For the 7th consecutive year, 334 oarsmen will recreate one of the most ancient Mayan traditions, the pilgrimage into the crystal-clear waters of the Mexican Caribbean on canoes to honor goddess Ixchel as they journey to the island of Cozumel. Xcaret recently announced this year there will be a new challenging route starting at XelHa Park, crossing to Cozumel’s Chankaanab Parks, and ending with the traditional ceremony at Xcaret.
The Sacred Mayan Journey will take place on May 23rd, 24th and 25th. You and your family can enjoy this incredible event as it will be very close to Cancun. The main theme of this year’s celebration is sharing the maritime knowledge and values from the Mayan tradition to the new generations that form part of the New Era worldview according to the pre-Hispanic cosmovision.
The change on the traditional route starting at Xel-Ha will increase the journey to 79 kilometers, when before the journey back and forth together was 60 kilometers of navigation. The concept alluding to the new generations taking the responsibility of continuing their tradition is present in the contingent of canoeists. The oarsmen will row an average of 48 kilometers on the route XelHa-Chankanaab in Cozumel and 31 kilometers in the journey back Chankanaab-Xcaret.
The oarsmen complete a strict training program 6 months prior to the Sacred Mayan Journey. Headquarters in Cancun, XelHa, Xcaret and Cozumel divides the canoes. To complete the program, there will be more than 600 artists participating and supporting staff to aid in the ritual ceremonies as well as the dances, musical interpretations, and volunteers.
Activities will begin in Xcaret (formerly Pole) on May 23 with the representaiton of a pre-Hispanic market, the arrival of the canoes and its preparation for the trip. On May 24, with the first rays of the sun, the oarsmen will make their journey from XelHa for several hours to make landfall in Chankanaab, Cozumel (formerly Cuzamil) and start the ceremony honoring the goddess Ixchel. Finally, the oarsmen will row back on the 25th and arrive to Xcaret to conclude the ritual.
Now in its seventh year, this pre-Hispanic tradition, the Sacred Mayan Journey at Xcaret has become a praised event by the community who looks forward with great anticipation as its ritual elements, historical scope, human and existential identity are a factor in contemporary life.