THE IMPORTANCE OF CENOTES IN THE MAYAN CIVILIZATION, ON TOURISM AND CLIMATE CHANGE.
The Mayan civilization never vanished. While many cities were abandoned around over a thousand years ago, others grew.
The Mayans built on such a huge scale that even today their temples, houses, and palaces still dominate the landscape in Guatemala, Honduras, Belize and Mexico. Their culture is alive! Still today we listen to the indigenous people of the Mayan countries talking in Maya. Still today they eat the same food as centuries ago.
There are two great Mayan eras: the pre-classic peRíod (1800 b.c. to a.d. 250) and the classic peRíod (ad 250-900), called “the golden era.”
The Mexican Caribbean, and the Yucatan peninsula as a whole, has always been the perfect place to vacation and meet with our family members who live outside of the United States. Our encounters are not only to be together, but to learn about the Mayan culture as well. We have been lucky enough to be invited on a press trip to Belize as well, where we visited some Mayan edification and floated in a cenote too.
“The Mayan Civilization is the longest lived and most widely spread out of all the cultures of America,” wrote timothy Laughton in his book “the Maya, life, myth, and art.”
“Cenotes are sinkholes in the earth that connect with a vast underground river system that runs from the north of the Yucatan peninsula to the south, emptying into the Caribbean,” explained our photographer bill Milligan, who has been completely seduced by the Mayan culture since his youth.
Cenote ( /sɨˈnoʊtiː/ or /sɛˈnoʊteɪ/) means “water well.” They are the result of the collapse of limestone bedrock that exposes ground water underneath (Wikipedia).
“For more on cenotes go to Cenotes in Tulum The Sacred Waters of The Riviera Maya“. Editor’s Note (Tulum Real Estate).
The Mayan have something different than other Indian cultures: the Xibalba. The place of fright is represented by the underworld. This unknown world lies in the cenotes.
Before entering a cenote, a shaman has to perform a special blessing on you while burning copal incense and asking the Mayan gods to protect you on your journey into the cenote.
How to access to a cenote?
You can access them by car, walking, swimming, floating, kayaking, via a zip line, or just descending into a hole.
My best experience in a cenote:
The best experience for me has been in Río Secreto, when I turned off the light and stayed silent in the middle of a huge cenote…then I heard the sound of the drops falling, and the murmur of the cenote itself.
How else can you experience a cenote?
If you’re open to new experiences and you’re contemplating marriage, there are certain sacred areas where a shaman and his entourage will perform a Mayan ceremony.
But what does this has to do with climate change? …
Originally published as “THE IMPORTANCE OF CENOTES IN THE MAYAN CIVILIZATION, ON TOURISM AND CLIMATE CHANGE”
To read the full article of this excerpt go to Sol Caribe.