Saturday was our day off from veterinary work. We spent the day taking a tour of the ATM Caves. This is a very large cave system that the Mayans used for sacred rituals. Because it is deep inside of the caves, the area containing leftover Mayan artifacts are almost completely untouched by nature. The trip consisted of a 1.5 mile hike to the cave then about a 45 minute commute through the cave by walking through water, climbing up rocks, and swimming in order to reach the start of the Mayan remains. The remain are incredible and include tons of pottery the bones of many humans and some animals who were sacrificed. There is also an almost fully intact skeleton of a Mayan from around 900 AD, around the demise of the Maya. The cave system and Mayan remains were absolutely breath-taking, one of the coolest things I’ve ever done.
On Monday it was back to work. In the morning we went to a farm where we vaccinated and dewormed their sheep for them. We had quite a few laughs trying to catch the sheep who were running around and jumping off of us. After we were done we practiced drawing blood from chickens. Because their veins are so small it isn’t easy. It is done on the inside of the wing while someone else holds the chicken upside down.
When we had some free time in the afternoon we went to the Green Iguana Conservation Project. They teach you about the green iguanas and how they’re endangered. The nickname for them is “Bamboo Chicken” and people eat them. The organization raises many of them and releases them into the wild when they reach sexual maturity. In the meantime people can go see them… and let them climb all over you.