The ceiba tree, or ya’axche, is the world tree of ancient Maya ideology. It was believed to have connected the mortal realm with both the watery underworld (Xibalba) and the thirteen layers of heaven. Its towering presence, distinctive leaves, cotton-producing pods, and spiked trunk make it one of the most unique tree species in the world. Photo captured by Rebecca Friedel. Featured in the 2014 AGSA Calendar.