My friend Celeste taught and ushered our catechism class’s four children from the Barrio Jerusalén into the sacrament of the First Communion at the Iglesia de Espiritu Santo. My gift to each of them will be the 40 photographs I took commemorating the event recorded onto a CD so that in the years to come they can pop the CD into the DVD player and the children can see themselves on the day they were accepted into the ancient traditions of the church. The same traditions I entered into so many years ago and which I have never forgotten. The sacrament of Confirmation is the next step. I will be there. To my late Mom, thank you. I owe you. Every week when I walk into church for mass I know you are at my side: Te amo.
There have been legends and oral history passed down by indigenous folk of five meters tall humans living in the western hemisphere centuries before the fifteenth-century European invasion: a fact also written in the historical record by the invading Spaniards. In the Cueva de Gigantes located above Marcala about 80 kilometers above La Paz the cave is thought to have been home to a tribe of giants 15 feet tall (La Tribuna Lunes 25 de julio, 2016. Tegucigalpa). A friend in La Paz recently showed me pictures of immense human bones he discovered in a cave while hunting high in the mountains above La Paz, along with other ancient relics. He has promised to take me there so that I might photograph the site and take measurement of the bones alongside a comparative object. It should be quite an enlightening adventure.
Bureaucratic intransigence in a third-world country is quite like bureaucratic intransigence in a supposedly first-world country. My US archaeology professor resource-person has counseled me to seek Honduran university professors in order to iniciate further study of local ancient sites due to the country’s violence-prone reputation preventing foreign experts from becoming involved. My contact with these local academics, however, reveals a lack of money to pursue the most basic efforts. Instead, officials want me to reveal my sources in order to hunt down illegal possession of artifacts and possibly confiscate the ancient objects. In Honduras, excavating antiquities is prohibited, even on private property. The populace has no confidence in government officials: they avoid them like the plague.
Time passes quickly when one is having fun and living life to the max. I have been so busy with the children at the Home, with my friend Celeste and her family, and with my gardening that the weeks just slide away and before you know it another month has passed. My work trying to inspire an archaeological interest in the ancient buried indigenous riches is at an impasse. No one from the university in Tegucigalpa has contacted me. The students annual summer solstice journey to the nearby El Chircal pyramids did not materialize. The bureaucratic inertia is maddening but I will not be discouraged. Meanwhile I will continue to enjoy. My motto is: Do what you love with the folks who you love. See the baby corn above? I have squash, tomatoes, green beans, and corn growing. There’s more to come.
On a grassy plateau in the rolling foothills above La Paz lies a 42-acre plot of land where a friend was digging holes on his property to plant banana trees. The Valley of Comayagua is not known as the Valley of Rocks for nothing: the area where Mr X chose to dig, however, has a different type of soil. I reached down to pick up a handful of dark, moist earth similar to compost, loamy and soft. The gentleman thinks this area where he found the 1,500-year-old Lenca ollas was an ancient cemetery because he also unearthed human bones that were buried with the ollas. I have contacted a University of California anthropologist, she who dated the ollas, and she provided me with contact information for a Honduran archaeologist. We have communicated and I hope an arrangement can be made to initiate further government-sanctioned exploration of the site. In the foothills surrounding the plateau can be seen terraces carved into the hillsides indicating a possible ancient human settlement.