An ancient Maya tradition in Mexico
The Sacred Mayan Journey have returned
The history of the Sacred Mayan Journey began 16 years ago. It emerged as an idea to rescue an ancient tradition belonging to the Mayan culture and which by that time was just a memory. Five centuries had passed since the brave oarsmen crossed the sea from the beaches of the ancient Mayan city of Polé, today Xcaret, to what we know today as Cozumel Island.
Rescuing this tradition stopped being an idea to become a project that would take a lot of effort, research, and study. Will it be possible to cross to Cozumel from Xcaret? What will be the navigation route? The answers to these and other questions emerged as the journey took shape.
Preserve and rescue Mayan Traditions
The location of the Mayan port of Polé, today Xcaret, allowed several coastal towns such as Xaman-Há, Xcalacoco, and Akumal to depart for the Island of Cozumel, following crucial commercial maritime route. This route was responsible for the great growth and prosperity of the Mayan towns of Quintana Roo at that time.
The importance of this route was vital for the inhabitants of the coast of Quintana Roo, and it was represented by the crossing that the oarsmen made each year to visit the temple of the Goddess Ixchel to give thanks for the favors received or ask for her grace.
After the Spanish conquest, this sacred celebration was suppressed and remained just another fact of the Mayan culture of Quintana Roo.
Because of these antecedents in 2006 the rescue of the Sacred Mayan Journey was decided and planned as an effort to preserve the historical heritage of the old port of Polé, thus preserving this history for later generations.
The precursors of this project were Carlos Serrano, a researcher and historian for Grupo Xcaret, Hugo Rojas, who was the director of the first Sacred Mayan Journey, is also a researcher, and the Architect Miguel Quintana Pali.
Bonding with the local community
The Sacred Mayan Journey would not be the same without the participation of the local community. Over the years, the Sacred Mayan Journey has established itself as an event in which the population has found a way to rescue their origins, learn from their history, face their fears or even make peace with situations that represent challenges in their lives.
Thanks to the involvement of the local community, a brotherhood has been born, and it´s palpable in each of the editions of this event. One of the most notorious groups has been our canoeists, who despite the long pause caused by the pandemic never stopped training and preparing for their return to the sea.
This feeling of belonging was born with the Sacred Mayan Journey has made countless people change their place of permanence with the sole purpose of being part of the oarsmen and living the crossing, thus adding to the warrior spirit of each edition.
On the dance side, we have children, women and seniors who rehearse in different parts of the state to represent the ancient customs with which the Mayan population that lived in Polé said goodbye to the canoeists at dawn.
There have been more than 500 people involved in the artistic aspect of each journey. Each one of them putting their heart into the assigned task and managing to be part of a great production that amaze all the attendees.
Without a doubt, this celebration would not be the same without the participation of the local community.
One more reason to visit Xcaret
At Grupo Xcaret, we are clear that all efforts must be focused on common well-being, always thinking about the three P’s that govern our Sustainability model:
Xcaret Park has become a window to see and experience the best of Mexico, thanks to efforts to preserve its culture and share it with each of the travelers who visit us every year.
The Sacred Mayan Journey is another reason to visit us and further evidence of our mission as Grupo Xcaret: “Let’s make the planet happy by spreading our great love for Mexico.”
The aspects mentioned previously in this blog are focused on our pillar of people, through the well-being of the community involved in the Sacred Mayan Journey and with the conservation of our cultural heritage.
And this is why we celebrate the Sacred Mayan Journey in Xcaret.
Apasionado por lo no establecido, viajo y colecciono historia para compartir con quien quiera escucharlas, tomo fotos para recordar que aún no conozco todo el mundo y amo la tecnología porque alguna adicción debía de tener.