Xcaret Park in the Riviera Maya is a favourite way to spend the day for visitors to the region and for good reason. Natural beauty, cultural exhibits and their dedication to conservation and preservation of the environment and the history of the region. Del Sol Photography is always excited to attend the special events presented by Xcaret and one of the most beautiful and historically significant is the “Travesia Sagrada Maya” or “Sacred Mayan Journey“.
For thousands of years the Maya made an annual pilgrimage from the mainland of the Yucatan Peninsula to the island of Cozumel to honor the goddess Ixchel. The ritual began with a marketplace at the site of the modern day Xcaret Park, previously called “Ppolé”. Goods were traded and items collected to present as offerings to the goddess Ixchel. After the market, “canoeros” began the arduous journey across the sea in carved canoes, rowing to reach the shores of Cozumel and the temple of the goddess of fertility, water, health and vegetation. The offerings were made to receive her blessings for the community for the year ahead.
The annual recreation of this event is a visual treat, a colorful and moving exhibition of dedication and hard work. The modern “canoeros” train for the entire year in order to be physically, emotionally and spiritually prepared for the sacred journey. They wear traditional clothing, some in costume and makeup, the canoes are designed in the ancient style and Xcaret Park becomes the marketplace of 1000 years ago. The copal smoke floats on the ocean breeze, the multi-colored macaws fly and squawk overhead and the crowds of supporters urge on the mighty “canoeros”.
The 2013 Sacred Mayan Journey will take place from May 23-25, with public events to celebrate the ritual. The Maya market launches the event on May 23 at 7:00 pm at Xcaret Park. The journey to Cozumel begins on May 24th with a blessing at Xel Ha Park at 5:30 am. The canoes arrive to Chankanaab Park May 24 around 1:00 p.m. for a grand welcome. That same evening at 8:00 pm, offerings will be presented at the sanctuary of Ixchel, blessings will be made and all will celebrate with dances and song. On May 25th the canoes depart at 9:00 am for the return trip to the mainland, arriving at Xcaret around 1:00 p.m. for more celebrations.
Del Sol Photography wishes all the participants strength, health and a safe crossing. You have our admiration!
Please enjoy the photos of the 2012 Travesia Sagrada Maya/Sacred Mayan Journey that were taken by Del Sol Photographers. It was an honor and a pleasure to attend this important event. Principal photographes Matt Adcock and Sol Tamargo and Juan Euan.