Alejandro Simon – Honduras Journal – Jan. 6 – Jan. 18, 2000
Honduras is a country in Central America. I did not spend as much time there because at first we were going there for four days just to see the Mayan site of Copan. Our next-door neighbors in Boston run the dig there. They made an excellent museum, which has a replica of a big temple, which is painted in very brilliant and bright colors… mostly red. It gives you as idea of what the whole city would look like when the Mayans lived there over 1000 years ago.
The Mayans had a game, which is a combination of basketball and soccer. The ball they used was solid rubber and weighed about 50 lbs. You could not hit it with your hands but could use your shoulders and hips. The object of the game was to get it past the opponents out-of-bounds point. The stadium was filled with steps that would have been old-fashioned bleachers. The court was a floor of clay and it was open to the sky. The ball court was part of the royal plaza. Sometimes, if they were ceremonial games, the losers would be sacrificed. It was basically a win or lose or die game.
Since they ran the dig, we got to go in tunnels that regular visitors would not see. One of the tunnels we went into had tons of bats and one flew into my face when we opened the door to the tombs. We saw buildings that were from the first ruler. They were very, very old but some of them still had the original red or green paint. Instead of being made of carved stone that was more durable, the earlier decorations were made of built up stucco in elaborate designs.
Instead of destroying the buildings and temples from a former ruler, the next ruler would build on top of the old previous building. So, when the Fashs dug tunnels into the pyramids, it was interesting to find all the other rulers buildings.
There was one stairway that had hieroglyphs all over it. Because this stairway was exposed to the outside rain and heat and wind, it began to erode. So, the archaeologists made a covering like a tent to go on top of it and it started causing another problem. The stone started drying our too much and causing worse erosion. They are still working on this problem.
After Copan, we went to Hacienda San Lucas for lunch and horseback riding. It was very fun. I also made a telephone out of the Construx building set I got for Christmas.
After we left Copan, we went to the Bay Islands. I went snorkeling there for the first time and saw five stingrays, a bunch of parrot fish, a puffer fish, an eel, a lot of barracudas and really cool brain coral, fire coral and fan coral. They also had sea kayaks where we stayed. One day a dog jumped into the kayak and we took off with it to the other beach. Then, when got to the beach another dog jumped on the kayak and we had two dogs on our kayak. The view here is beautiful and the food is delicious.
I really enjoyed visiting Honduras.
Katie Simon – Honduras Journal – Jan. 6 – Jan 18, 2000
Honduras is south of Guatemala. We flew from Guatemala City to San Pedro Sula and rented a car to drive to Copan.
On the road to Copan, some little boys were playing tricks with the cars driving by. They would see a car coming and pull a little string up to block the car. We didn’t know if they were trying to stop the car to ask for money or just playing a funny trick on us. Some other little boys had shovels at a bridge that would get washed out a lot and would scoop up the extra dirt from the road and then try to collect money from the cars and trucks passing by as if they were keeping the roads “clean”.
We went to Copan and stayed in a hotel with a swimming pool. At night, the bells would ring loudly and you heard the people singing the mass. The next day we went to Bill and Barb Fash to the ruins. They are the head archaeologists of the dig and are our next-door neighbors in Newton. We saw carved pictures, bats and tombs in the tunnels. Then we went to the museum and Barb puts in the originals and puts copies out on the site. They do that to protect the ruins from erosion. The next day we went horseback riding.
We left Copan and decided to go to the beach on the Bay Islands. The island we picked was called Cayos Cochinos or Hog Island. We took a boat to get there. We went snorkeling for the first time in our life and I saw a stingray. It was brown and white spotted and was at the bottom of the ocean. I also saw angelfish, parrotfish and mom’s favorite fish – a black and white striped yellow and blue wrasse. I saw brain coral that looked like little mazes in a ball. The fan coral looked like purple fans with little red spots. I found sea glass which they call “mermaid’s tears”. My dad found me a beautiful conch shell.
There are two dogs which we play with. Nike is a nice older dog but he has a fungus disease on his mouth. Puppy is younger and when I play with him he jumps on me. One day, my mom and I went on the yellow kayak to a cove across the bay. When we pushed off, Nike jumped on and decided to go with us. When we left the cove, we went by the house that Puppy stayed at. When he saw us he jumped in the water and started swimming across the bay to try to catch us. We were scared he was going to drown so we pulled him on our kayak and brought him back. We looked so silly with 2 dogs as our passengers.
Adios from Honduras. From: Katie Simon
Ben on Honduras – Jan 17, 2000
I like Honduras because of the ruins at Copan. If there was no ruins I wouldn’t like Honduras. At the ruins I saw lots of bats and I went inside tunnels and saw stuff inside the tunnels and it was very exciting to see that stuff and I climbed up one of the high tower pyramids. I saw the ruins with my next-door neighbors who work there.
There was a reporter who came with us, but at the end of the story she said the kids were bored and that was not true, because it was very interesting and we liked going there.
I see boats all the time on this island in Honduras, and I saw a stingray and a barracuda and I went snorkeling with my daddy. And I saw a beetle and a cockroach one day, but the beetle is now dead because he was in a pot and they put water in the pot and the beetle cannot live in the water so it is dead.
My daddy went on a helicopter in Guatemala and he saw bananas and had lots of fun.