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Opposite, Courtesy: Kirsch; above, travelstock44 / Alamy Stock Photo Exploring the yucatán sites, rituals and cuisine unite ancient Maya and modern cultures By Jill K. Robinson From a shaded cafe table on Paseo de Montejo, the elegant main boulevard of Mérida, I watch a diverse population of passersby and sip a bottle of crisp Montejo beer. Fashioned after the Champs-Élysées in Paris, Paseo de Montejo is lined with stunning architecture and rows of trees. I see office workers in suits, women in colorful huipil garments and university students chattering about coursework. All are taking their time— no need to rush along a beautiful thoroughfare. Mérida is both the capital and largest city of the Mexican state of Yucatán. About 200 miles west of Cancún, Mérida merits a day or September 2016 Alaska Beyond Magazine 111 ABM 09.16 Mex Yucatan.indd 111 8/17/16 2:33 PM