The Riviera Maya Is Rich in Flavor and Art

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Following Mannatech leaders to the Incentive trip is a destination you’ll definitely want to strive for as nothing compares to this beautiful area of Mexico. Read this blog to get your business-building muscle pumping and your mouth watering for the trip of a lifetime!

Located on the eastern Caribbean side of Mexico, the Riviera Maya has been the home to the Maya, Mexican, Spanish, Caribbean, Cuban, Swiss, German and other cultures. Each has brought their own culinary secrets, as well as their own interpretations of art.

The Maya culture is one of the oldest in the world, and that can be seen in the cuisine. Legumes like black beans and vegetables such as corn, carrots and onions are prominent in traditional Maya dishes. Ingredients like corn, chilis and herbs such as achiote and Chaya are heavily used.1 Chaya is a green plant that has been used by the Maya for many years.

Pibil (pictured) is a traditional Maya cooking technique, involving cooking underground with foods wrapped in banana leaves.1 The pork comes as thin pieces of juicy, slightly smoky meat served with tiny tortillas. Click here for a recipe of this delicious dish.

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Seafood like grouper, sea bass, octopus and shrimp play a big role in Maya cuisine too.

Then there’s breakfast…

A traditional Maya breakfast consists of eggs, chilaquiles (pictured at right), layers of tortillas, cheese, onions, and salsa, and mollete (breads topped with beans and cheese). Juices include pineapple, strawberry and guanabana, a dark-green fruit native to Mexico. And, of course, all the tropical fruits: mango, pineapple, watermelon, cantaloupe, banana, plantain and papaya.1

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Artists from the ages

The earliest Maya artists were primarily focused on religious themes depicting activities such as human sacrifice, warfare and daily life. They also created great sculptures: Maya temples, monuments, and buildings. Sculptors used limestone, sandstone, wood and clay.

One popular type of Maya sculpture was the stela (pictured). A stela was a large, tall stone slab covered with carvings and writings. The stela was popular during the Classic Maya period when most major cities had stela built in honor of their kings. Stela were often located near altars.

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Ceramics were equally important to the Maya. One of the first ceramic styles was called Amyan; a simple style and one color. They made whistles, cooking pots and drinking vessels. Later, they made ceramic styles called Tzakol and Tepeu which are considered to be the most beautiful pottery made in ancient Mesoamerica (Mexico and Central America).3

Archeologists have found murals in Maya palaces and temples. The frescoes at Bonampak in Chiapas, Mexico, are very dramatic. From these detailed murals, archaeologists have been able to learn about Maya costumes, musical instruments, religious rituals, warfare, and methods of human sacrifice.4 The Maya also excelled in working with jade, which they prized. The excavation of tombs has yielded large amounts of jade jewelry, effigies, plaques and mosaics.

Are you in? This promises to be an adventure of a lifetime. Just imagine all the sights and smells that await you! During your stay, plan to visit the city of Tulum (below) which is about a one-hour drive from the hotel. This archaeological site located by the sea is built on a cliff. There are over 60 structures within three walls which surround the site.

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1http://www.realfoodtraveler.com/2011/08/eat-like-a-mayan-riviera-maya-mexico/

2http://authenticmaya.com/maya_art.htm

3 http://mayaincaaztec.com/clpeofma.html

4http://archaeology.about.com/od/bterms/a/Bonampak.htm

 

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