Archive for September, 2012

Museum of the Maya World Opens in Merida

September 25th, 2012 by ejalbright

Last night Yucatan Governor Ivonne Ortega Pacheco was first in line to witness the opening of the Gran Museo del Mundo Maya de Mérida (Great Museum of the Maya), which she said would be one of her major legacies of her term in office, which ends this month.

The governor cut the ribbon and began a colorful pageant that included musical performance, dancing, light shows and, of course, speeches.

Over the past few weeks exhibits previously displayed or stored in the Museo de Antropologia y Historia (Museum of Anthropology and History) have been moved to the new museum, located on four kilometers north next to the city’s convention center.

The new museum which celebrates the Maya, both ancient and modern, will be free for the next 30 days.

Previously:

Governor Issues Address from New Maya Museum Today

How Will Yucatan Fill Two New Maya Museums?

Confirmed: Maya Museum in Merida Under Construction

Maya Museum to Open in Merida in June

Yucatan Signs Contract for Merida Maya Museum

Construction Begins on Museum Near Chichen Itza

Chichen Itza Museum, Bullet Train Stalled in Mexican Congress

Video Explains Concept Behind New Chichen Itza Museum

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Light-and-Sound Night Show at Chichen Suspended Indefinitely

September 10th, 2012 by ejalbright

The evening light-and-sound show at Chichen Itza has yet to return after being suspended in August.

The Yucatan government which puts on the show has yet to say why it suspended the show in the first place, but others are talking. According to the Diario de Yucatan, the rumor is that restoration and cleaning work conducted by INAH, where some 90 men have been cleaning the great pyramid, El Castillo, is the reason the show has been stopped.

In February, the head of the state’s tourism program announced plans to change the program and said he would request $8.5 million Mexican in government funding to get it done.

The Diario reports that no-show light-and-sound show is angering tourists who believe they have paid for it in their admission fee.

No date has been set for resuming the show. Signs around the archaeological zone simply say, “hasta nuevo aviso” — until further notice.

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Be at Chichen Itza When the Maya Calendar Runs Out

September 4th, 2012 by ejalbright

As most of the world now knows, the Maya calendar runs out on December 21, 2012. A lot of people want to be at Chichen Itza when that happens.

Rob Rocheleau of Massachusetts has put together a tour of like-minded souls to travel to Yucatan and witness the changing of the calendar firsthand at Chichen and other archaeological sites in the region. I had dinner with Rob a few weeks ago, and he told me about his new business, Maya Sacred Adventures, and the upcoming 7-day tour of the land of the Maya during those critical dates.

As you may know from reading this blog, I don’t give much credence to what I consider the New Age interpretations of the ancient Maya, and Rob, in my mind, is of that tribe. That said, his view of Maya cosmology and prophecy is based on studies he has conducted, not with gringos, but with several Maya elders, such as the late Chan K’in in Chiapas, Alejandro Cirilo Perez Oxlaj of the Kiche Maya in Guatemala, and Hunbatz Men in Yucatan. These men are (or were) well known for sharing and explaining Maya culture to Western audiences.

Whether you are a believer or not, Rob’s tour has one important resource you might want to consider — hotel rooms, which are scarce as hen’s teeth for Dec. 21. He’s reserved a slate of rooms in Izamal, a great location that will be central to all the important sites. Furthermore, he’s put together a great itinerary:

– Dec. 17: Arrive at Cancun International Airport for transport to hotel at Izamal.

– Dec. 18: Attend a morning lecture on Maya Calender Systems, then in the afternoon visit the ancient Maya city of Dzibilchaltun, north of Merida. Have dinner in Merida.

– Dec. 19: Travel to and tour Uxmal.

– Dec. 20: Attend a morning lecture about Chichen Itza. The afternoon is open to explore Izamal.

– Dec. 21: The last day of the Maya calendar. Spend the day at Chichen Itza.

– Dec. 22: Return to Chichen Itza?.

– Dec. 23: Attend a closing ceremony, then depart for the airport.??

There are a few slots available for the tour. For more information about Rob and his Maya Sacred Adventures Tour, visit his website HERE.

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Governor Issues Address from New Maya Museum Today

September 2nd, 2012 by ejalbright

As Yucatan Governor Ivonne Ortega Pacheco prepares to leave office, she will mount the steps of the still-under-construction Museo del Mundo Maya (Museum of the Maya World) in the capital city of Merida and make one last speech.

The museum, a massive structure that will house many of the region’s ancient Maya artifacts as well as an IMAX theater and other attractions, will not be open. Like other construction projects, it is behind schedule. Originally projected to open in June, some parts of the complex will be opened to the public Sept. 24, according to government officials.

Critics of the governor say she leaves the state in tremendous debt, one group estimating the encumbrance at almost $7 billion Mexican (approximately one-half billion U.S. dollars). That debt includes the construction and maintenance costs of the new museum and the purchase of the main archaeological zone at Chichen Itza. Tonight Governor Ortega Pacheco will get to tell her side of the state’s financial picture, presumably for the final time.

Rumors have run rampant in Yucatan that the museum will never be finished. However, a few days ago the governor visited the other Maya museum in Merida, Museo de Antropologia y Historia, situated on Merida’s version of the Champs Élysées, Paseo de Montejo, to personally select pieces for the new museum.

Work has begun at the original museum to prepare many of its Maya artifacts for shipping a few kilometers north to the new museum, reports the Diario de Yucatan. Some 800 pieces will be transferred.

While it appears the Museo de Mundo Maya will open as promised, there has been little said about the state of Yucatan’s other museum under construction, the Palacio de la Civilizacion Maya in Yaxcaba, a few miles from Chichen Itza. Rumors continue to swirl that it will never receive a visitor. Last spring the governor took the press and other visitors on tour of the museum as it was under construction, but save for that brief visit, the site has been closed to press and other visitors.

Previously:

How Will Yucatan Fill Two New Maya Museums?

Confirmed: Maya Museum in Merida Under Construction

Maya Museum to Open in Merida in June

Yucatan Signs Contract for Merida Maya Museum

Construction Begins on Museum Near Chichen Itza

Chichen Itza Museum, Bullet Train Stalled in Mexican Congress

Video Explains Concept Behind New Chichen Itza Museum

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