As I alluded to on William Lawson’s Driving blog, yesterday I took some folks to Dzibilchaltun. I had told them about the site and it’s small but well-put-together museum.
I was shocked at the state of the museum: it is literally falling apart around the exhibits. Not that you are going to get hit in the head with falling plaster, but you may stumble a bit on the floor, which is made of wooden slats which have either rotted or fallen prey to an insect invasion, known here as comejen, that make it sag and uneven. Some of the wooden slats have been crudely replaced by someone with about as much skill in carpentry as I have, using approximate-sized replacement unfinished wooden strips nailed down with the flair of an 8 year old backyard fort builder. Other slats are covered with pieces of carpeting; the sag you feel as you step on them makes you feel you are on the dance floor of the Mambo Café.
Looking up, it is evident that the finishing coat of cement has fallen off in places, leaving rebar and concrete roofing material exposed. Also, while you are gazing up that way, note that the illumination is at about 30% capacity ie. 70% of the light bulbs are burnt out or off. In any case, they are not working, and many of the exhibits suffer from this lack of proper illumination.
It seems both a shame and a disgrace that the INAH does not or cannot maintain this building that must have hundreds of visitors each week, especially during this ‘high’ season (and the just finished Christmas holidays which saw Yucatan’s attractions mobbed by tourists both national and international) and now that Dzibilchaltun is on the cruise ship excursion map.
Very embarrassing, and as a Yucatecan – according to the definition proposed by Tony in the Diario de Yucatan a few weeks ago, a Yucatecan is everyone that resides here and contributes, in one form or another, to the political, social or commercial life of the Yucatan – I find it unacceptable that our so-called authorities show such disdain towards this important showcase for Mayan and Yucatecan culture.