Chiapas 1: More Ruins in a Spot of Jungle

We´ve been in Chiapas for about a week now, having a most enjoyable time. Chiapas is a largely rural state in the south of Mexico bordering Guatemala, with diverse natural environments and wildlife. It is also where the Zapatista movement was spawned, in response to the economic and political inequalities between the state´s large indigenous and non-indigenous populations, and led by the revolutionary formerly known as ´Marcos´ (he has since changed his name to the most interesting ´Subdelegado Zero´). The Zapatistas actually seized some towns in Chiapas in 1994, and I think the state government is still pretty concerned about future Zapatista activity, despite them professing to adherence to peaceful forms of resistance - we passed through many military road checkpoints throughout the state and the towns we visited seemed to have a pretty significant military and police presence.

We spent the first couple of days in beautiful Palenque - an ancient Mayan city first occupied in 100 B.C, although most remaining buildings were constructed between 615 and 683 A.D. The ruins are spread throughout 15 sq km of beautiful dense jungle.

The jungle surrounding Palenque and modern Palenque town also appears to be quite a haunt for the colourful, hippy longer-term traveller, some of whom I´m pretty sure had been indulging in the famous local mushrooms (not the kind you´d normally pop into a risotto).

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