Fifty years ago Nahualá was minimal, strewn with some adobe (mud brick) houses along paths with people tending to a land, which was open and unhindered. In the time since, a fledgling urban center has developed.
As I stepped out last night for the midnight ceremony I followed the chanting and beating of the drum. The people had taken over the town square, building a fire pit that sustained the dozens in the highland cold wind.
I am currently in Nahualá in the western highlands of Mayan Guatemala filming a documentary on the region. Today, the close of the Oxlajuj Baktun calendar, is one of the most important days in this town's existence.
Here on the Riviera Maya, on the Eve of Destruction, ominous signs of the end of the world are everywhere. Yes, it seems that in this tourist mecca of surf and sand, the Mayan prophesies of the End of Days are being heeded.
I find the sensationalized subject of the Mayan "end of the world" to demean the experience of the people here in Mayan Guatemala, many of whom experience a world that is swarmed by daily threats of an end that is very real. Recently I asked a nun about the sexual abuse of women.