The experience that changed everything took place at a site called Yaxha in Guatemala. Jon and I were with our three children and a guide called Jesus Antonio. We were the only gringos that day; the other visitors were all locals, mostly school parties. A group of Maya teenagers started shadowing us and taking photos of themselves with our son Harry who’s 6’ 6”. Jesus Antonio watched them for a while, then stepped forward and puffed out his chest, ready to make a speech:
“Yes, remember these people,” he said in Spanish, “but not because their son is tall. Remember them because they are writing a book about your culture and thanks to them, children in North America will be reading about you and your history.”
The giggling, gum-chewing teens stared at him in surprise. Then, suddenly, they gave us a standing ovation. To be in that beautiful place, receiving applause from the living Maya with the ancient pyramids towering behind them was a humbling moment. That’s when I knew we had to go the extra mile and write a book that would honor those kids, a book with strong Maya characters and impeccable research. Back home, we signed up a leading Maya expert at Harvard to check all our facts. My dream is that one day, when our books have been translated into Spanish, we’ll make school visits in Guatemala.
What an amazing experience! I hope your dream comes true. Thanks again to Jon and Pamela.
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