Path Less Taken to Lacanja Ruin in Mexico

Chiapas is a Mexican state not far from where it borders on Guatemala. It had been the hunting ground of tribes people for over 5,000 years when Spanish conquistadors arrived to rob them of their wealth, and convert them to Christianity. Those who could, took refuge on tall mountains, in deep ravines, and in the Lacanja valleys where ancient Lacanja Lost Mayan city ruins lay hidden in the jungle. Only a few hundreds of their descendants survived today.

Lacanja Lost Mayan City, Chiapas, Mexico: Lacandon Forest: Clouds, Sumidero Canyon, Mexico
Clouds Drifting into the Sumidero Canyon

Ancient Retreat of the Lacanja People

Those that do still cling to their traditions deep in almost impenetrable forest. Although their children no longer want to learn their culture or their language, the adults still call themselves the ‘Hack Winik’ or the True People of the Jungle. They follow the only way they know. But less than 15% of their habitat is left, and the sound of logging is drawing nearer.

Lacanja Lost Maya City: Lacandon Forest burned
Area of the Lacandon Forest Burned to Plant Crops

Weep Oh Weep for the Loss of the Lacandan Rainforest

The Hack Winik know they cannot last much longer. Some have turned to becoming tour guides. They want to lead people to the Maya Lacanja Ruins in hope of a miracle that may never come. In this way, they manage to sustain themselves by building simple accommodation for visitors. Secretly, they want to cut their hair, and own a motorcar. Yet deep down they sense the call of ancients that built these mysterious Lacanja Ruins.

Lacanja Lost Mayan City, Chiapas, Mexico: Ruins
Lacanja Lost Mayan City:  Noche de la Pena / CC BY-SA 3.0

The Ruins of the Lacanja Lost Mayan City

Archaeologists discovered the site sometime in the 1930’s. They never excavated it, and they never returned to explore the archways intertwined with vines and trees. The Lacanja Lost Mayan city in Chiapas, Mexico has remained undisturbed since then. Nobody seems to have even bothered to explore the large block of Maya writing. I hope it will still be intact someday when this happens. What was this place? What should it mean to us in the era of global warming?

Lacanja Lost Mayan City, Chiapas, Mexico: Ruins
Las Ruinas de Lacanjá: Noche de la Pena CC BY-SA 3.0

About Richard Farrell

Richard Farrell

I tripped over a shrinking bank balance and fell into the writing gig unintentionally. This was after I escaped the corporate world and searched in vain for ways to become rich on the internet by doing nothing. Despite the fact that writing is no recipe for wealth, I rather enjoy it. I will deny I am obsessed with it when I have the time.

My base is Umtentweni in South Africa on the Kwazulu-Natal South Coast (30.7167° S, 30.4667° E). I work from home where I ponder on the future of the planet, and what lies beyond in the great hereafter. Sometimes I step out of my computer into the silent riverine forests, and empty golden beaches for which the area is renowned.

Other posts by the Author

Leave a Reply