A Sacred Mayan Journey – Una Herencia que trasciende

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Sacred Mayan Journey – Una Herencia que trasciende

 

On Thursday the 22nd of May, I had the privilege of attending an amazing ceremony at Xcaret to celebrate the Travesía Sagrada Maya (Sacred Mayan Journey). My neighbor has spent the last 5 and ½ months training for this journey, a trip in a handmade canoe from Xcaret to Cozumel. Two hours a day, three times a week, he trained with his fellow oarsmen to make the 31 mile (50 km) roundtrip journey across the Caribbean, fighting the wind and waves. 30 canoes carrying 300 people made the trek this year. The ceremony on Thursday night was the kickoff for the 3 day event.

 

On Thursday night a section of Xcaret was transformed into a Mayan village, with a market where the currency was cacao beans instead of pesos. Cacao beans for the Mayans were considered the food of gods and were used as currency during those times. You could purchase handmade tortillas, herbs and traditional Mayan necklaces for just a few beans. The longest line was for the face painting, transforming everyday people into Mayan warriors. After making our way through the market we ended up at the cove near the area where you can swim with dolphins. In true Xcaret style, they put on a beautiful show filled with dancing, music and culture. The pictures don’t do it justice; you had to see it yourself to experience how truly amazing it was.

 

A little background on the Sacred Mayan Journey:

Polé, which is today Xcaret, was a port for the Mayans to meet to exchange goods and the starting point to travel to Kuzamil Island (Cozumel) to visit the temple of the Mayan Goddess Ixchel. Ixchel is the goddess of fertility, motherhood, tides, fishing and the moon. For generations the Mayans made this journey, teaching the children in the village to become skilled sailors, merchants and fisherman.

 

The local chiefs (Bataoobs) and the clergymen blessed the journey of the oarsmen as they traversed the Caribbean Sea for Cozumel, praying for their safe travel and to not allow any unbalance between life and death.  The canoers’ arrival to Cozumel was announced with the blowing of conch shells and they were welcomed by Halach Uinik , the supreme chief. 

 

Ixchel blesses the people and with dancing and offerings from the oarsmen, together they celebrate life, birth, the cultivation of crops, the activity of the jungle and the sea, death and misery, the joy of heaven and the tranquility of Ekab. The oarsmen then return to Polé with the blessing from Ixchel.

 

Friday morning, at 5 am, my neighbor began his journey across the Caribbean for Cozumel. He arrived in 4.5 hours, 2nd out of all the boats there. Early Saturday morning they returned to Xcaret, completing the journey and 5 ½ months of hard work and training.

 

I feel so lucky to have been able to attend the ceremony and hear firsthand from my neighbor about this experience. The culture is so rich in Mexico and I love learning about and experiencing different things. There is so much that this country and this area has to offer, I am barely scratching the surface. I hope that by living here full time, I am able to continue to have these experiences and learn more about the culture and the people that are a part of it. The Sacred Journey takes place every May; look for information on Xcaret’s website or just google “Sacred Mayan Journey”.

 

Mayan Journey - Playa del Carmen real estate

Una Herencia que Transciende (A Sacred Mayan Journey)

 

 

 

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