La Ruta Maya

New York City to San Salvador, El Salvador and back on the Ruta Maya: Honduras, Guatemala, Belize, Yucatan, Chiapas, then Mexico City straight back to N.Y., taking a total of 49 buses. An account not of the antiquities — something that you can see anytime, in any tourist brochure, although I will show a couple of them — but of the people, the people we met, the people that we made friends.

We did escape the Mexican terremoto (we passed it to the East a few days after), and we escaped the U.S. space shuttle (we passed under it a few hours before), we escaped Giuliani’s visit and his 300 police guardians (we passed by Mexico City a few days after), we escaped the Yucatecan cold wave (we passed right through it), we escaped the 50 or so Salvadoran, Honduran, Guatemalan, Belizean, and Mexican buses (we passed right in them), we escaped the ravaged Costa Maya/Cozumel/Cancun strip (we zipped through it all without pausing), we escaped the daily tacos and tamales, but we fell prey to the Greyhoundesque thieves who snatched our bag right under our nose in the luggage compartment of our bus between Charlotte N.C. and Washington D.C. packed with old clothes but also new books bought in Mexico D.F. The only time I lost a belonging after traveling to 63 countries happened near the U.S. capital… That tells you something about the sorrow state of this country right now. I felt much safer in Baghdad. And still would now.


Nohuacal, Campeche, Mexico, January 2003. Inland, at a very isolated bus stop, our Mayan friends took us. Dans l’intérieur des terres, nos amis mayas nous ont accompagnés jusqu’à l’arrêt du bus.

En autobus sur la route maya, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Belize, Mexique.

Copan is in Honduras, Tikal in Guatemala, Tulum in Quintana Roo (Mexico), Chichén Itzá and Uxmal in Yucatan (Mexico), Edzna in Campeche (Mexico), and Palenque in Chiapas (Mexico).