Petroleum Capitol and Site of Olmec Civilization
"Cortez sailed up the Rio Grijalva"
On his way to conquer the Aztecs in the Valley of Mexico, Cortez first fought against a Mayan army here. The river remains the center waterway of downtown Villahermosa, a industrial city devoted to energy production. Capitol of Tabasco state, Villahermosa has a nice international airport for entry by those interested in traveling through to Palenque. Night along the river contrasts dramatically from what Cortez must have found when he visited, but in general the people are the same--Mexicans
"Parque Venta has many of the Olmec Artifacts"
Petroleum engineers ran into the great heads of the Olmec Civilization and brought them to Villahermosa. The Olmecs lived at La Venta between 800 and 500 B.C., widely regarded as the earliest civilization in the New World. Olmec religious motifs can be found in Mayan and other Mexican cultures. Interestingly, recent research suggests that the Olmec diet was rich in fish caught in the marshlands of region, making the rise of this civilization unusual, being that some kind of efficiency of grain production typifies the earliest civilizations. However, this high fish diet, combined with trade for grain, in the New World this means corn, does resemble in a vague sort of way the stratification found in the Khmer civilization of Cambodia.
"Villahermosa dresses up at Christmas"
We arrived on Christmas Eve night, and saw the lights along the river. The nightclubs were packed. It's not a center of sophisticated urban life, but Villahermosa is worth at least a day, if not for Parque Venta alone.