5 Questions on Travel For Filmmaker Rafael Garcia
Rafael Garcia began his film-making profession after graduating from the Savannah College of Art and Design and working within the Atlanta space on numerous initiatives. Stone Island Sale In 2006, he joined a start-up production company that took him on diving and fishing related applications throughout Central America. During this time, Garcia met several extremely certified divers and began to organize a dive staff. Mayan Blue, a function length documentary film, explores the historical past of the Yucatan and surrounding regions — usually underwater in cenotes, lakes and different distinctive water features of the area. Mayan Blue additionally reveals the exceptional archaeological site of Samabaj, a pre-classic site that was flooded in a cataclysmic event on Lake Atitlan some 2000 years ago.
JOSHUA BERMAN: When did you first travel to a Mundo Maya nation and the way did it influence you How did you stumble on this story of a lost underwater city
RAFAEL GARCIA: I first traveled to Mexico in November of 2007, having simply established a small but elite crew of divers and securing some funding to check our underwater digital camera gear. As a boy, and son to a historical past-obsessed father, I had long developed a fascination with the Maya civilization. I remember walking as much as el Castillo in Chichen-Itza actually shaking with excitement. I’m extremely grateful for all my experiences on this film, and it has really been a dream come true. Now, having come out the opposite end and looking out back stone island stretch cotton jacket on my experiences, I really feel that I gained an appreciation, not just for the previous accomplishments of the Maya individuals, but for a thriving, vibrant folks nonetheless weaving a phenomenal tapestry of culture.
We had initially begun filming all through Mexico and Central America with the thought of making a sort of diving documentary or television pilot. We started hearing rumors virtually instantly of ruins and artifacts round Lake Atitlan, and soon tales of misplaced cities and a ‘Mayan Atlantis’ started to succeed in us.
While stress-free after a day of diving at ‘The Iguana Perdida’, our dive HQ, the proprietor Deedle Ratcliffe pulled out a binder stuffed with outdated magazine clippings featuring the lake. She drew our consideration to an ‘Superior Diver Magazine’ article highlighting one group of dive ‘explorers’ who had emerged from the lake with luggage stuffed with artifacts and pottery. The dialog quickly turned to an area man who claimed to have found a set of ruins underneath the waters of the lake. Within the mid nineteen nineties, Roberto Samayoa registered what he known as ‘an underwater city’ with the Guatemalan Ministry of Culture. His claims have been shrouded in doubt. We would finally meet with Roberto, dive on site and see first-hand that his claims were reputable. By means of the course of our relationship, the complete scope of Roberto’s discovery can be revealed and change into the main target of the film.
JB: What is significant about Samabaj
RG: There are a lot of explanation why this discovery may be thought of significant. From an archeological perspective, this can be a wholly distinctive site, in that it is an island site and island sites within the Maya world are extremely rare. Furthermore, underwater Maya sites are largely unknown. A number of websites exist in Belize alongside the coast, but underwater websites of this scale are unheard of in the realm. It is immediately clear from the archeological proof that the island was a ceremonial middle, with massive collections of stelea and a ceremonial plaza aligned to Atitlan Volcano. Classic Maya mythology describes the creation of the world as having occurred on the ‘Three Stone place’, a metaphor that mirrors the three volcanoes around Lake Atitlan completely. Lake Atitlan has long been thought-about a spiritual heart in the Mayan world, and the lake is often referenced as ‘el umbligo del mundo’ or the axix mundi, the very spot from which the earth emerges.
In antiquity, the lake would have been a commerce hub, a vital hyperlink in a community of Pre-Classic settlements and cities. Head archeologist of the Samabaj undertaking, Sonia Medrano, postulates that faced with the stone island stretch cotton jacket flood occasion that engulfed the sacred site of Samabaj, a legend would emerge and unfold throughout the Maya world, changing into the creation story of Classic period mythology with Samabaj because the literal Xibalba or underworld.
JB: You bought to dive in Lake Atitlan, swim through caves, and fly in helicopters over Guatemala — what was the most superior travel moment you had during production of Mayan Blue
RG: Several moments stand out from my experiences on Mayan Blue. Certainly diving within the cenotes of Yucatan is wonderful. The water is unbelievably clear and gives you the impression of soaring by way of these caves. It is as close as I am going to probably ever get to being in outer space. As a fan of all things Maya since childhood, the most rewarding expertise was seeing firsthand these wonderful locations.
I have fond recollections of standing on Temple IV at Tikal, overwhelmed with the sound of howler monkeys at sunrise and watching the fog path by way of the jungle. I had the chance to enter the crypt throughout the temple of inscriptions at Palenque. Standing within the presence of the great Maya Lord Pakal shouldn’t be one thing you get to do everyday; it’s seared into my memory, a mental Official tattoo. Actually we had some difficult moments too. Driving in Central America is always an adventure, and seeing the poverty that is rampant throughout the area is difficult. But this stuff are part of what makes the Mundo Maya alluring.
JB: What recommendation do you have got for someone traveling to a Maya village or archeological site for the primary time
RG: Be aware that you are being watched, rigorously. There are too many tales of some tourist snapping a picture of a photogenic child and paying dearly for it in violence. Ask to take images of individuals, and be prepared to pay. Don’t be afraid to try one thing new so far as meals, the Mayan world has much to offer in this regard, nonetheless, bear in mind of water sanitation concerns. Read and put together. At an archeological site, read the plaques, inform yourself. You may keep away from lots of scam artists simply by being properly read and prepared forward of time.
JB: Did you come upon any particular places or applications, especially community-based tourism efforts, i.e. ground-up tourism ventures that empower Maya villagers
RG: One of the richest and most seen signs of indigenous Maya culture round Lake Atitlan are the patterned Maya textiles and weaves. We had been lucky to be allowed access to the Cooperative of Girls Weavers of San Juan La Laguna in an effort to film the standard kinds of textile weaving. The cooperative of twenty-two girls are devoted to preserving their ancestral methods of spinning, and are among the one people within the region who still spin their very own thread straight from homegrown cotton. All of their dyes are natural and made from indigenous plants. Proceeds of their gross sales go straight to varied Maya communities. The Cooperative has created scholarships for children, established a nutrition program and a girls’s well being program.
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Joshua Berman is the writer of MOON MAYA 2012: A Information TO CELEBRATIONS IN MEXICO, GUATEMALA, BELIZE & HONDURAS. This text initially appeared on The Tranquilo Traveler.