What’s the Name of This Place, I Don’t Understand You?

The Yucatan is a peninsula of about 55,000 square miles that makes up the most easterly part of Mexico. The Mayan Indians once built great cities in the Yucatan. But the Mayans themselves never called the Yucatan by that name.

In 1517, a Spanish explorer named Francisco de Cordoba left Cuba on a search for slaves. He landed on the Yucatan Peninsula. He asked the Mayans living there what the name of the region was. They replied, “Yucatan,” and that became the name of the region.

What the Indians really meant when they said “Yucatan” was “I don’t understand you.”

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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