Last updated on April 26, 2015
Oarsman will set out from the shores of Playa del Carmen on May 22 to celebrate the 9th annual Sacred Mayan Journey.
The round-trip sea-trek is a ritual that dates back to 1250 AD. The journey will take you back in time to ancient Mexico during the height of the Maya civilization when people battled their way through thick rainforest on white paths that led from one city to another.
The journey takes 30 helmsmen from Pole (Xcaret) to Kuzamil (Cozumel) to receive the sacred message of goddess Ixchel. Ixchel is the Maya goddess of the moon, tides and fertility. Those who cross the sea do so to bring offerings to Ixchel and in return, receive a divine message.
“In lak ‘ekh, Hala ken”
I am another you, you are another me
This ancient reenactment of the Travesia Sagrada Maya (Sacred Mayan Journey) involves more than 300 people from Canada, Italy, Brazil, Argentina, Spain and Mexico who take to the sea after six months of physical and mental preparation. The entire event lasts two days and includes rituals, dance, music and traditional Maya canoes.
The evening of May 21 is when the most colorful part of the journey begins as residents from local Mayan communities set up an authentic marketplace at Xcaret. Those taking part in the ancient tradition wear authentic clothing, offer arts and crafts, handmade textiles and musical instruments. The marketplace is also filled with cultural food and drinks. If you want to make a purchase at the marketplace, you will first need to exchange your cash for coco seeds since that was the currency.
When nightfall arrives, everyone gathers around the cove of Xcaret to welcome the pilgrims from other Mayan villages who will set off for their journey at dawn.
Spectators for the event can watch the canoes depart from the shores of Xcaret or they can follow the Scared Mayan Journey canoers by taking the ferry to Cozumel.
This year, the Scared Mayan Journey takes place May 21 to 23, 2015 and is an excellent event for those spending time in Playa del Carmen. For more information, visit Isla Cozumel.