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Forum on Central America features Mayan civilization, tourism

2012/10/23 22:09:09

Taipei, Oct. 23 (CNA) Central American experts shared their knowledge about the ancient Mayan civilization at a forum in Taipei Tuesday as part of a bid by the Taipei-based Central America Trade Office to attract more visitors to Central America.

Experts from Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras -- countries rich in Mayan heritage -- covered a wide range of issues at the forum, from Mayan civilization and astronomy, to science and Mayan ruins.

They also talked about the long-since debunked myth perpetrated in the media of a so-called Mayan prophecy that Dec. 21, 2012 will be the end of the world, pointing out that such speculation is complete fabrication, as the date simply marks the end of a cycle in the Mayan calendar.

"The rumors that the world is ending is not in our belief," said Cherie Minette Nisbet, Belize charge d'affaires to the Republic of China.

Lee Chong-lin, who came from the Dulan Museum of Archeology in eastern Taiwan to join some 400 attendees at the one-day discussion, said the non-existent prophecy does, however, offer a chance to reflect on the challenges human beings face.

"With the energy crisis and a food shortage looming, there are sure to be doubts as to whether we are on the right track," he said.

Local travel agencies, along with travel bloggers, also promoted Central America itineraries at the free forum at National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall.

(By Lee Hsin-Yin)