300 Mayan oarsmen make crossing to Cozumel
COZUMEL, Q.Roo – This year marks the tenth anniversary of the Sacred Mayan Journey, an annual event that sees over 300 oarsmen cross the water from Xcaret to Cozumel. The event is in progress Friday and Saturday May 20-21.
The sacred event dates back to the Late Post Classic Period (900-1550 AD), when in the Mayan community, it was common practice of villagers to make an annual canoe trek from what is today called Xcaret, to the island of Cozumel to visit the Oracle of the Goddess Ixchel.
The annual event attracts thousands of onlookers as more than 300 oarsman take to their canoes to participate in the journey.
Vice president of Grupo Xcaret, Carlos Condstance, said, “On May 20 the canoes checkout at 5:30 in the morning to cross the Xcaret to Cozumel course. The canoeists are people in the community who train for six months to participate in the trip.”
Canoeists departed Dos Playas at Xcaret at 5:30 a.m. on Friday, May 20 and set out for Chankanaab Park at Cozumel, hoping to reach the island by 1:00 p.m. They make the return journey on Saturday.
After centuries of being ignored, Xcaret park began recreating the traditional crossing in 2007. Since then, more than 2,596 Mayan canoeists have made the challenging crossing.