The mafia ruled the river

The Rio Dulce

While living on the river for a few months (see my blog: Life on the river )we heard the story of the Mayans that control the river. A long time ago when there were just a few settlements on the river, the police force would come by to dictate the inhabitants how to live their lives. This was interpreted as an insult and the river people kidnapped that police officer, the messenger.   

The colleagues of this officer got worried when they didn’t hear from him for 3 days, therefore they send more officers. Likewise, they didn’t return and eventually the army was requested to settle the situation with this tribal folk. 

At that point the town chief had many guns all of a sudden and was selling them to everyone. It was only 100 dollars for an AK 47 and the locals of the river where armed to the teeth. Eventually the army entered the jungle and a huge firefight took place. The first party to retreat was the army. Since then they have never dared to entered the river again. 

Who rules the river?  

The people that live alongside the river, own it. Every little township has a town chief and he calls the shots. Judging the story, you might think these are wild people to a certain extend. In my opinion, they are the friendliest humans ever. It can be hard to communicate with them though because they speak the Mayan language -intensely hard to master- and a few words of Spanish. Regardless of this language barrier, we tried to have a conversation. We got very close to the maid of the hostel where we were living, who was Mayan. She overheard our conversation about the upcoming year, 2012. At one point she gave me the phone to talk to one of her family members. Again, trying to grasp what was being shared with me was ambiguous. What I did understand was that there was going to be a special alignment of the planet and stars and there would be a ceremony. Unfortunately, we were never able to attend the ceremony. I presume Alissa and her relatives (Spanish name of the hostel maid) wanted to invite Ramon and me to one of the sacred gatherings but in the end got told off by her superiors.  


The Mayans believed these alignments were a sign of a supernatural force. At Chichén Itza you can still witness these ceremonies. During the equinoxes of fall and spring, the late sun creates shadows that give the impression that a snake is slithering down the Northern staircase of the pyramid. This pyramid is dedicated to Quetzalcoatl or Kukulcan; the feathered snake that transcends and connects the earth, underworld, and heaven.