Location: Santa Elena, Yucatan
I even take the road overtaken…
Overtaken by the forest and the jungle that is.
The town of Santa Elena has a population of about 3,500, but two hundred years ago it had a population of over ten times that number. The pole and thatch houses have long since disintegrated, but the calles (roads) remain.
You see, whenever they wanted to mark out a calle they would edge the borders with a mortarless stones walls on both sides. The walls run more or less north-south and east-west. The path between the walls is anywhere for sixteen to eight feet wide and make slight bends and twists for no apparent reason.
The ones that border property lines still belong to the city.
You are not allowed to build on them and the city could legally open them up at any time if there was some political and economic reason for doing so. For example if a strong supporter of the president of the village would like better access to his back acreage, they just may clear and pave the road If a section of road is entirely within your property and it has not been used as a road in living memory, the land could become yours to use as you please.
Our property is just outside of the current village and much of it is overgrown with tropical forest.
When you see the old calles running through the forest, you have to wonder who used to live here, and how long ago.