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.
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.
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.
Overall, 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?"
savuti, botswana, elephant-eating lions
Savuti, Botswana

Savuti's Elephant-Eating Lions

A patch of the Kalahari Desert dries up or is irrigated depending on the region's tectonic whims. In Savuti, lions have become used to depending on themselves and prey on the largest animals in the savannah.
Muktinath to Kagbeni, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal, Kagbeni
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit 14th - Muktinath to Kagbeni, Nepal

On the Other Side of the Pass

After the demanding crossing of Thorong La, we recover in the cozy village of Muktinath. The next morning we proceed back to lower altitudes. On the way to the ancient kingdom of Upper Mustang and the village of Kagbeni that serves as its gateway.
The Little-Big Senglea II
Architecture & Design
Senglea, Malta

An Overcrowded Malta

At the turn of the 8.000th century, Senglea housed 0.2 inhabitants in 2 km3.000, a European record, today, it has “only” XNUMX neighborhood Christians. It is the smallest, most overcrowded and genuine of the Maltese cities.
The small lighthouse at Kallur, highlighted in the capricious northern relief of the island of Kalsoy.
Kalsoy, Faroe Islands

A Lighthouse at the End of the Faroese World

Kalsoy is one of the most isolated islands in the Faroe archipelago. Also known as “the flute” due to its long shape and the many tunnels that serve it, a mere 75 inhabitants inhabit it. Much less than the outsiders who visit it every year, attracted by the boreal wonder of its Kallur lighthouse.
Indigenous Crowned
Ceremonies and Festivities
Pueblos del Sur, Venezuela

Behind the Venezuela Andes. Fiesta Time.

In 1619, the authorities of Mérida dictated the settlement of the surrounding territory. The order resulted in 19 remote villages that we found dedicated to commemorations with caretos and local pauliteiros.
Ponta Delgada, São Miguel, Azores, City Gates
Ponta Delgada, São Miguel (Azores), Azores

The Great Azorean City

During the XNUMXth and XNUMXth centuries, Ponta Delgada became the most populous city and the economic and administrative capital of the Azores. There we find the history and modernism of the archipelago hand in hand.
young saleswoman, nation, bread, uzbekistan
Fergana Valley, Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan, The Nation That Does Not Lack Bread

Few countries employ cereals like Uzbekistan. In this republic of Central Asia, bread plays a vital and social role. The Uzbeks produce it and consume it with devotion and in abundance.
Lhasa, Tibet

When Buddhism Tires of Meditation

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Bungee jumping, Queenstown, New Zealand
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.
Navimag Cruise, Puerto Montt to Puerto-natales, Chile
Puerto Natales-Puerto Montt, Chile

Cruise on board a Freighter

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Jumping forward, Pentecost Naghol, Bungee Jumping, Vanuatu
Pentecost Island, Vanuatu

Pentecost Naghol: Bungee Jumping for Real Men

In 1995, the people of Pentecostes threatened to sue extreme sports companies for stealing the Naghol ritual. In terms of audacity, the elastic imitation falls far short of the original.
Portfolio, Got2Globe, Best Images, Photography, Images, Cleopatra, Dioscorides, Delos, Greece
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

The Earthly and the Celestial

Mother Armenia Statue, Yerevan, Armenia
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.
Sheep and hikers in Mykines, Faroe Islands
Mykines, Faroe Islands

In the Faeroes FarWest

Mykines establishes the western threshold of the Faroe archipelago. It housed 179 people but the harshness of the retreat got the better of it. Today, only nine souls survive there. When we visit it, we find the island given over to its thousand sheep and the restless colonies of puffins.
ala juumajarvi lake, oulanka national park, finland
Winter White
Kuusamo ao PN Oulanka, Finland

Under the Arctic's Icy Spell

We are at 66º North and at the gates of Lapland. In these parts, the white landscape belongs to everyone and to no one like the snow-covered trees, the atrocious cold and the endless night.
silhouette and poem, Cora coralina, Goias Velho, Brazil
Goiás Velho, Brazil

The Life and Work of a Marginal Writer

Born in Goiás, Ana Lins Bretas spent most of her life far from her castrating family and the city. Returning to its origins, it continued to portray the prejudiced mentality of the Brazilian countryside
View of Casa Iguana, Corn islands, pure caribbean, nicaragua
Corn Islands - Islas del Maíz , Nicaragua

pure caribbean

Perfect tropical settings and genuine local life are the only luxuries available in the so-called Corn Islands or Corn Islands, an archipelago lost in the Central American confines of the Caribbean Sea.
Sheki, Autumn in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Autumn Homes
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.
Monteverde, Costa Rica, Quakers, Bosque Nuboso Biological Reserve, hikers
Natural Parks
Monteverde, Costa Rica

The Ecological Refuge the Quakers Bequeathed the World

Disillusioned with the US military propensity, a group of 44 Quakers migrated to Costa Rica, the nation that had abolished the army. Farmers, cattle raisers, became conservationists. They made possible one of the most revered natural strongholds in Central America.
Chichen Itza, Yucatan, Mayan History, heads of Kukulkan, El Castillo
UNESCO World Heritage
Chichen Itza, Yucatan, Mexico

On the Edge of the Cenote, at the Heart of the Mayan Civilization

Between the XNUMXth and XNUMXth centuries AD, Chichen Itza stood out as the most important city in the Yucatan Peninsula and the vast Mayan Empire. If the Spanish Conquest precipitated its decline and abandonment, modern history has consecrated its ruins a World Heritage Site and a Wonder of the World.
Look-alikes, Actors and Extras

Make-believe stars

They are the protagonists of events or are street entrepreneurs. They embody unavoidable characters, represent social classes or epochs. Even miles from Hollywood, without them, the world would be more dull.
Cargo Cabo Santa Maria, Boa Vista Island, Cape Verde, Sal, Evoking the Sahara
Boa Vista Island, Cape Verde

Boa Vista Island: Atlantic waves, Dunas do Sara

Boa Vista is not only the Cape Verdean island closest to the African coast and its vast desert. After a few hours of discovery, it convinces us that it is a piece of the Sahara adrift in the North Atlantic.
Maksim, Sami people, Inari, Finland-2
Inari, Finland

The Guardians of Boreal Europe

Long discriminated against by Scandinavian, Finnish and Russian settlers, the Sami people regain their autonomy and pride themselves on their nationality.
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.
patpong, go go bar, bangkok, one thousand and one nights, thailand
Bangkok, Thailand

One Thousand and One Lost Nights

In 1984, Murray Head sang the nighttime magic and bipolarity of the Thai capital in "One night in bangkok". Several years, coups d'etat, and demonstrations later, Bangkok remains sleepless.
Casario, uptown, Fianarantsoa, ​​Madagascar
Daily life
Fianarantsoa, Madagascar

The Malagasy City of Good Education

Fianarantsoa was founded in 1831 by Ranavalona Iª, a queen of the then predominant Merina ethnic group. Ranavalona Iª was seen by European contemporaries as isolationist, tyrant and cruel. The monarch's reputation aside, when we enter it, its old southern capital remains as the academic, intellectual and religious center of Madagascar.
Jabula Beach, Kwazulu Natal, South Africa
Saint Lucia, South Africa

An Africa as Wild as Zulu

On the eminence of the coast of Mozambique, the province of KwaZulu-Natal is home to an unexpected South Africa. Deserted beaches full of dunes, vast estuarine swamps and hills covered with fog fill this wild land also bathed by the Indian Ocean. It is shared by the subjects of the always proud Zulu nation and one of the most prolific and diverse fauna on the African continent.
Passengers, scenic flights-Southern Alps, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
Aoraki / Mount Cook, New Zealand

The Aeronautical Conquest of the Southern Alps

In 1955, pilot Harry Wigley created a system for taking off and landing on asphalt or snow. Since then, his company has unveiled, from the air, some of the greatest scenery in Oceania.