By Sally Shang (submitted from China)
Today is the first day for our group to visit Antigua, which is one of the rare towns that remain the ruins of the Spanish colonial structure. Therefore, we have gotten the opportunity to compare the difference between Guatemalan rural area and this special place. As leaders of the day, me and Lauren first took our CCS group leave the previous house that we lived and started a short travel to a Mayan cultural heritage site on the way to Antigua. In the evening, we arrived at the Spanish colonial city and had a short visit around the amazing human phenomenon at Antigua. By the end of the day, I organized our group to have a deep breath in our new nice house located in Antigua.
Throughout the splendid day, my favorite part is the experience of being in the Mayan heritage site. As a Chinese girl living in the other side of the world, I always wonder the miracle about the disappearance of the ancient Mayan people and the mysterious “garden in the air”. What a excitement for me to come here and listen to a Mayan tour guide of what really happened in Guatemala! Using a stick connected with a long grey feather, the Mayan guide told us that Guatemala is the heart of the Mayan world, and the city model showed us that inside the city plaza there were different temples where Mayan citizens and villagers once came and worshiped their god or spirit. While talked about their long history and splendid culture, the Mayan tour guide could not help showing the pride through his words. “We are not disappeared, we are still here!” He said strongly which suddenly gave me the answer of whether Mayan culture is completely vanished or not. Also, he reminded me of a similar feeling for being a descendent of a nation that has a long and resplendent history. Every time I introduce Chinese Forbidden City to foreigners, a strong sense of pride will rise from my inner heart. Maybe, this is also the reason why he was that willing to tell more about Mayan culture to us. After listening to his words and seeing the beautiful Mayan temples, I gained a lot more knowledge about another culture in the world, which enriched my mind and helped our CCS students to build up a more complete view of the globe that we are living in.
I sincerely hope that every culture can be cherished and considered as a great treasure. Because culture is the heart of a country, it gives life to people and the society. Even if a culture is hidden like Mayan culture, we have the duty to protect, discover and let it shines again in front of the world citizens.