Juan Mugartegui left his Fort Worth home in February and took a train, a bus and then walked to the Perot Museum on the edge of downtown Dallas. He was determined to volunteer in their traveling exhibit "Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed."
Why was he so determined? Because as a little boy in Honduras he saw the real monuments in the jungle that are depicted by replicas in the exhibit.
The ancient Maya exhibit takes him back 66 years and he's proud to share his Mayan heritage with Perot Museum visitors. One exhibit shows how the ancient Mayans made rubber balls for sporting games.
This grandfather is proud to tell Perot visitors that as kids, he and his friends went in the jungle and took the sap from rubber trees to make their soccer balls. The whole process took 12 hours and they had to be careful because the sap was harmful to skin before it dried.
Having this kind of connection to a person who experienced Mayan artifacts as a child is remarkable.
Juan became an American citizen in 2015. He told me he's a life-long learner. At the age of 78 he plans to go to college to become a court interpreter or a paralegal. More power to you, Juan!