18/05/2010The Sacred Journey 2010

An Interactive Trip To The Past
The fourth edition of The Sacred Mayan Journey will be held from May 20th to 22nd, 2010. This year, the canoes will be mainly rowed by ten oarsmen, who will be launched from Polé, today’s Xcaret, on the challenging crossing of the Cozumel Channel.

Their final destination: the Island of Cuzamil, modern-day Cozumel. The following day they will cross the Channel again to ancient Xamanhá, nowadays Playa del Carmen.

The Sacred Mayan Journey is a recreation of the ritual pilgrimage undertaken by the ancient people of the Yucatan Peninsula to Polé in order to cross the sea to Cuzamil to worship the goddess Ixchel and consult the island’s oracle, the only one in the region.

Once the crossing is under way, the 30 canoes bound for Cozumel will travel approximately 17 miles (that’s just outbound), which is about 6 or 7 hours of continuous rowing over open sea that reaches 1,380 feet in depth and is cut by south to north currents running at 2 to 4 knots per hour. That’s why all the oarsmen began training in rowing, swimming, flotation and endurance training in January of this year.

This year, the program has been prepared with some interactive activities in which guests will be allowed to participate in order to introduce them to some uses and customs of the ancient Maya.

May 20, 2010.
Xcaret Park

5:45 to 6:30 PM
Guests welcomed

6:00 to 7:30 PM
Visit the Mayan pre-Hispanic Interactive Market
“Mayan’s and Trade: the Kii’wik, a trip to the past”

A recreation of a Kii’wik of the Late Post Classic Period, with its blend of colors, aromas, flavors and the variety of our ancient Mexico, is the prelude to this year’s Sacred Journey. This was a major port of call on the Mayan maritime trade routes and the point of departure for Cozumel, sanctuary of the goddess Ixchel.

Like in the times of the ancient Maya, a place to interact with merchandise, the elements and famous people of the time; this is a recreation of merchants trading cotton blankets, jade, seashells, corn, feathers, animals, salt, copal, fruit, honey and cacao seeds along with other products.

Oratories, Avenida Palmeras.

Upon leaving the Kii’wik, each participant will walk barefoot along the oratory path to be purified with copal incense before arriving at Polé, ancient Xcaret, where he or she will be welcomed by the townspeople.
8:00 to 8:20 PM
Inaugural Ceremony of the Sacred Mayan Journey.

8:20 to 9:15 PM
Part 1. The Sacred Mayan Journey: “The Seven Communities arrive at Polé”.

Part 1. The entire village prepares for the arrival of the seven communities in their canoes. Dozens of canoes have come to Polé from Acalán, Conil, Ochtankah, Zamá, Xcambó, Xamanhá and Ichpatun to pay homage to the goddess Ixchel at her sanctuary on the island of swallows with offerings and petitions, preceded by ancient rituals, purification and dances in honor of Ixchel.

9:15 to 10:00 PM Event ends and guests leave.

May 21, 2010
Xcaret Park

5:30 AM
Part 2. The Sacred Mayan Journey: “Departure of the Seven Communities from Polé toward Cuzamil.”

With the first rays of sunlight, Chamans—the Bataoobs—from Polé-Xcaret and from Xamanhá-Playa del Carmen bid farewell to the oarsmen as they departure for Cuzamil-Cozumel to worship the goddess Ixchel.

6:00 AM
The oarsmen—the messengers to Cuzamil—start the crossing to venerate the goddess Ixchel.

May 21, 2010

Caletita – Island Lighthouse.
11:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Part 3. The Sacred Mayan Journey: “Playa de Cuzamil, the oarsmen of the Seven Communities arrive.”

Canoes arrive at Cuzamil-Cozumel; islanders receive the weary travelers, comforting them with cool drinks and food.

Caletita – Island Lighthouse.
8:00 PM
Part 4. The Sacred Mayan Crossing: “Ixchel speaks to the Seven Communities; Chankanab or Caletitas at night.”

Oarsmen present offerings and petitions to Ixchel. Message to the Seven Communities from Ixchel’s Oracle; worship and dances at the Oracle offered by inhabitants of the village of Cuzamil.

May 22, 2010
Caletita – Island Lighthouse.

5:30 AM
Part 5. The Sacred Mayan Journey: “Dawn, Caletitas: farewell to the messengers from the Seven Communities.”

Farewell ceremony and departure of oarsmen from Cuzamil-Cozumel for Xamanhá-Playa del Carmen. Ceremony led by the Chilam of Cozumel with his entourage and islanders.

Playa del Carmen
Beach Ferry Dock / Playa Fundadores

12:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Part 6. The Sacred Mayan Journey: “Arrival of the Seven Communities and delivery of the message to the people of Xamanhá.”

Arrival of the canoes from the Seven Communities at Xamanhá. Welcome by “Bataoobs” from Polé-Xcaret and Xamanhá-Playa del Carmen. Dances of joy to welcome the newly arrived oarsmen and thanks offered to the goddess Ixchel.
Oarsmen deliver the message from Ixchel to the People of Xamanhá.

2:00 to 2:20 PM
Closing ceremony of the Sacred Mayan Journey.

The Sacred Mayan Journey is possible in modern times thanks to the participation of hundreds of community volunteers who work as oarsmen, the cast of players and support crew. This is a great effort shared between Xcaret and the Cozumel and Solidaridad County Governments.

The Sacred Mayan Journey brings us back to the Mayan civilization of the 11th to 16th centuries, with its great historical treasures and cultural legacy. This is a living example of the Maya relationship with the divine. It re-enacts the courage and audacity of the ancient seamen, whose trade routes contributed to the Mayan civilization’s glorious final days in the Yucatan Peninsula.

For more information, contact:
Iliana Rodríguez
PR & Communication Deputy Manager
Tel.: (998) 849-5959
Cellphone: (998) 845-5644 (local cellphone system access code: 044)