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Andres Berdeja Field Blog 1 - June 19, 2019

My first impression of Belize when we arrived in the Belize City International Airport was positive right off the bat. I couldn’t wait to experience the culture of Belize and its archaeological rich tropical landscape.  

Belize is one of the best places for students to dip their toes into a foreign country. It was easy to adapt to the cultural environment of Belize because of the kindness of the people and the delicious food that can be found throughout the city of San Ignacio.  

When I visited the sites in Belize like Caracol and Pacbitun, I instantly knew I belonged here to continue important cultural and archaeological research that can help provide critical knowledge of the contemporary and ancient Maya in the Mesoamerican region. The importance of Dr. Spenard’s research is crucial to the region and can help give better insight into how the ancient Maya used caves as ritual sanctuaries, such as Rio Frio Cave A, where we are currently working.  

In the past week, I've noticed that my photography skills have gotten much better in the field, and I have more confidence in asking important questions about how the locals live.  

So far, Belize has far surpassed my expectations – more than anything I could’ve imagined. This experience is helping me prepare for graduate-level research that I will pursue in the near future.

Keel Billed Toucan in BelizeThe keel-billed toucan, also known as sulfur-breasted toucan or rainbow-billed toucan, is a colorful Latin American member of the toucan family. It is the national bird of Belize.
Belize pyramid with Jessica and ArianaThe main pyramid in Caracol where two royal tombs are located. Fellow student researcher Ariana at the top and Jessica below.