Finding magic in Xcaret’s Temazcal
The call of the conch
A ritual of purification and renovation
There’s no doubt for Eduardo Colunga’s words: “Xcaret is full of magic and you can feel it everyday in the Temazcal“, one of the most mystic corner of this Eco Park in the Riviera Maya, Mexico. He is the “temascalero” or “curandero” – healer. He has worked here for four years as the leader or guide for the visitors who want to join this ritual. Temazcal is such a unique experience that can turn into a renaissance, if you desire it.
Sitting down and talking with Don Eduardo is like flipping through a book with many stories. He settles under the shade of the trees, in front of an effigy of Ixchel, the Mayan goddess of the moon and fertility. He explains that Xcaret’s temazcal is dedicated to her because she was also the goddess of the tides and medicine.
“In pre-Hispanic times, when Xcaret was called Polé, the Mayan came from far away villages to worship Ixchel in Cozumel. They used to stop in Polé to swim in the crystal-clear waters of the cenotes and get into the temazcal. Many pilgrims came because they thought these waters were curative”.
“Xcaret, Eco Park in the Riviera Maya is full of magic” says Eduardo. He thinks everything is due to faith. For the Mayans and other pre-hispanic civilization, the temazcal was a ritual of purification and renovation. It allows ourselves to liberate from those things we carry for a long time and they end up being a burden that prevent us from growing. Getting into the circular house made of adobe means to enter into Mother Earth and in ourselves. It makes us recognize our mistakes and therefore, be capable to be born again.
“The day you stop believing, you stop creating”, Eduardo reminds us.
Don Eduardo arrived to the Riviera Maya from an early age from Guanajuato, his homeland. Now he experiences each temazcal session as a gestation of new people. He is very proud to be a healer and preserve a ritual that reminds our roots and make us look towards a happier future. He thinks that both sensitivity and strenght are very important characteristics to be a good healer or “temazcalero”.
After starting the temazcal session on a cloudy beautiful afternoon in the Riviera Maya, Eduardo invites us to “die, rebirth, release and let go.” The heat of the red-hot stones increases the aroma of herbs ready for the temazcal: chamomile, eucalyptus, rosemary, rue … Balché is served in small bowls for those who are attending this meeting with Mother Earth and themselves. After receiving the spiritual meaning of the temazcal, who could refuse the call of the conch?