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Fitness and Photography for Fun - A blog on staying fit by hiking and doing photography by David Mendosa

Mennonites, Monkeys, and Mayan Temples

December 19th, 2011 · No Comments

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The big surprise for me when we visited the Lamanai Archaelogical Reserve was the Mennonites in Belize. About 10,000 German-speaking Mennonites live in Belize as farmers who live according to their religious beliefs. I particularly admire Mennonites, because their religion is one of the three historic peace churches that advocate pacifism (the others are the Church of the Brethern and the Religious Society of Friends, or Quakers).

The Mennonites stand out in Belize, and not just because of their fair skins. The women wear bonnets and long, bright dresses, and the men wear denim overalls, hats, suspenders, and dark trousers. They use horse-drawn buggies.

Mennonites in Belize Get Around with Horses and Buggies

Mennonites in Belize Get Around with Horses and Buggies

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We spent several hours in a large Mennonite settlement as their mechanics fixed a problem with the fuel pump of our vehicle. While we waited, I wandered around and found this bird on a wire.

A Tropical Kingbird on a Wire at Sunset

A Tropical Kingbird on a Wire at Sunset

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We had just come from the Lamanai Archaelogical Reserve that features the ruins of the second largest pre-classical structure in the Mayan world. This temple is more than 108 feet high.

Construction of the High Temple at Lamanai Began More than 2,100 Years Ago

Construction of the High Temple at Lamanai Began More than 2,100 Years Ago

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But we went to Lamanai also to see wildlife. We found a troop of Yucatan Howler Monkeys high in huge fig trees right in front of the High Temple.

My, What a Long, Prehensile Tail You Have!

My, What a Long, Prehensile Tail You Have!

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As this Monkey Prepares to Jump to this Little Branch on Another Tree, It Looks Scared; I Would Be Too

As this Monkey Prepares to Jump to this Little Branch on Another Tree, It Looks Scared; I Would Be Too

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We also saw birds at Lamanai as well as en route there and back to Crooked Tree Lodge.

This Roadside Hawk Calls at the Side of the Road

This Roadside Hawk Calls at the Side of the Road

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The Hawk Flies Off

The Hawk Flies Off

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The Wood Stork is a Large Bird Up to 45 Inches Tall

The Wood Stork is a Large Bird Up to 45 Inches Tall

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Three Wood Storks Prepare to Fly

Three Wood Storks Prepare to Fly

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I went to Belize mostly for its birds. By the third day of my visit I had already seen many different species. And seeing the Mennonites, the monkeys, and the Mayan temples were a big bonus.

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Posted in: Belize

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