Zen Recreations

The game was invented sometime in 1400 BC in the Preclassical Period.Eearthen courts found at Passo de la Amanda in the Soconusco region on the Pacific side of the costal plains of chepas, probably by the Olmec, became an ubiquitious Mesoamerican-wide feature of the urban landscape by AD 400-700.

Thirteen hundred more ball courts of the same shape but of various sizes were found scattered throughout Mesoamerica. They all had one common theme, two sloping walls for the ball to bounce on, a long narrow playing field and two end zones shaped like an I. Guatemala, home of the earliest Mayan cities, holds over 500 ball courts alone.

Before their arrival in the New World in 1492, the Spanish conquistadors had never before seen games played with balls of rubber, a substance unknown in Europe. Upon their arrival in central Mexico, they were so enamored with the Aztec ballgame that they sent a team of indigenous players to Spain to play before the court of Charles V.

 Soon after the Spanish conquest and the onslaught of European contact and its waves of cultural destruction, what little we know comes from what early chroniclers happened to write down. literate members of the highland Maya nobility made a number of transcripts of their Precolumbian books utilizing a modified Latin script in an effort to preserve what they could of their recorded history and culture before they could be destroyed or lost. The most important example of such a transcription is the Popol Vuh, written sometime between 1554 and 1558. You can read the  285 page document composed by annonymous members of of the Quiché-Maya aristocracy in Guatemala soon after the fall of their capital city to the Spanish conquerors here.

The town of Chichicastenago held a secret for more than a century in Guatemala. The Popol Vuh was hidden for more than 150 years here. In 1701, a Dominican priest named Francisco Ximenez was allowed by the Maya to see something no other European had ever laid eyes on. They showed him a copy of their creation story, known as the Popol Vuh. Ximenez made a Spanish translation of the Popol Vuh so Europeans could read it. Thereafter the original book was lost, but thanks to Father Ximénez’s translation, the beliefs, legends, and customs of this fascinating people of the early Americas have been preserved.  The Popol Vuh is now considered the national book of Guatemala.


So where did the balls come from?

A recent research study by Michael Tarkanian, and his co-author, Dorothy Hosler on ancient Mexican rubber when, as a freshman, he wrote a paper on the ritual ball game for a class in Mesoamerican archaeology taught by Professor Hosler.

The two were discussing the ball game one day when they realized that the properties required for the balls could not have resulted from the use of latex alone. Natural latex is a sticky, unworkable liquid that dries to a brittle solid.

So Mr. Tarkanian, with support from MIT’s Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP), worked in the field and the laboratory with Drs. Hosler, Burkett and other members of the materials science and engineering and CMRAE faculties. By using state-of-the-art testing techniques, they discovered that Morning Glory plant juice contains sulfur compounds that are capable of cross-linking the latex polymers and introducing rigid segments into the polymer chains. When these chains interact with and entangle one another, they produce rubbery properties in the couagulated mass.

Morning glory plants tend to grow near rubber trees, and both plants were considered sacred in several Mesoamerican cultures. Morning glory, for example, was also used in religious ceremonies for its hallucinogenic properties.

The ball game which made its first appearance among the Olmec, was the earliest complex civilization which inhabited the Gulf coast of Mexico, extending inland and southward with strong cultural interchanges between the early Olmec and other cultures in Chiapas, Aztec and Maya.

 Mesoamerica, the term literally means ‘middle America’, extends from approximately Central Mexico through Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and northern Costa Rica.

This is one of only three regions of the world where writing is known to have independently developed (the others being ancient Sumer in Mesopotamia and China).

An area known at the time for latex production, different grades of rubber were made here 3,000 years ago or 1600 BC.Long before Charles Goodyear “stabilized” the stuff in the mid-19th century!

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Christmas is around the corner and that means time to head to Zapote to see the bullfights live.

The mayor of San José, Johnny Araya, confirmed this October, fans will be allowed in the stands to see the bullfights that will be held from December 25 to January with an agreement with the Ministry of Health to allow 30% of the ring’s capacity. That is about 900 people per bullfight  the in person attendees to be fully vaccinated against covid-19, confirmed by the QR code. The same for the 100 authorized “improvisados” (amateur bullfighters), who want to enter the Zapote arena for each function.

In Costa Rica they call it a corrida, which literally means, “run.” what it actually means here is rodeo — and these events largely resemble a typical American rodeo — but some people would call it a bullfight, they wouldn’t be entirely wrong.

It may seem strange that bullfights take place during Christmas time, but the Costa Rican version of this Spanish sport does not include killing the bulls. In Costa Rica, bullfights consist of bull riding, equestrian skills, live music, dancing and fireworks. Called Toros a la Tica, these events are family friendly and take place near San Jose, if you came to Costa Rica to party, Zapote is where the party begins.

Tour the entertainment scene with your party of friends, and discover why the weather isn’t the only reason for Costa Rica’s sizzling heat. Thousands of Ticos visit the traditional Zapote festival on the east side of San José, where bull baiting is one of the most popular events.

But of all the bulls in Costa Rica, the most celebrated and revered is the ‘bull’ people call “Malacrianza.” Translation? “Badass.” On his debut at a corrida, the then-anonymous bull entered the ring on one of the earlier days of the festival, putting on a graceful and belligerent show worthy of an encore later in the week. Soon, Malacrianza’s distinctive style begin to earn him accolades and nicknames, for instance, “El Corazón de Garza” (the Heart of Garza) and “Su Majestad” (His Majesty). The most popular name, though, was as yet unearned: “El Toro Asesino.” The Bull Assassin.


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Oaxaca City’s Magic Is Just Outside of Town surrounded by soaring mountains and artistic traditions. it is an attractive destination for visitors seeking language schools, colonial history, craft markets and art galleries.

All of these experiences are an easy day trip from the city organized by Zen Recreations with a daily treat of the best Oaxacan culinary delights.

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Earlier this year in a shell-shocked zoo in the Black sea port of Odessa, a pride of lions from  the Bio Park Zoo in Odessa’s southern city in Ukraine were severly impacted by the Russian-Ukraine war and faced certain death or evacuation.

A robust military transport vehicle crept across a burning landscape bearing refugees of a different kind  through an active war zone  and reached Romania’s Targu Mures Zoo in the Transylvania region on May 24, 2022.

The mission was the brainchild of South African wildlife park owner Lionel de Lange. founder of ‘Warriors of Wildlife’, who joind forces with Brits Gemma Campling, director of Worldwide vets and Breaking the Chains founder and British Army veteran Tom.

The Targu Mures Zoo provided a temporary home for the animals till September 1-2022,  so that an emergency travel permit could be approved for the eleven lions to board an international rescue flight and “magicked” to another place beyond their understanding.

Seven adult lions, and two cubs were transferred to a Wild Animal Refuge, an extension of Wild Animal Sanctuary that is located near Springfield, on September 29. The other two lions were  sent to the Simbonga Game Reserve and Sanctuary in Eastern Cape, South Africa.

Animals often don’t survive transfers, it’s a huge shock to their system which manifests in real ways. Imagine how helpless, heart breaking or terrifying a flight might have been for seven full grown lions and two cubs. There are no treats and catnip that can fix that. The crew that collected and transported the lions was made up of British army veterans and a veterinarian. They sedated and checked the health of the lions, the largest of which weighed 230kg, and loaded them into vans, military trucks, and a converted ambulance. After a two-day journey from Romania to Qatar to Dallas. In Texas, Craig and his staff picked up the cats in an air-conditioned, 50-foot-long “truck-trailer combination” with special caging, and supported by ‘Warriors of Wildlife,’ seven adult lions and two cubs made the eight-hour journey from Texas to their forever home in Colorado.

The lions weren’t the only animals to be rescued out of harms way. PETA an animals rights NGO, got nearly 740 animals out of ukraine.

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  Posted Sunday, April 30, 2023 at 8:47pm by

How to Prepare for a Solo Vacation Like a Pro

How to Prepare for a Solo Vacation Like a Pro

Author: Greg Moro

Traveling alone can be a wonderful experience – it’s a chance to explore new cities, relax, and meet new people. But before you embark on your solo adventure, there are a few things you should do to make sure your trip goes smoothly. Keep reading for some tips on how to prepare for a solo vacation.

Learn About the Advantages of Solo Travel

Traveling alone has its own unique set of benefits. You don’t have to worry about compromising with someone else’s ideas or preferences; instead, you can focus on what you want out of the trip. Plus, traveling alone often leads to more meaningful connections with locals and other travelers – it’s easier to start conversations when it’s just you.

Lake Clark Alaska

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With just the right tone of turquoise sea against powdery white sand, step into a hauntingly beautiful perfect laid-back life. Waking up when the roosters decide, drinking coconuts for breakfast, snorkeling all day long, and walking back to the hotel under the perfectly starry sky, after sumptuous dinners at a beach shack. Gili Meno, is one of the three Gili Islands located off the coast of Lombok, Indonesia, home to a unique and captivating attraction known as the Gili Meno Statues. These statues have gained popularity among tourists and locals alike for their hauntingly beautiful appearance and the intriguing story behind their creation.


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Tips for Successfully Navigating the Art of Unexpected Romantic Adventures

Surprising your partner with a meticulously planned trip is a beautiful way to strengthen your bond and create unforgettable memories. with your loved one’s interests and dreams, ensuring the experience is as thrilling as it is memorable.

Unveiling Your Partner’s Travel Desires

Understanding your partner’s travel aspirations is the cornerstone of planning a successful surprise getaway. Delve into their interests, favorite destinations, and dream adventures.

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Bees are sentient, natures hard working lady homies, watch their morally superior instincts compared to humans who would be using their smart phones to film instead of doing what the homie girls did.

We go from hoping someone please rescue the fallen bee, to happy what the homie girl with the Bee-rain 

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