The even lines on the topographic maps of Playa Viva’s upper lake hinted at the possibility of prehispanic terraces—this kind of symmetry does not often occur in nature.
With this information, Playa Viva’s permacuture team began to investigate the possibility that the terraces, and even the lake were part of an ancient system of sustainable agriculture.
A visit from INAH, Mexico’s National Department of Archeology and History confirmed our initial suspicions. There is evidence that the entire lake area was used for pre-hispanic housing and agricultural.
With this information we started envisioning a plan to re-build the terraces and bring them back to their original glory. Though it was clear that this would not be easy due to the high degree of soil erosion.
Now the work has begun. To protect the land from further erosion, we are working to re-create the terraces by hand, just men and machetes, instead of heavy machinery—returning to the age old methods of nurturing the soil and producing food.