, huge. The following 14 pictures were taken at the Mayan History Museum in Chetumal. Some very interesting little facts...


I wonder if the babies protested much? But what I wonder more is why this head shaping was seen as attractive.

Our moms told us that if we crossed our eyes they would stay that way. Their moms made them stay that way on purpose!

A brief summary of Mayan beginnings.

This is a remake of the lid from the crypt of Lord Pacal, you might remember the crappy fuzzy picture from Palenque [on the "Chiapas 2" page].

Cool description, and mention of the underworld, where the Mayans went after death for a "purgatory" like experience.

A mechanical wheel version of the Mayan calendar.

The Mayan way to deal with big numbers, an Abacus of sorts.

An explanation of their counting system.

Read this description carefully then check out the little piercing devices in the next picture...


A brief description of what happens after they die in Maya land.

Funky woodwork outside the museum.

Sort of a "Flock of Seagulls" hair thing with great teeth.

Oxtankah - named by an archaeologist for the Ramon trees, "Ox" in Mayan. Flourished between 200-600AD.

"Structure 1" with the #3 next to it on the map above. Creative AND coordinated on this one.

Structure 3, #4 if you want to follow along.

Structure 4, #5. This park had more mosquito's than any place I've been so far on this trip.

Structure 7, #7. In sinc. The city was abandoned around 600AD and reinhabited in the 15th and 16th century.

#7, front. With most of the pictures here I had to find a rock or someplace to hold my camera still for longer exposures to make up for low light.

Structure 10, #9. Cool purple plants.

Spanish Chapel, #11.

If Guerrero really did have this built I wonder how it was used? And if he didn't have it built, who did??

Structure 6, #10. Overall this site was okay. The jungle setting makes it more appealing, but also keeps the dense mosquito population healthy.