At the moment Francisco is talking with a young man, a good friend and contact, who to
the public appears to be a local peasant selling fruits and vegetables. But Ernesto
keeps his eyes open and always knows when a new
Mayan city is discovered. The key to Francisco, in regards to his business
with ancient antiquities, is to try to get some people at this site to acquire
its treasures before the Government
and archaeologists take over and the Government declares it a
national sanctuary. This business of obtaining and
selling Mayan artifacts is very profitable and very dangerous. But Francisco likes the
Today however, Ernesto does not have any news ... but wait, he knows in the El Bonito Restaurant,
as this moment, the famous Professor Nielson, an American Mayan archeologist, is having lunch,
perhaps ... Francisco might like to meet him.
IN GUATEMALA CITY, TRADING in the streets is a way of life, so almost every day you can find people with their wagons of goods. As most people
can not afford to have their own stores, this is how they must survive. It is unusual to see a
person with fine clothes walking through the streets, but Francisco Hernandez, has discovered
some rare Mayan artifacts among these poor sellers.
Francisco is amazed, as Professor Nielson is very well known to him and he even has purchased
some of his books ... the last book by the professor is one of his most prized possession as
he keeps it on his desk at his store back in New York City. So he thanks Ernesto for the
suggestion and heads over to the Restaurant.
WHEN FRANCISCO ARRIVES AT THE RESTAURANT, he asks
the hostess if they have a phone. He promised his "Mama", the Dona Hernandez, he would at
least call and say hello to his cousin Carlos. He has had some business dealing with Carlos,
who is very well connected on many official and unofficial levels of business
in Guatemala, but
he really doesn't trust his cousin. His cousin has a love for power. Carlos is not in, but
he does leave a message on his answering machine, leaving the phone number of the
local hotel he is staying at. With family business taken care of, he seeks out
Francisco heads toward the serving tables inside and easily spots Professor Nielson ....
who is wearing the traditional clothes of an archaeologist including a cowboy style hat.
The Professor is eating a traditional Guatemalan dish and reading some notes at the
same time. He is alone, so Francisco decides to go up to him and introduce himself.
Francisco: "Senior Nielson (in his heavily Spanish accented English) ...
am I interrupting you?"
I am Francisco Hernandez, and a great admirer of your work with the Mayans ... your last book
was absolutely wonderful."
Prof. Nielson: "Ah what ... sorry ... I get very absorbed in my work ... we are
explore a relatively new site that has come up .... in the Highlands of Guatemala ... but yes
of course you are welcome to join me. Although I do need to leave in about 10 minutes, I
have a guide waiting for me."
Francisco: Well, it is not often I get to meet a real explorer of the Maya ... I have
fascinated with the Mayans since I was a child. Of course being brought up in the Yucatan
area, you can not escape their influence, even hundreds of years after they disappeared.
Perhaps, if I left
you the phone number of my hotel, we could have dinner sometime, when you are not so busy?"
Prof. Nielson: "Yes, that would be great ... I would be happy to share some of my
and hear about your studies as well ... there is so much to learn about these people."
Francisco: Excellente ... here is my hotel phone (he writes it on a napkin), I will
be waiting to hear from you ... good luck with your research, good afternoon Senior ....
Francisco leaves the professor and for some reason has a strong liking of this man ... the next
day they do have dinner together and this is the beginning of a long long friendship....