The Yucatan Peninsula: A Hidden Treasure


Molly Grabiel, feature writer

My view from my hotel room

The cool night time breeze wakes me up from my sleep. I look up at the freckled night sky and take a deep breath. The air smells like salt and warm sand. I could hear soft music through an open window on the floor below mine. I fell asleep on the couch while looking at the stars and listing to the steady waves of the ocean in Cancun. I feel like I’m in a movie. I take one more deep breath to smell the sweet air and venture into my room sleep for the rest of the night before I have to go back to the bitter January air of the Midwest.

When my alarm went off at 4 am I was already up and moving. I didn’t sleep at all that night; instead, I paced and freaked out. Airplanes make me nervous and on top of that I was going to be outside of the country without my parents for the very first time and I was scared. A small group of about 15 high schools and around 7 adults met at 5:00 to go on a bus to take us to the airport.

the view above Mexico

Checking into a plane was one of the longest waiting games I had ever played. It’s a lot of sitting and standing and waiting. I got the window seat for the ride there and my friend Lara got the window back. I slept for almost the entirety of the plane ride. We landed in Cancun and waited for what felt like and eternity because we had to take another plane to the place where we were going first.

Chichen Itza

We did so much in the short while we were there. We went to the old ruins of Uxmal and Chichen Itza which was so beautiful. On one of the days we went to an old Mayan village and ate with people who still practice the religion. We took part in a cleansing ceremony where they blessed us.

We went to a school and hung out with children and we went to an orphanage. Going to the orphanage was one of the most humbling and eye opening things I have ever done. We went into this small room where about  30 children around 4-5 years old waited for us. They found so much entertainment in hanging on (with the help of the boys on the trip) a string that stretched across the room. The little girl who was playing with me was running around and when it was time for me to go she hugged me so tight and wouldn’t let go. It was a memory I will forever have in my heart.

One ofthe days we went to a cenote. A cenote is a natural freshwater pool in a crater in the middle of Mexican vegetation. The water is is crystal clear and warm (surprisingly) and there were

stone ledges to jump off of from which was amazing. On the last day we were in Mexico we went to the beach and relaxed. I went snorkeling and my view was amazing. The trip will be happening again in 2020 and I hope to be able to go again. It was an indescribable experience everyone should be able to experience.