Yucatan, Mexico

The End of the End of the World


Shaman Adolph
Xaman Adolfo carries out a purification ceremony in the Mayan village of Pac-Chen.
Mayan Death II
Chichen Itza skull reliefs provide a basis for performing Mayan sacrifices.
Mayan death
Detail of one of the skulls of the Mayan temple of Chichen Itza, temple the subject of countless predictions and professions.
vision of heaven
Man contemplates the complex around the top of the Kukulcan pyramid
old new age
A billboard makes humor with the Mayan Profession of the End of the World.
On Rails
Guide drives visitors to the Chunkanan hacienda in a carriage on rails.
protected pond
Lagoon full of crocodiles in the village of Pac-Chen, in the state of Quintana Roo.
Mayan representation
Colorful replicas of Mayan artefacts decorate Xcaret Park, on the Maia Riviera.
End of the World at the Bottom
Bathers refresh themselves in the cold waters of one of the cenotes of the old hacienda Chunkanan.
Calakmul
Sun sets over the jungle that covers the Yucatan Peninsula and illuminates one of Calakmul's pyramids.
Another door to the infra-world
Entry to a Cenote near Tulum, Mexican state of Quintana Roo.
Staircase to the Infra-World
One of countless entrances to the underworld that dot the tropical Yucatan peninsula.
Mayan Witchcraft Reenactment
An extra of a Mayan priest animates the themed show at Xcaret Park, in the province of Quintana Roo.
Quetzacoatl to double
Heads of the god Quetzacoatl in Chichen Itza.
Profession?
Vultures absorb solar heat on top of one of Edzná's pyramids
Shaman Adolph
Xaman Adolfo carries out a purification ceremony in the Mayan village of Pac-Chen.
The announced day passed but the End of the World insisted on not arriving. In Central America, today's Mayans watched and put up with incredulity all the hysteria surrounding their calendar.

The middle of December was approaching.

As was to be expected, the number of curious people, scholars and journalists arriving in Mexican lands in the Yucatan increased.

The van that was supposed to transport us in the state of Quintana Roo arrives late. We are convinced that, even so, it is exclusive to us, but when we open the door we find inside a figure as unusual as it is recognizable.

Paul Monzón, a Peruvian colleague living in Madrid who we had recently met in Caracas, wasted no time.

The game with the unavoidable theme had to be repeated over and over again: “Don't tell me you're also coming to avoid the end of the world. I am the chosen one. I'm trying to see if I can find a special stone, the only one that can avoid disgrace”.

Rio Secreto: one of the Countless Entrances to the InfraMundo Maya.

We enjoy his goofy introduction and catch up on the conversation as we're led to the Rio Secreto, one of so many unofficial yet fascinating entrances from the region to Xibalba, the Mayan underworld.

Bathers-Cenote de Cuzamá, Mérida, Mexico

Bathers refresh themselves in the cold waters of one of the cenotes of the old Chunkanan hacienda, one of the entrances to the Xibalba

According to several scientific articles and the prevailing theory resulting from the discovery, in 1978, of Glen Penfield, this region was once the core of a kind of previous end, unlike the caricatured by Paul, real and unpredictable.

While looking for black gold for the company PEMEX – Petróleos Mexicanos, the geophysicist found a 300km diameter crater supposedly formed by a meteorite collision about 65 million years ago.

It would later be given the name of a village in its geometric center, Chicxulub.

The Meteorite That Will Have Driven the Dinosaurs to Extinction

The impact caused one of the biggest tsunamis ever, several thousand meters high. A cloud of superheated dust, ash and steam has spread from the crater since the moment the meteorite sank.

Materials from the planet's surface and asteroid debris were projected out of the atmosphere and heated to incandescence as they re-entered burning the surface already in the process of combustion due to possibly global fires.

Meanwhile, massive shock waves have triggered widespread earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

The emission of dust and other particles blocked the passage of sunlight. They caused a strong cooling and made the survival of dinosaurs and most beings unfeasible.

Vultures, Coba, Quintana Roo, Mexico

Vultures absorb solar heat on top of one of Edzná's pyramids

This end dragged on for many millennia of prehistory but, as it had already happened, the resilient Earth and her miraculous life prevailed.

The Cenotes, the Xibalba and As Remotes Mayan Origins

Today, even in the limestone depths carved by the collapse of the crater walls – the countless cenotes and peninsula caves – improbable creatures are found: blind and leaping crickets with enormous sensory antennas to indigenous guides with nasal speech caused by sinusitis and determined outsiders who are not well prepared for those amphibious environments.

This is the case with Paul, who reveals a deep panic of any less shallow water, refuses all attempts to help him cross turquoise-flooded galleries, and forces his hosts to lead him along an alternate dry route: “This way, Paul! There's another pond out there, don't get involved in that!”

Born in Peru, even if he doesn't know it, Paul may have Inca, Quechua or any other ethnicity in the area.

These days, we must believe that their eventual distant ancestors benefited from the cold of the last ice age. That without any kind of swimming, they managed to cross the Bering Strait from Asia to the Americas, where they distributed themselves as the Earth warmed.

There, they acquired unique characteristics resulting from the mutation of the original genetics under the influence of the ecosystems they encountered, from the Alaskan tundra to the tropical jungle to which the neighboring people called Maya would adapt in much of Central America.

Pac Chen Lagoon, Quintana Roo, Mexico

Lagoon full of crocodiles in the village of Pac-Chen, in the state of Quintana Roo.

Pac-Chen: the Sloping Pond the Mayans Reveal to the World

Later we visited together Pac-Chen (Sloping Pond) where a community of that ethnicity organized to provide foreigners with radical experiences.

There, we zipline over a pond in which crocodiles swim. Afterwards, we are blessed by the resident shaman Adolfo who, before allowing us to take a look at the village's large cenote, purifies us with sacred fumes and prayers in the native language.

Xaman, Pac-chen Quintana Roo, Mexico

Xaman Adolfo carries out a purification ceremony in the Mayan village of Pac-Chen.

The Peruvian colleague then returns to the attack. Ask for a few minutes for a short interview. Your questions are simple and straightforward. They get different reactions.

As we feared, the last one addresses the credibility of the popular end of this era and the respective end of the world.

Adolfo is annoyed. Take a deep breath and evade the topic. “My only belief is that you must worship the mighty God who is in heaven.

That's my only belief.” We confirm that the disgust with the question comes from afar and is shared by most of its counterparts.

The Mystical and Worshiping Civilization of the Land of the Mayans

It is known that, for some time, the Mayan people enjoyed favorable conditions and, divided by tribal groups, sometimes allies in other adversaries.

The Mayans spoke nearly 50 dialects, developed an advanced civilization whose gods were the natural elements, atmospheric phenomena and celestial bodies, with both Good (day, life, sun) and Evil (night, death, jaguar) being considered divine.

Accordingly, the Mayans were diehard astronomers, astrologers, and numerologists.

Quetzacoatl, Chichen Itza, Mexico

Heads of the god Quetzacoatl in Chichen Itza.

“Well, it looks like they've seen almost all of the archaeological complexes,” says Wilberth Salas Pech, our semi-Mayan guide from state of Campeche, just kidding. “We have to go through Tortuguero. That's where the big secret is, he quips."

The Mayan Stelas and the Mayan Apocalyptic Prophesies

According to what we learned, that historic site was pillaged several times and housed a cement factory.

Despite this, or perhaps because of it, three scientists discovered in Monument 6 a stele that refers to the end of the 13th Baktun (5125 years of our calendar) verified on the winter solstice that would take place on December 21, 2012.

The most recent and possible translation by Sven Gronemeyer and Barbara MacLeod says (several pieces are missing from the stele) which, in addition to this information, also communicates that “a vision will occur; the public appearance (or exhibition?) of B'Olon-Yookte at the time of his investiture.

Mayan Art, Xcaret, Mexico

Colorful replicas of Mayan artefacts decorate Xcaret Park, on the Maia Riviera.

According to Mayan mythology, B'OlonYookte K'Uh' would refer to the Nine Lords of Night, nine gods each of which ruler over nine-night cycles.

In turn, the Mayan work of the Quiche group, Popol Vuh claims that the gods created three failed worlds. That the fourth world prospered, succeeded, and became the home of man today.

According to your description, each of the previous worlds ended at the end of the 13th baktun.

This closing of the cycle was at the origin of one of the most frivolous fevers of eschatological premonitions in recent times.

The Inevitable Analysis, Theories and Counter Theories

The esoteric writer John Major Jenkins assured that, on that date, the Sun would position itself over Xibalba Be, “the black path” galactic of the Mayans.

From this and other conclusions, mythological narratives and interpretations, countless figures, sects and entities emerged with other apocalyptic theories invariably disproved by science.

Skull relief, Chichen Itza, Mexico

Detail of skull of Chichen Itza, temple the subject of numerous predictions and professions, including the End of the World.

The American channels History, Discovery and National Geographic were at the forefront of media pollution and broadcast a series of series that described terrestrial “ends” caused by solar storms for which the Earth would not be prepared due to a sudden geomagnetic pole reversal.

Also earthquakes, super volcanoes, plagues, collisions with asteroids, droughts, new glacial periods, extraterrestrial invasions or whatever was scary enough.

However, another stele found in the Temple of Inscriptions of Palenque contemplates that the temple wheel will always continue to rotate and even mentions the date of 4,722 AD, when 20 will be completed. baktuns (1 piktun) since the last creation of Cosmos.

Helper Maia, Xcaret, Mexico

An extra of a Mayan priest animates the themed show at Xcaret Park, in the province of Quintana Roo.

In turn, the 10th stele of Tikal (in Guatemala) counts 20 picktunes and thus projects a planetary future of millions of years.

But all over the world and, of course, especially in the United States, thousands of Preps remained alert. They clustered around Mayan or non-Mayan End of the World beliefs.

They built shelters, accumulated canned food and weapons to defend themselves from the attacks of other human beings. Many have signed up for survival courses such as those from the Sigma 3 company.

We took a look at one of these programs in a restaurant in Campeche.

We are indignant when we see how references to the invented end of the Mayan calendar are freely interspersed with images of Yankee citizens grouped in the countryside under shelters made of dry leaves and semi-automatic rifles at the ready because, in the words of one of these preps:

“When desperate, people do all sorts of crazy things” and, according to another inscription, “Civilizations fall. That's history. Things aren't as safe as we'd like them to be.”

It was recently revealed that Nancy Lanza, the mother of the young assassin from Newtown High School was one of these paranoid characters, the owner of five registered guns.

His distraught son carried out a sacrifice worthy of the worst slaughters perpetrated in the name of the gods, on the towers of Chichen Itza or Ek Balam. He was visibly desperate.

Mayan Pyramid, Chichen Itza, Mexico

Man contemplates the complex around the top of the Kukulcan pyramid

Fed up with so much distortion and exploitation of their culture, Guatemala's Mayan leaders took the trouble to express that "they are against deception, lies, distortions, folklore and the commercialization of their culture."

Against interpretations that “distort the true meaning of the cycles of time”.

Yucatan, Mexico

The Sidereal Murphy's Law That Doomed the Dinosaurs

Scientists studying the crater caused by a meteorite impact 66 million years ago have come to a sweeping conclusion: it happened exactly over a section of the 13% of the Earth's surface susceptible to such devastation. It is a threshold zone on the Mexican Yucatan peninsula that a whim of the evolution of species allowed us to visit.
Cobá to Pac Chen, Mexico

From the Ruins to the Mayan Homes

On the Yucatan Peninsula, the history of the second largest indigenous Mexican people is intertwined with their daily lives and merges with modernity. In Cobá, we went from the top of one of its ancient pyramids to the heart of a village of our times.
Tulum, Mexico

The Most Caribbean of the Mayan Ruins

Built by the sea as an exceptional outpost decisive for the prosperity of the Mayan nation, Tulum was one of its last cities to succumb to Hispanic occupation. At the end of the XNUMXth century, its inhabitants abandoned it to time and to an impeccable coastline of the Yucatan peninsula.
Izamal, Mexico

The Holy, Yellow and Beautiful Mexican City

Until the arrival of the Spanish conquerors, Izamal was a center of worship for the supreme Mayan god Itzamná and Kinich Kakmó, the one of the sun. Gradually, the invaders razed the various pyramids of the natives. In its place, they built a large Franciscan convent and a prolific colonial houses, with the same solar tone in which the now Catholic city shines.
Mérida, Mexico

The Most Exuberant of Meridas

In 25 BC, the Romans founded Emerita Augusta, capital of Lusitania. The Spanish expansion generated three other Méridas in the world. Of the four, the Yucatan capital is the most colorful and lively, resplendent with Hispanic colonial heritage and multi-ethnic life.
Campeche, Mexico

Campeche Upon Can Pech

As was the case throughout Mexico, the conquerors arrived, saw and won. Can Pech, the Mayan village, had almost 40 inhabitants, palaces, pyramids and an exuberant urban architecture, but in 1540 there were less than 6 natives. Over the ruins, the Spaniards built Campeche, one of the most imposing colonial cities in the Americas.
San Cristobal de Las Casas, Mexico

The Home Sweet Home of Mexican Social Conscience

Mayan, mestizo and Hispanic, Zapatista and tourist, country and cosmopolitan, San Cristobal has no hands to measure. In it, Mexican and expatriate backpacker visitors and political activists share a common ideological demand.

Mexico City, Mexico

mexican soul

With more than 20 million inhabitants in a vast metropolitan area, this megalopolis marks, from its heart of zócalo, the spiritual pulse of a nation that has always been vulnerable and dramatic.

Machu Picchu, Peru

The City Lost in the Mystery of the Incas

As we wander around Machu Picchu, we find meaning in the most accepted explanations for its foundation and abandonment. But whenever the complex is closed, the ruins are left to their enigmas.
PN Tayrona, Colombia

Who Protects the Guardians of the World?

The natives of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta believe that their mission is to save the Cosmos from the “Younger Brothers”, which are us. But the real question seems to be, "Who protects them?"
Lion, Elephants, PN Hwange, Zimbabwe
Safari
PN Hwange, Zimbabwe

The Legacy of the Late Cecil Lion

On July 1, 2015, Walter Palmer, a dentist and trophy hunter from Minnesota killed Cecil, Zimbabwe's most famous lion. The slaughter generated a viral wave of outrage. As we saw in PN Hwange, nearly two years later, Cecil's descendants thrive.
Herd in Manang, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 8th Manang, Nepal,

Manang: the Last Acclimatization in Civilization

Six days after leaving Besisahar we finally arrived in Manang (3519m). Located at the foot of the Annapurna III and Gangapurna Mountains, Manang is the civilization that pampers and prepares hikers for the ever-dreaded crossing of Thorong La Gorge (5416 m).
Mother Armenia Statue, Yerevan, Armenia
Architecture & Design
Yerevan, Armenia

A Capital between East and West

Heiress of the Soviet civilization, aligned with the great Russia, Armenia allows itself to be seduced by the most democratic and sophisticated ways of Western Europe. In recent times, the two worlds have collided in the streets of your capital. From popular and political dispute, Yerevan will dictate the new course of the nation.
Bungee jumping, Queenstown, New Zealand
Adventure
Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown, the Queen of Extreme Sports

In the century. XVIII, the Kiwi government proclaimed a mining village on the South Island "fit for a queen".Today's extreme scenery and activities reinforce the majestic status of ever-challenging Queenstown.
self-flagellation, passion of christ, philippines
Ceremonies and Festivities
Marinduque, Philippines

The Philippine Passion of Christ

No nation around is Catholic but many Filipinos are not intimidated. In Holy Week, they surrender to the belief inherited from the Spanish colonists. Self-flagellation becomes a bloody test of faith
Kolmanskop, Namib Desert, Namibia
Cities
Kolmanskop, Namíbia

Generated by the Diamonds of Namibe, Abandoned to its Sands

It was the discovery of a bountiful diamond field in 1908 that gave rise to the foundation and surreal opulence of Kolmanskop. Less than 50 years later, gemstones have run out. The inhabitants left the village to the desert.
Cocoa, Chocolate, Sao Tome Principe, Agua Izé farm
Meal
São Tomé and Principe

Cocoa Roças, Corallo and the Chocolate Factory

At the beginning of the century. In the XNUMXth century, São Tomé and Príncipe generated more cocoa than any other territory. Thanks to the dedication of some entrepreneurs, production survives and the two islands taste like the best chocolate.
Tiredness in shades of green
Culture
Suzdal, Russia

The Suzdal Cucumber Celebrations

With summer and warm weather, the Russian city of Suzdal relaxes from its ancient religious orthodoxy. The old town is also famous for having the best cucumbers in the nation. When July arrives, it turns the newly harvested into a real festival.
4th of July Fireworks-Seward, Alaska, United States
Sport
Seward, Alaska

The Longest 4th of July

The independence of the United States is celebrated, in Seward, Alaska, in a modest way. Even so, the 4th of July and its celebration seem to have no end.
Train Fianarantsoa to Manakara, Malagasy TGV, locomotive
Traveling
Fianarantsoa-Manakara, Madagascar

On board the Malagasy TGV

We depart Fianarantsoa at 7a.m. It wasn't until 3am the following morning that we completed the 170km to Manakara. The natives call this almost secular train Train Great Vibrations. During the long journey, we felt, very strongly, those of the heart of Madagascar.
Fort São Filipe, Cidade Velha, Santiago Island, Cape Verde
Ethnic
Cidade Velha, Cape Verde

Cidade Velha: the Ancient of the Tropico-Colonial Cities

It was the first settlement founded by Europeans below the Tropic of Cancer. In crucial times for Portuguese expansion to Africa and South America and for the slave trade that accompanied it, Cidade Velha became a poignant but unavoidable legacy of Cape Verdean origins.

Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

life outside

China's occupation of Tibet, Roof of the World, The occupying forces
History
Lhasa, Tibet

The Sino-Demolition of the Roof of the World

Any debate about sovereignty is incidental and a waste of time. Anyone who wants to be dazzled by the purity, affability and exoticism of Tibetan culture should visit the territory as soon as possible. The Han civilizational greed that moves China will soon bury millenary Tibet.
Fuerteventura Canary Island Weather, PN Corralejo, Playa del Pozo
Islands
Fuerteventura, Canary Islands

Fuerteventura: Canary Island and Time Raft

A short ferry crossing and we disembark in Corralejo, at the top northeast of Fuerteventura. With Morocco and Africa a mere 100km away, we get lost in the wonders of unique desert, volcanic and post-colonial sceneries.
Geothermal, Iceland Heat, Ice Land, Geothermal, Blue Lagoon
Winter White
Iceland

The Geothermal Coziness of the Ice Island

Most visitors value Iceland's volcanic scenery for its beauty. Icelanders also draw from them heat and energy crucial to the life they lead to the Arctic gates.
Cove, Big Sur, California, United States
Literature
Big Sur, USA

The Coast of All Refuges

Over 150km, the Californian coast is subjected to a vastness of mountains, ocean and fog. In this epic setting, hundreds of tormented souls follow in the footsteps of Jack Kerouac and Henri Miller.
Canoe fishermen, Volta River, Ghana
Nature
Volta, Ghana

A Tour around Volta

In colonial times, the great African region of the Volta was German, British and French. Today, the area east of this majestic West African river and the lake on which it spreads forms a province of the same name. It is a mountainous, lush and breathtaking corner of Ghana.
Sheki, Autumn in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Autumn Homes
Autumn
Sheki, Azerbaijan

autumn in the caucasus

Lost among the snowy mountains that separate Europe from Asia, Sheki is one of Azerbaijan's most iconic towns. Its largely silky history includes periods of great harshness. When we visited it, autumn pastels added color to a peculiar post-Soviet and Muslim life.
Salto Angel, Rio that falls from the sky, Angel Falls, PN Canaima, Venezuela
Natural Parks
PN Canaima, Venezuela

Kerepakupai, Salto Angel: The River that Falls from Heaven

In 1937, Jimmy Angel landed a light aircraft on a plateau lost in the Venezuelan jungle. The American adventurer did not find gold but he conquered the baptism of the longest waterfall on the face of the Earth
Composition on Nine Arches Bridge, Ella, Sri Lanka
UNESCO World Heritage
Yala NPElla-Kandy, Sri Lanka

Journey Through Sri Lanka's Tea Core

We leave the seafront of PN Yala towards Ella. On the way to Nanu Oya, we wind on rails through the jungle, among plantations in the famous Ceylon. Three hours later, again by car, we enter Kandy, the Buddhist capital that the Portuguese never managed to dominate.
Earp brothers look-alikes and friend Doc Holliday in Tombstone, USA
Characters
tombstone, USA

Tombstone: the City Too Hard to Die

Silver veins discovered at the end of the XNUMXth century made Tombstone a prosperous and conflictive mining center on the frontier of the United States to Mexico. Lawrence Kasdan, Kurt Russell, Kevin Costner and other Hollywood directors and actors made famous the Earp brothers and the bloodthirsty duel of “OK Corral”. The Tombstone, which, over time, has claimed so many lives, is about to last.
conversation at sunset
Beaches
Boracay, Philippines

The Philippine Beach of All Dreams

It was revealed by Western backpackers and the film crew of “Thus Heroes are Born”. Hundreds of resorts and thousands of eastern vacationers followed, whiter than the chalky sand.
knights of the divine, faith in the divine holy spirit, Pirenopolis, Brazil
Religion
Pirenópolis, Brazil

A Ride of Faith

Introduced in 1819 by Portuguese priests, the Festa do Divino Espírito Santo de Pirenópolis it aggregates a complex web of religious and pagan celebrations. It lasts more than 20 days, spent mostly on the saddle.
Train Kuranda train, Cairns, Queensland, Australia
On Rails
Cairns-Kuranda, Australia

Train to the Middle of the Jungle

Built out of Cairns to save miners isolated in the rainforest from starvation by flooding, the Kuranda Railway eventually became the livelihood of hundreds of alternative Aussies.
Military Religious, Wailing Wall, IDF Flag Oath, Jerusalem, Israel
Society
Jerusalem, Israel

A Festive Wailing Wall

The holiest place in Judaism is not only attended by prayers and prayers. Its ancient stones have witnessed the oath of new IDF recruits for decades and echo the euphoric screams that follow.
Fruit sellers, Swarm, Mozambique
Daily life
Enxame Mozambique

Mozambican Fashion Service Area

It is repeated at almost all stops in towns of Mozambique worthy of appearing on maps. The machimbombo (bus) stops and is surrounded by a crowd of eager "businessmen". The products offered can be universal such as water or biscuits or typical of the area. In this region, a few kilometers from Nampula, fruit sales suceeded, in each and every case, quite intense.
Fishing, Cano Negro, Costa Rica
Wildlife
Caño Negro, Costa Rica

A Life of Angling among the Wildlife

One of the most important wetlands in Costa Rica and the world, Caño Negro dazzles for its exuberant ecosystem. Not only. Remote, isolated by rivers, swamps and poor roads, its inhabitants have found in fishing a means on board to strengthen the bonds of their community.
The Sounds, Fiordland National Park, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
Fiordland, New Zealand

The Fjords of the Antipodes

A geological quirk made the Fiordland region the rawest and most imposing in New Zealand. Year after year, many thousands of visitors worship the sub-domain slashed between Te Anau and Milford Sound.
PT EN ES FR DE IT