Mexico Mayan Region Apocalypse Countdown
December 21, 2011 by staff
Mexico Mayan Region Apocalypse Countdown, Only a year is left before Dec. 21, 2012, when some believe the Maya predicted the end of the world. While some doomsday theorists may suggest putting together survival kits, people in southeastern Mexico, the heart of Maya territory, plan to throw a yearlong celebration. And to make a profit while they party.
Mexico’s tourism agency expects to draw 52 million visitors over the coming year just to the five states richest in Maya heritage. Mexico as a whole is expected to lure just 22 million foreigners this year.
It is selling the date, the Winter Solstice, as a time of renewal. Most Mexican archaeological authorities say that the 2012 reference on a 1,300-year-old stone tablet only marks the end of a cycle in the Mayan calendar, not an apocalypse.
“The world will not end. It is an era,” said Yeanet Zaldo, a tourism spokeswoman for the Caribbean state of Quintana Roo, home to Cancun. “For us, it is a message of hope.”
Cities and towns in the Mayan region are starting the yearlong countdown on Wednesday. The city of Tapachula on the Guatemalan border will start an 8-foot (2.5-meter) digital clock in its main park to begin the countdown exactly a year before the date.
In the nearby archaeological site of Izapa, Maya priests will burn incense, chant and offer prayers.
On Mexico’s Caribbean coast, between the resorts of Cancun and Playa del Carmen, people are putting messages and photos in a time capsule that will be buried for 50 years. Maya priests and Indian dancers will perform a ritual at the time capsule ceremony.
“People who still live in Mayan villages will host rites and burn incense for us to go back in time and try to understand the Mayan wisdom,” Zaldo said.
Yucatan state has announced plans to complete the Maya Museum of Merida by next summer.
And President Felipe Calderon recently announced there would be about 500 Maya-themed events throughout the year in southern Mexico, including workshops and dance and music festivals.
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