.In 1939, Fite receives an invitation from the Carnegie Institute to do restoration work on an ancient Mayan sculpture in Copan, Honduras. He is deeply impressed by the art of the Maya peoples and their extensive knowledge of raw materials.

In the following year, Fite begins clearing away the rubble found in his former quarry. This allows him to start construction on what will become known as Opus 40, as well as make use of the drystone techniques he learned while traveling.