KeO BLoG

Thoughts on Life, Art, Photography, Technology, Teaching and Travel…..

Photographs from the End of World

Mayan "End of the World" Ceremony @ San Andres Archeological site San Salvador.

Mayan “End of the World” Ceremony @ San Andres Archeological site San Salvador.

Wheew! The world didn’t end yesterday so we can all stop worrying and get back to living our lives. I had the opportunity of spending yesterday photographing the “end of world” Mayan ceremonies at two ancient archeological sites here in El Salvador.  The Tazumal and San Andres Mayan sites.

Selling Cotton Candy at Tazamul End of the World event.

Selling Cotton Candy at Tazumal End of the World event.

The first event in Tazumal was more geared to tourism with a festival atmosphere than the second event we attended in San Andres, which was more authentic and genuinely spiritual. I don’t think there were many people who actually believed the world was going to end – it seemed the supposed Mayan Calendar prediction was an opportunity for Central American people to come together and celebrate their history, spirituality and heritage.

Dance Procession to Drum Beat @ San Andres site.

Dance Procession to Drum Beat @ San Andres site.

Like I mentioned in my previous post….it was also an opportunity for us all to think about “what if”? What would you do if you knew the world was going to end…or if your life were going to end?  I think it’s healthy for us all to be introspective on this subject because it is a “reality check” as to how we live our lives.

Mayan Priests Pray during Mayan Ceremony @ San Andres

Mayan Priests Pray during Mayan Ceremony @ San Andres

While sitting on a shady hill watching the San Andres Mayan Ceremony with the cool breeze caressing my face, I thought about those ancient Mayan people who inhabited this sacred site hundreds of years ago. I wondered what their lives must have been like. How different their daily existence must have been to ours and what their hopes and dreams were. Life was very hard back then compared to our modern existence with all our technological conveniences.

Orange clad dancer with headdress @ Mayan End of World ceremony.

Orange clad dancer with headdress @ Mayan End of World ceremony.

As I pondered this I looked out at the crowd of people watching the event taking pictures with their cameras and cell phones while plugged into iPods. On one hand we are so very different than our ancient ancestors and then again….in many ways we are still the same when it comes to our desire for happiness, security and peace of mind. I believe we are all (in our own way) searching for answers, and seeking the meaning of life.  We have this deep desire to try and make sense of it all and understand who we are and where we came from.

Mayan Priest Blowing into Conch Shell during Ceremony

Mayan Priest Blowing into Conch Shell during Ceremony

Unfortunately for many people in today’s societies it seems materialism has replaced God. I’m not trying to be judgmental – just making an observation. With so much pain, torment, angst, violence and discord in the world, I wonder if we have not regressed instead of progressed when it comes to our spiritual dimension and growth.

Lighting of Candles @ Mayan Ceremony in San Andres Mayan Site

Lighting of Candles @ Mayan Ceremony in San Andres Mayan Site

Sure we have the most sophisticated technology at our disposal, yet does it make us any happier? Does it fulfill our basic human needs for peace of mind, security, love, understanding, forgiveness and happiness?

Mayan Ruins @ San Andres Archeological Site

Mayan Ruins @ San Andres Archeological Site

The world didn’t end, but maybe like they say… we are entering a new phase or positive era on this planet. I think a new era must begin with each one of us trying to be better, more compassionate and forgiving human beings.

Sunset Through Clouds over Ancient Mayan Ruins in San Andres

Sunset Through Clouds over Ancient Mayan Ruins in San Andres

I mean….you can’t call God on your cell phone or chat with him on Facebook can you?

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2 comments on “Photographs from the End of World

  1. Roberto
    December 22, 2012

    thank you Patrick… good to know that we are all good for a few more decades !!

  2. keoughp
    December 22, 2012

    Yes Roberto. One less thing to worry about. It was a great day none the less!

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This entry was posted on December 22, 2012 by in Keough Journal, Photography, Travel and tagged , , , , , .
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