¡Vamonos! We are off to Mexico!
I had the pleasure of visiting the Yucatán peninsula in 2013 with my husband. It was our honeymoon and the only time we have travelled outside of the USA together… so far. The Yucatán peninsula is the southern most tail of Mexico that curls up into the Gulf of Mexico.
While on our trip we visited Chichen Itza the ancient Mayan ruins and archeological site (I am a history nerd so I was loosing my mind!). It was crazy busy but so beautiful to see the architecture, acoustic and astrological precision- it was spectacular!
We also visited a geological wonder called a cenote. The Yucatán peninsula is glittered with massive underground cave systems that flow into the ocean. On land they create large holes that are then filled with rain water, and that is a cenote! A large underground fresh water filled cave. They held significant religious value to the Mayans and they are pretty spectacular to see.
I had gone swimming in a natural cold water spring in Florida before- there is something very exciting about 1. fresh cold water and 2. swimming over a bottomless pit…
Nothing could have prepared me for swimming without a life jacket, in a cenote, or jumping in from high up on a ledge. It was exhilarating! I am a very good swimmer but it was nothing short of terrifying when you get out into the middle of a massive hole in the earth. It was one of those emotional experiences that I still remember very vividly.
Martin loves a show on Netflix called the “Octonauts”. They are a group of animals who explore, rescue, and protect animals in and around the world’s waters. Before it was a show it was a book series by Meomi and I highly recommend it! We love the books in our house, they are fun, silly and educational!
Well the Octonauts recently came out with a special all about cenotes. Martin and I had already watched it together, so we gathered some toys and had a blast pretending to be cave explorers and diving through out a cenote cave system. Imagination can go a long way!
Before we got swept out to sea playing ‘cenote’, we painted the Mexican flag!
The flag has three vertical stripes in green, white, and red (just like the Italian flag) and in the center is a very important image. It is an eagle, eating a snake, perched on a cactus growing out of a lake. Sound weird? Well, it kind of is but it is how the Aztecs knew where to build their city which is now Mexico City.
No joke, the legend goes that one of their Gods told the Aztecs to look for an eagle, eating a snake, atop a cactus. It just so happens that when they found the eagle it was on a cactus growing out of a lake/ swamp. It didn’t matter to the Aztecs, they built their city there anyway!
We folded the paper so that Martin could paint the red and green sections. I then drew an attempt at the eagle on some white paper. Martin colored the eagle, I then traced it with black marker to make the image visible again. I am happy with how it turned out and Martin had fun- win, win!