Archive for December, 2011

Paul McCartney Playing Chichen Itza? Still No Date Set.

December 29th, 2011 by ejalbright

The Twittersphere was buzzing, slightly, at news that Yucatan Governor Ivonne Ortega Pacheco had confirmed that Paul McCartney would be playing at Chichen Itza.

In fact, this was the third time the governor confirmed that the state was in negotiations with the former Beatle and the third time she said no date had been set.

El Universal, a Mexican newspaper and web site, broke the story earlier today (and was the source of earlier reports of McCartney coming to Chichen). Clearly the state and its agents have been in talks with McCartney, who recently completed a series of dates throughout Europe and finishing Dec. 20 in his home city of Liverpool, England. The rock star has not announced any dates or tour plans for 2012.

Jorge Esma Bazan, the director of the state’s department in charge of the arts and tourism Cultur, confirmed (again) that the state was in negotiations with McCartney and teased that there may also be a forthcoming announcement regarding “una mujer internacional” — an international female artist.

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The Hacienda Chichen, as told by the family that owns it

December 26th, 2011 by ejalbright

One of my favorite places on earth, the Hacienda Chichen, is a must-visit when you go to Yucatan.

Here’s a fantastic short interview with Belisa Barbachano and her husband Bruce Gordon about the hacienda. Belisa represents the third generation of Barbachanos to run the hacienda. Originally the hacienda included the ancient Maya city of Chichen Itza, and most of Chichen, except for the portion visited by tourists, is still owned by the family.

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Winter Solstice Brings Maya to Chichén Itzá, Kicks off Calendar Countdown

December 21st, 2011 by ejalbright

T-minus one year to the end of the Maya Long Count calendar, and indigenous peoples of Mexico and Central America plan to gather today at Chichén Itzá to conduct purification ceremonies, reportedly to unite the races.

In the past, however, the groups have been barred from Chichén Itzá by INAH, the federal agency that oversees the ancient city.

Before the arrival of Europeans, Mexico and Central America were a diverse blend of indigenous tribes and cultures. According to the Yucatecan publication Punto Medio, representatives from the Maya, Mazahua Tlahuica, Nahuatl, Aztec, Otomi, Zapotec and Triqui will gather at Chichén Itzá today to dance and perform ceremonies from their respective cultures.

According to organizers, the event will seek to “unify the energies of the native races of America through dance and the sacred fire, in preparation to receive the New Age of the Maya, which will begin on December 21, 2012,” the newspaper reports. On that date the Maya Long Count calendar of more than 5,000 years will end.

The event will also demonstrate that the indigenous races of the region are thriving “despite the efforts that have been made to destroy them from colonization to the present.”

Winter Solstice

Today is the shortest day of the year, and visitors to Chichén Itzá can witness the day play out in light and shadow against many of the archaeological sites restored buildings.

Late in the afternoon, the great pyramid El Castillo will be divided in half — two sides will be in sunlight and two sides purely in shadow, according to Mayanist Eddie Salazar Gamboa of Mérida, Yucatán.

Also, although not visible to tourists, one of the windows in the Maya observatory “El Caracol” is configured to allow the sun to shine in on this day.

Promoting 2012

Is this official? The state of Yucatán on its official web site is promoting this site, which deals with the end of the Maya calendar. As yet other than a nice logo and a few pages, there isn’t much in the way of content. But more is promised. Plus there is a nifty Maya calendar countdown clock.

A few days ago American Egypt speculated that there might be a big announcement today about the state and federal government’s promotion plans for 2012 as the last year of the Maya calendar kicks off, but so far there has been nothing. Expect more news as it develops.

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Will ‘Year of the Maya’ Kick Off Wednesday, Dec. 21?

December 16th, 2011 by ejalbright


Mexican singer Juan Gabriel — will we see him at Chichen Itza on Wednesday? (Wikipedia photo)

Can we expect an announcement Wednesday about Mexico’s ambitious plans for the last year of the Maya calendar?

On Wednesday, Dec. 21, the Maya Long Count calendar, multiple millennia in the making, will enter its final year. While some may fear the end of the world or anticipate an expansion of human consciousness 366 days hence, the government of Mexico is looking at it as a money-making opportunity.

Two weeks ago governors from the states of Yucatan, Campeche, Quintana Roo, and Tabasco — the region where the ancient Maya civilization flourished up until 500 years ago — came to Mexico City to meet with Mexico Secretary of Tourism Gloria Guevara Manzo to discuss and reach agreement on a year-long promotion called “K’in Maya: la riqueza del tiempo” (“Maya Year: The Wealth of Time”). The year-long project will be coordinated by Secretary of Tourism of Tabasco, Yolanda Osuna Huerta.

Also in attendance were representatives from Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, which also were part of the half-million kilometer home of the ancient Maya, as was a representative of the Mexican television network Grupo Televisa. Not present but reportedly part of the agreement is the state of Chiapas.

More than a month ago representatives from Mexico’s Department of Tourism were in Merida to meet with Governor Ivonne Ortega Pacheco about plans for 2012, and at that time announced that there would be an event on Dec. 21 at Chichen Itza to kick off the “K’in Maya” campaign.

Since then there has not even been a murmur about the Dec. 21 event. The recent meeting in Mexico City was closed to the public and press, so if it is unknown of the kick-off event at Chichen was discussed. However there have been tantalizing hints that something big might be in the works. Mexican singing sensation Juan Gabriel at one point was in talks to perform on Dec. 21, and as he lives two hours away from Chichen it is more than possible he could “drop in.” Also, representatives of the state of Yucatan have said that they have been negotiating with Paul McCartney to play a show at Chichen Itza in 2012, so perhaps that concert might be announced on Wednesday.

Stay tuned!

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