21 Mar The Maya, a lively culture
When you visit those magnificent Mayan cities in the Yucatan Peninsula it’s easy to conclude that the Maya are dead as a culture. Chichén Itzá, Tulum, Cobá… they are awesome, and you really enjoyed them, but, they are in ruins. Where are the Maya? Did they disappear as many people say on Internet? Were they taken by an UFO? Maybe all of them were killed by the Spaniards in the XVI century… It’s sad they had gone, you may say. They were such a big culture… Well, at least the left these beautiful buildings just to let us know how knowledgeable they were.
But wait… The Maya didn’t left. They didn’t disappear: they are alive! If you’re staying in Cancún or the Riviera Maya, maybe you have seen them walking on the street, working at the hotel, having fun at the beach. Of course they do not wear their ancient dresses made with cotton and colorful plumes. But if you talk to them, they will tell you: Yes, I’m a Maya, I speak the Maya language, and I come from a small village where we all keep our traditions…
When the Spaniards arrived to America, a big part of the pre-Hispanic world ended. Nothing was going to be the same after that. The survivors tried to keep alive their beliefs, their knowledge and worldview. To preserve their culture, they merged it with the Spanish. And they did it great, because they made their culture survive for over 500 years!
Nowadays they are still adapting themselves to keep their identity safe. New technologies, tourism make them vulnerable. But they are proud of their past and their present. They are friendly people accustomed to living surrounded by nature. They have small farms where they get what they need. Sometimes they work also as handcrafters. Children go to school and learn Spanish and play with their classmates. When they are sick, they prefer to go with the shaman. Women know how to heal some diseases with local plants. They still perform some pre-Hispanic rooted rituals to ask for rain, although the god’s names had change.
You can visit a Maya Community and know how they live nowadays. You can try their delicious food and talk with them. You’ll feel welcomed and the will be happy to share their culture with the world.
If you feel like staying at you hotel is not enough. If you feel curious about different cultures, then your visit to the Mexican Caribbean is your best chance to have this magical encounter with the Maya. They are the successors of the ones that many centuries ago deciphered the cycles of the stars and the earth. A private tour to the Mayan Communities is ready for you!