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Visiting the Mayan Ruins of Tikal, Guatemala

Great Mayan ruins at Tikal, Guatemala.

Stand in the middle of the Grand Plaza between Temple I and Temple II at Tikal, Guatemala and imagine what life must have been like in this Mayan city over 1,200 years ago when Tikal was at its peak. The size of the temples and surrounding acropolis indicate that this must have been a rich and sophisticated city-state. Yet the ruins are only partially exposed and understood, as thick rain forest still covers most of the park.

And the grand mystery remains: Why was Tikal abandoned in 900 AD?

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Central America: Immigration Stories

As we travel, it's common for locals the world over to ask us where we are from. In Asia, the response “The United States” was usually sufficient. In Europe, they didn't ask; they assumed.

Not so in Central America. People were curious to know the states and often the towns and cities where we grew up, where we have lived. After sharing our details, it wasn't uncommon to hear: “I had a cousin who lived there“, “Oh, I lived [nearby] for 15 years” or “My brother lives there.”

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Traveling in Today’s El Salvador

El Salvador Travel, Santa Ana Market Vendors

El Salvador is one of those places I recall from my childhood, but for all the “wrong” reasons. Newscasts in the 1980s equated the country with menacing jungles, death squads and guerrillas. Our recent conversations suggest that for many, El Salvador's image as dangerous and gun-prone persists today.

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