Published On: Sat, Feb 8th, 2014

Introduction to the Series

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“Surprising History in Yucatán”

 Introduction to the Series 

by Robert D. Temple

This series of articles is about true incidents in the history of Yucatán.  The focus is on extraordinary history — events unexpected, surprising, far from the ordinary, perhaps not well known.

The Yucatec Mayan language has two words that correspond to English “Wow!” — “¡Maare!” (a good “wow”) and “¡Uay!” (a bad “wow”).  May the reader experience both.


These stories are about the Yucatán Peninsula, which includes the modern Mexican states of Campeche, Quintana Roo, and (confusingly) Yucatán, plus a slice of northern Belize and Guatemala.

Each article includes suggestions about places modern explorers can visit that are connected with the events.


Spelling of Mayan personal and place names can be a source of some confusion.  The Academia de Lengua Maya de Yucatán (ALMY) introduced a system of standardized and accurate spelling in 1984.  However, these articles mostly use the older and more familiar Spanish-style spellings.  For example, we use Yucatán (not Yúukataan) and Ahau Canek (not Ajaw Kan Ek’).


Author photo jpg

Robert D. Temple, PhD, is the author of the award-winning book Edge Effects and numerous magazine articles, mostly dealing with matters of local history.  He lives in Yucatán, Ohio, and Virginia.

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