World Teen - Main Article
 
Signup Teachers & Parents
Maya Train Chugs through Ruins
News Bytes 10/21/2020 11 Comments

Experts in Mexico have detected thousands of buried ancient ruins and artifacts. The discoveries along the route of the “Maya Train” project could slow down the proposed plan—which opponents say threatens native peoples and water supplies.

This summer, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador launched the start of construction on the Maya Train, his pet project. If built, it would run some 950 miles in a rough loop around the Mexican state of Yucatán.

The train is supposed to connect Caribbean beach resorts to the Yucatán peninsula’s mostly native populations and historic ruin sites. Officials hope to stimulate economic development near the train’s 15 stations. The government says the train will cost as much as $6.8 billion. Others say it will be much more.

Critics contend that López Obrador rammed the project through approvals. They say there wasn’t enough study of its effects on the environment, underground sinkhole caves, and historic sites.

LiDAR, which stands for Light Detection and Ranging, involves shooting a pulsed laser at the ground. The technology can give a detailed image of the surface, even through dense vegetation. LiDAR data shows 2,187 “archaeological monuments” along 277 miles of the proposed train route. Experts already knew about the existence of some of the sites, but some are new discoveries.

The term monuments can mean many things: the ruins of a pre-Hispanic Maya home, carved stones, the remains of temple platforms, or other artifacts. It’s not clear how many of each type LiDAR has detected. But experts at Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History say at least 91 are large-scale structures like plazas and pyramid or temple platforms.

Institute officials say that the builders of the train must take “specific measures” to avoid damaging the artifacts—even though some were probably disturbed by railway construction decades ago. Those officials have not said whether they believe parts of the train route will need to be rerouted.

The Mayas formed a sprawling empire of city-states across the Yucatán and Central America between 2,000 B.C. and A.D. 900. Their descendants still live on the peninsula.

Some Mayan communities have filed court challenges against the Maya Train project. They argue that it will cause environmental damage. They also say they were not widely consulted about the plan—or that they won’t share in its benefits.

(Tourists walk at the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza in Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula in this August 2018 file photo. AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)

Leave a comment
  • Be respectful of everyone, including other readers as well as individuals in the news stories. Disagree politely.
  • Do not post links to websites outside of WORLDteen.
  • Keep personal information such as full name, age, location, and contact information private.
  • Read your comment before posting to be sure you have typed what you wish to say in public.
Sorry you are not allowed to publish comments. If this is the first time you are seeing this message please log out and back in. If you continue to see this message and believe this to be in error please reach out to member services.

Most recent comments

1st Comment

Not sure what I think about this. The train would be sort of cool, but I do agree with the Mayans that it could cause environmental damage, and I think that they should have been consulted, because it is the ruins of their ancestors, and part of their land.

hm...

That does sound kind of scary. Buried ruins and artifacts, eh! Neat! Their president sure has a long name.

What I think about this...

I wonder if the Mayans were able to get a profit out of this what they would think about it then. I mean, they should at least get a share because it's their country like you said, E Y, but If there's no railroad, then there might not be as many people to admire the ruins that the train will 'disturb'. Either way, I hope that the Maya train will be built, and that it will be helpful for everyone. I also think the laser technology is really cool.

Neat

Interesting

Nice!
Has anyone been to The Ark?

the ark, as in the one in

the ark, as in the one in Kentucky

@Above

Yes

well i have not, but i really

well i have not, but i really want to go

because i heard it was really

because i heard it was really cool

@NA

No I have not been

i hope no people get hurt you

i hope no people get hurt you know people + crublely old ruins =not good outcomes

Check out one of the interesting topics below
Explain IT!

Explain-IT trains you to understand the how’s and why’s of man-made inventions and ideas.

Learn More
Pop Smart

Pop! SMART provides tools that equip teenagers with the kinds of insights they need to wisely navigate today’s popular culture in a way that’s fun and engaging.

Learn More
Pie in the Sky

Everyone daydreams, and as it should be. Good dreams aside, our culture is a natural enemy of serenity and hope. God has equipped you for great things.

Learn More
People Mover

True stories are incredibly powerful. They bring meaning to our lives—communicating the truths we can’t afford to live without.

Learn More
Mud Room

Mud Room helps you relate to the news by exploring the details behind the stories in the headlines that relate to earth sciences.

Learn More
Globe Trek

Globe Trek will take you from the living room sofa to the mountains of Uzbekistan and from the screen of their smart phone to a Chilean plantation.

Learn More
Ka Ching!

ka-Ching! takes a look at important principles of money and economics through relatable examples from everyday life.

Learn More
Law 'N Order

Law ‘N Order captures your imagination through civics, focusing on the idea that everyone can make a difference in life.

Learn More

User login