A Resting Place for Julie – Cenote Tribute Ceremony Experience

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  • Kutrina and children to come to mexico to bury the ashes of Julie
  • Mayan Shaman leads family in special burial ceremony
  • Kutrina and children touch the ceiba tree in special burial ritual
  • Kutrina and children touch the ceiba tree in special burial ritual
  • The children hold the earth that will cover their grandmothers ashes
  • special mayan ceremony to say goodby to Kutrina's mother's ashes
  • Copal smoke is used to bless the air and the people for this burial ceremony
  • the children stand around the ceiba tree in a mayan ritual blessing
  • a final resting place for Julie's ashes in the most beautiful place in the world
  • the children say goodby to their grandmother
  • the ceiba tree was considered a sacred tree by ancient mayan civilizations
  • Mayan Shaman prays to the ceiba tree
  • the mayas believed the ceiba tree was a ladder to reach the heavens
  • the children take part in a very special burial ritual
  • the family explores a special cenote during a burial ritual
  • mayan shaman explains why the cenotes were a portal to the underworld for ancient mayan cultures
  • family poses with mayan shaman don alvaro
  • butterflies line the path on the way to the sacred ceiba tree
  • children walking the path at the sacred cenote
  • family portrait at the cenote
  • children play in the cenote with the family in mexico
  • small fish swimming over the feet of children in cenotes in mexico
  • swimming in the mexican cenote with a family

A resting place for Julie, a Cenote Tribute Ceremony Experience. Kutrina’s mother Julie passed away in Canada and she wanted to do something special to say goodbye. Kutrina decided to take Julie’s ashes and her three beautiful children to Mexico for an experience they will never forget. She asked us to plan an adventure to celebrate Julie’s life and document the entire story.

The resulting photo / video documentary is one of the most beautiful stories we have ever been a part of. A story motivated by a death with the intention to celebrate life. The bonding of a family, on a very special adventure, saying goodbye to Julie.

Sol Tamargo’s idea was to make a unique blessing in one of the most beautiful places in the world. The region of the Yucatan Peninsula is filled with caves (Cenotes) and special aquifers that make the Riviera Maya the jungle that it is today.  The freshwater sustained Ancient Mayan civilizations and the cenotes served as Sol’s principal inspiration for designing the ceremony for Julie.

“I would love if she can be buried by the Ceiba Tree.  I have listened to Mayan’s tell stories about the Ceiba. How you consider this tree a link between the Heaven and Earth.   The Ancient Mayans buried their deceased at the base of the Ceiba as it served as a ladder to reach the Heavens. I would love if you can receive her ashes and make some sort of ceremony next to the Ceiba Tree – Sol Tamargo

Julie will always have a place here in the arms of the Ceiba tree, a special tree the ancient Mayan civilizations saw as a sacred and holy tree. The roots of this tree reached the waters of the cenotes, which were considered portals by ancient Mayan’s to channel the Gods of the Mayan Underworld. The Ceiba tree is also one of the tallest trees in the jungle of the Riviera Maya.

Kids believe in magic, superheroes, superpowers and even eternal life.  I really wanted them to feel as kids when they bring their grandmother’s ashes to their new home.  Therefore I asked Kutrina to please allow the children to dress as they wish to be dressed.  Imagine my big smile when I see those kids walking dressed as princess and superheroes.  For me, they were a big reminder that life and even death are more bearable and understood when we still believe in magic. – Sol Tamargo

We are so lucky to have found Sergio Sanchez and Sr Don Alvaro, the Mayan Shaman, son of Mayan Shamans from the Yucatan, Quintana Roo.  He is one of the most humble and kindest people we have ever met.  None of the words he said were scripted, coming directly from his caring and kind heart.

My heart, the heart of the Ceiba and Julie’s heart, will be reunited here in this place. Meanwhile as long as I am in this place,  I will not let her be alone.  I will always light a candle for her, I will always bring her flowers, I  will always be protecting her spirit.  – Don Alvaro – Mayan Shaman

One of the most interesting elements in the ceremony is the mixing of cultures and religions.  The Ancient Mayans were conquered by the Spanish and eventually they were converted to Catholicism. Many of their ancient ceremonial practices and all things related to their code of life were destroyed and forgotten.   Don Alvaro still honors his forefathers and their cultures in the ceremony. At the same time, he is worshiping God and holding a statue of the Virgin of Guadalupe.

Nearly 1 year after the session, we spoke with Kutrina.  She told us that now every time her children see a butterfly they think of their grandmother Julie’s spirit.  The most beautiful element of the natural world is that we are allowed to use our imagination. That is what Kutrina’s children have done.

Special Thanks

We would like to give a very special thank you to Sergio Sanchez from “Rancho Dos Amores”. For his hospitality to allow us to do this ceremony and for providing a resting place for Julie.  Also, thank you to Don Alvaro for your beautiful words and kind heart.

Queramos anadir Agradecimiento Especial a Sergio Sanchez de Rancho Dos Amores. Por la hospitalidad por permitirnos hacer esta ceremonia y por el nuevo hogar para Julie. Gracias a Don Alvaro por sus bellas palabras.

Tribute experience concept and photography: Sol Tamargo