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5 Questions on Travel For Filmmaker Rafael Garcia

Stone Island Mens Camouflage Jacket Army GreenRafael Garcia began his movie-making career after graduating from the Savannah Faculty of Art and Design and dealing within the Atlanta space on various projects. Research In 2006, he joined a start-up manufacturing company that took him on diving and fishing associated programs throughout Central America. Throughout this time, Garcia met a number of highly certified divers and started to organize a dive group. Mayan Blue, a feature size documentary movie, explores the history of the Yucatan and surrounding regions — usually underwater in cenotes, lakes and other distinctive water features of the region. Mayan Blue additionally reveals the remarkable archaeological site of Samabaj, a pre-classic site that was flooded in a cataclysmic occasion on Lake Atitlan some 2000 years in the past.

JOSHUA BERMAN: When did you first travel to a Mundo Maya country and how did it impact you How did you stumble on this story of a lost underwater city

RAFAEL GARCIA: I first traveled to Mexico in November of 2007, having simply established a small but elite crew of divers and securing some island stone pebble tile price funding to check our underwater camera gear. As a boy, and son to a historical past-obsessed father, I had long developed a fascination with the Maya civilization. I remember strolling up to el Castillo in Chichen-Itza actually shaking with excitement. I’m extraordinarily grateful for all my experiences on this movie, and it has truly been a dream come true. Now, having come out the other end and searching again on my experiences, I really feel that I gained an appreciation, not only for the previous accomplishments of the Maya people, but for a thriving, vibrant people nonetheless weaving a gorgeous tapestry of tradition.

We had originally begun filming all through Mexico and Central America with the concept of creating a type of diving documentary or television pilot. We started hearing rumors virtually instantly of ruins and artifacts round Lake Atitlan, and soon tales of lost cities and a ‘Mayan Atlantis’ began to achieve us.

While stress-free after a day of diving at ‘The Iguana Perdida’, our dive HQ, the owner Deedle Ratcliffe pulled out a binder stuffed with old magazine clippings featuring the lake. She drew our consideration to an ‘Superior Diver Magazine’ article highlighting one group of dive ‘explorers’ who had emerged from the lake with baggage full of artifacts and pottery. The dialog quickly turned to a neighborhood man who claimed to have discovered a set of ruins beneath the waters of the lake. In the mid nineties, Roberto Samayoa registered what he called ‘an underwater city’ with the Guatemalan Ministry of Tradition. His claims were shrouded in doubt. We would eventually meet with Roberto, dive on site and see first-hand that his claims were authentic. Through the course of our relationship, the total scope of Roberto’s discovery would be revealed and change into the main focus of the movie.

JB: What is important about Samabaj
RG: There are a lot of reasons why this discovery can be considered significant. From an archeological perspective, it is a wholly distinctive site, in that it is an island site and island websites within the Maya world are extraordinarily rare. Moreover, underwater Maya websites are largely unknown. A number of sites exist in Belize along the coast, however underwater websites of this scale are unheard of in the world. It’s instantly clear from the archeological evidence that the island was a ceremonial center, with giant collections of stelea and a ceremonial plaza aligned to Atitlan Volcano. Classic Maya mythology describes the creation of the world as having occurred at the ‘Three Stone place’, a metaphor that mirrors the three volcanoes around Lake Atitlan island stone pebble tile price perfectly. Lake Atitlan has lengthy been thought-about a spiritual heart in the Mayan world, and the lake is often referenced as ‘el umbligo del mundo’ or the axix mundi, the very spot from which the earth emerges.

In antiquity, the lake would have been a trade hub, a significant hyperlink in a network of Pre-Basic settlements and cities. Head archeologist of the Samabaj venture, Sonia Medrano, postulates that confronted with the flood event that engulfed the sacred site of Samabaj, a legend would emerge and unfold throughout the Maya world, turning into the creation story of Basic era mythology with Samabaj as the literal Xibalba or underworld.

JB: You bought to dive in Lake Atitlan, swim by means of caves, and fly in helicopters over Guatemala — what was probably the most awesome travel moment you had throughout manufacturing of Mayan Blue

RG: Several moments stand out from my experiences on Mayan Blue. Definitely diving in the cenotes of Yucatan is amazing. The water is unbelievably clear and provides you the impression of soaring through these caves. It is as close as I am going to in all probability ever get to being in outer house. As a fan of all things Maya since childhood, the most rewarding expertise was seeing firsthand these amazing places.

I’ve fond reminiscences of standing on Temple IV at Tikal, overwhelmed with the sound of howler monkeys at sunrise and watching the fog trail by the jungle. I had the chance to enter the crypt inside the temple of inscriptions at Palenque. Standing within the presence of the nice Maya Lord Pakal is not one thing you get to do on a regular basis; it is seared into my memory, a psychological tattoo. Definitely we had some difficult moments too. Driving in Central America is all the time an adventure, and seeing the poverty that is rampant all through the area is difficult. But these items are a part of what makes the Mundo Maya alluring.

JB: What advice do you might have for someone traveling to a Maya village or archeological site for the primary time

RG: Be aware that you are being watched, rigorously. There are too many stories of some tourist snapping an image of a photogenic little one and paying dearly for it in violence. Ask to take pictures of people, and be prepared to pay. Don’t be afraid to strive one thing new so far as food, the Mayan world has much to supply in this regard, nevertheless, be aware of water sanitation issues. Learn and put together. At an archeological site, read the plaques, inform yourself. You’ll be able to avoid a lot of scam artists simply by being properly learn and prepared ahead of time.

JB: Did you stumble upon any particular places or programs, particularly group-based mostly tourism efforts, i.e. ground-up tourism ventures that empower Maya villagers

RG: One of many richest and most visible signs of indigenous Maya culture round Lake Atitlan are the patterned Maya textiles and weaves. We were lucky to be allowed entry to the Cooperative of Women Weavers of San Juan La Laguna with a view to movie the normal kinds of textile weaving. The cooperative of 22 ladies are devoted to preserving their ancestral methods of spinning, and are among the one individuals within the region who still spin their own thread immediately from homegrown cotton. All of their dyes are natural and made from indigenous plants. Proceeds of their gross sales go immediately to various Maya communities. The Cooperative has created scholarships for children, established a nutrition program and a girls’s well being program.

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Joshua Berman is the author of MOON MAYA 2012: A Information TO CELEBRATIONS IN MEXICO, GUATEMALA, BELIZE & HONDURAS. This article initially appeared on The Tranquilo Traveler.

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