Maximon : Mayan Deity Extraordinaire
Maximon, also called San Simón, is a Mayan deity and folk saint represented in various forms by the Maya people of several towns in the highlands of Western Guatemala. The oral tradition of his creation and purpose in these communities is complex, diverse, and born of the ancient Maya traditions centuries ago.
The worship of Maximón is believed to have begun at the time of the Spanish conquest of the Maya. The modern character of Maximón is thought to be a blend of several historical, biblical, and Mayan mythological figures. These include Pedro de Alvarado, Judas Iscariot, Saint Peter, and Mam.
Maximón’s appearance varies greatly by location. While he’s popularly depicted as a wooden or straw man in a suit and hat, this isn’t a constant. In Santiago Atitlán, his effigy wears colorful garlands and scarves, while in Zunil, he wears sunglasses and a bandanna.
Visited in Chapter 40 of The Travelers Within: Into The Unknown
An Excerpt from the Book
“And through the lambent haze, Simon squinted, and could scarcely see the infamous straw figure across the room, staring back at him with glass eyes. A life-sized effigy of the Mayan god Mam, it was an ominous scarecrow-like form, made entirely of wood and straw and adorned in a wide-brimmed hat and colorful garlands. It rested motionless in a chair against the wall. A burning cigarette hung precariously from its wooden mouth.
This was Maximon.”
From The Author
“It took me a week to find Maximon. Knowing he moved from village to village, I had to ask in every town on Lake Atitlán before eventually discovering his whereabouts. When I first entered the smoky home where he resided, I was offered a small cup of rum and a seat on the dusty floor surrounded by burning candles. I must have spent an hour sweating in that room as the locals entered, presented offerings, and then disappeared back out into the village.”
Several Books, One Global Adventure
The Travelers Within is a travel adventure fiction series following a motley cast of characters on a wild and profound journey through the bizarre locales, unfamiliar cultures, and perilous dangers of the world.
When office worker, Simon, is unexpectedly thrust into the wilds of Central America, he soon learns to trust his instincts, harness his unknown personal strengths and open himself up to the unlikeliest of friendships along the way. Inspired by extraordinary, real locations and remarkable stories from the road, The Travelers Within is a journey beyond all limits.
BOOK ONE: INTO THE UNKNOWN
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The Travelers Within: Into The Unknown
Simon had always followed a typical routine in life. Work, TV, Sleep, Repeat. But when a wild series of events lands him deep in Central America, Simon’s world takes a dramatic turn to the extraordinary. With no previous experience in third world travel, and driven only by a newly ignited lust for life and the need to survive, Simon sets forth on an epic journey through the dangerous mountains of Guatemala, the smuggler’s jungles of Nicaragua, the islands of Honduras and more.
Meeting a wonderful and eclectic cast of characters along the way, Simon eventually links up with Jonah, a young survival expert with a plan as bizarre and terrifying as anything Simon could have ever imagined. Inspired by real places and stories from the road, The Travelers Within is told with intrigue, suspense, humor and insight, capturing a visceral spirit of adventure and bringing out the wanderlust hidden deep within all of us.
“Into The Unknown is an enthralling combination of thriller and travelogue. It’s packed full of incident and exotic scenery, and, as you’re reading, it feels like you’re right there—in every stunning new location, on every new adventure.”
-Sue Paulson, U.K. Readers Digest