Palenque translates to “cockfight” or “cockfighting arena” and is also the name of an ancient Mayan city state in southern Mexico that flourished in the 7th century. The Palenque ruins date from ca. 226 BC to ca. AD 799.
The image of my father-in-law, who I assure you does not actually fight roosters, reflects on the deep rooted culture of cock fighting along the U.S. Mexico border and the pride and machismo associated with the illegal and lucrative underground sport. This subculture of cockfighting includes a wide range of other associated activities such as trainers, breeders, performance enhancements for the animals, the hidden arenas where these events are held, gambling, and even the sale of food and beverages during the events. The Title Palenque intentionally references the Mayan ruins, and is meant to draw comparisons between modern “civilized” society and those that predate it.