With our suitcases on the roof and a couple of boxes of baby chickens on board, we travelled by combi bus from Palenque to Frontera Corozal. The combi bus in appearance looks like a colectivo but acts more like a bus. The colectivo pick up and drop all passengers all along its route. With the combi bus, you buy a ticket in advance and it usually starts off with a full load and does not pick up people along the way. It is in fact a miniature bus service that travels to out-of-the-way places where the big busses do not go. These are not hard and fast rules. You never know for sure what might happen in Mexico.
It was a three-hour drive to Frontera Corozal. We were greeted at the entrance to the town by some citizens demanding a fee to enter the town. This is a form of extortion but as it was only a couple of dollars, I paid it and we moved only. Only tourists had to pay, not locals. Here, they still do not understand the economics of tourism. In Canada or the U.S, a town might offer a coupon for something free to attract tourists. They certainly would not charge them extra. Anyways……
Frontera Corozal is a dumpy town with one paved road. Not a pretty or interesting place. After passing through the town we came to our hotel called Escudo Jaguar. It is a group of cabins and a restaurant located on the banks of the Usumacinta River. The river forms the border between Mexico and Guatemala. It is not a very big river. We can sit on the shore in Mexico and watch the birds on the Guatemala side.
The people here are Mayan but of a different culture and language than other Mayans that we have met. They speak Chol. It is the fourth Mayan language that we have encountered. The Mayans were not all one big happy civilization. Each area had its own culture and language and they were often at war with each other. They have many things in common but each is slightly different in customs as well as language.