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Maya Underworld



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Steadfast Faith
Photograph by Stephen L. Alvarez

In a mountain cave high above Lake Atitlán in Guatemala, a Maya priest conducts a traditional ceremony, petitioning the ancient gods on behalf of a local man who needs their help. Here, and throughout the Maya heartland of Central America, campesinos still follow such ancestral customs. For them caves are portals to Xibalba—the underworld—a supernatural realm of deities and ancestors, and the birthplace of the clouds that bring rain to their fields.

Photo Fast Facts

Camera: Canon EOS1V
Film Type: Fujichrome Provia 100F
Lens: 24mm f/1.4
Speed and F-Stop: 1/8 @ f/2
Weather Conditions: Unrecorded
Time of Day: Unrecorded
Lighting Techniques: Unrecorded


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