Sid Hollander: Yucatan’s Loss, Heaven’s Gain

May 28, 2022:
Yucatan lost one of its brightest lights yesterday, with the passing of Sidney Hollander.

Our world of expats here is now a bit poorer, somewhat less entertaining, and a whole lot less colorful.

Sid was a good friend, loving husband of Feli Pamplona, storyteller of the first order, a beloved teacher of gifted students, champion arguer, and the best in the world at the Maya Calendars for 2 generations.

Anyone who’s gone to Merida’s Museo Maya and gotten their birth date converted to Maya dates, has been touched by Sid, as he programmed that delightful tool to print our Maya birth dates. Others experienced his hearty laugh, commanding booming voice & rapier wit at the Merida Mens Club. Yet others much enjoyed his courses teaching the Maya Calendars & his generous hospitality, as scholars & students alike came to Yucatan from across the USA & Canada for decades to experience his 2 day Maya Calendar seminars at his beautiful quinta outside Merida.

Sid’s passing is major milemarker for many of us here in Yucatan, Merida, and across the Maya archeological world, as he has loved us & loved Yucatan since first coming here in 1968, as a part of Umacinta River trips. Sid really was one of a kind … part of a generation of first rate Maya scholars that included his contemporaries of the dear Herr Professor Doctor Peter Schmidt (Director of Archeology at Chichen Itza), Linda Schele, David Stuart & his parents, Willie Folan (Director of Archeology at Kalakmul), Rafael Cobos, Patricia & Rodrigo Martin, and too many dear acquaintances to be mentioned.

As the premier Maya Calendar expert to INAH, Sid worked onsite at Chichen Itza through the 1990’s, and continued as their Maya Calendar guy for another decade into the 2,000’s. In addition to writing the world standard “Bars & Dots” computer program in the 1980’s, (still in use today by scholars world-wide). On a personal level, Sid generously used his connections & roots to enrich the lives of more than a few of his good friends, as he was welcome through the back door of all the top Yucatec Mayan sites, as he opened up opportunities for many of us to go behind-the-ropes & behind-the-scenes at Chichen Itza, Mayapan, Uxmal, Dzibilchaltun, Kabah, Sayil & Labna.

Yet others will remember Sid from his Merida Insider days, as a good friend of Mexico Bob, EJ Albright, Yucatan Bill, and a host of other real characters. Some will even remember his generosity, love of dinners & love of Christmas parties as he regularly opened his home to total strangers he met on the internet – as THE Jewish guy who made THE BEST roast pork & held THE BEST Christmas fests.

EJ Albright, Sid, Steve Fry & Bill Drennon (L to R)

We miss you & your stories, dear friend, beloved teacher, loving husband, father & grandfather.
Our lives are richer for having known you …

Adios, amigo

… Shalom …

… Descansa en Paz …

Your friend,

Read On … MacDuff !

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4 Responses to Sid Hollander: Yucatan’s Loss, Heaven’s Gain

  1. molly says:

    Thank you for this touching memorial post.

  2. Jerry Moomaw says:


  3. Emilie says:

    What a sweet memorial to Sid.

  4. vmortiz says:

    En 1IK 15 ZIP se nos fue “Sid” Hollander. lo conocí como un excelente programador cuando yo mismo andaba haciendo mis pininos con el BASIC en MS-DOS. Descanse en paz!

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