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Location: The Oregon Cascades, near PDX, United States

Our home in the Oregon Cascades, provides us with peaceful days, and star-filled nights. We are grateful for fresh air, clean water, and enough space for our garden.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Maya farmers first settled the site of El Pilar about 800 BC. It's geographic position between the Belize River and the cities of the Peten, placed El Pilar in an ideal location to to take advantage of inter-regional trade and exchange.

A causeway, or plastered roadway, approximately one kilometer in length, joins El Pilar with a large architectural group across the border in Guatemala, known at Pilar Poniente. The large lowland Maya site of Tikal, lies another 32 miles to the west of El Pilar.

Very limited archeological work has been conducted at El Pilar.

These pictures are looking west, over the causeway, from a very high vantage point at El Pilar. Sorry they don't really convey the majesty, but you can click to enlarge!

When we left el Pilar, we did indeed give a ride to Mr. of the caretakers who had been on site for two weeks without going the 12 miles into town.

He was anxious to get back because this was the last week-end before the general election in Belize, and Mac is very active in his political party, the PUP.

We were surprised at the level of political understanding that this man showed, not only for the politics of his own country, but for the workings of the United States, as well.

He said that he had watched the US presidential debates with great interest, as a way to "open his mind", and he grasped some points that had not occured to other words, sometimes you are too close to a situation, and it takes an outsider to see the big picture.

When we dropped him off, Mac insisted I take a tee-shirt and a hat from the PUP party. When I got to the hotel, I held up the cap, and the blue tee-shirt that says "Believe in Belize". One of the servers in the restaurant said, with much disgust..."You might as well vote for Castro."

I couldn't let that go, so I said very slowly...(while trying to think of a clever answer...)...."Weeeeeellllllll...the thing is...........I WOULD vote for Castro, but he never holds elections." That wasn't the best line ever, but it allowed me to walk away with some dignity, as the other servers, who were apparently PUP supporters...were laughing at their friend.!

Unfortunately, for Mac, the following thursday, the opposition, the UDP party, won in a landslide. Most of the businessmen seem to support UDP, and one of the things they have promised is to open Belize to more foreign maybe you will be able to get Starbucks and KFC there by the time you decide to visit!

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