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The story of my Sacred Mayan Crossing: transformation of life

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How I got to know the Sacred Mayan Crossing and became a canoeist

I share with you the senses of life

It was the month of August 2015 when a young journalism student arrived in the Mexican Caribbean from the south of Spain (Barbate, Cádiz, Andalusia) for an academic exchange for 6 months.

Like all the wonderful coincidences that made him come to this paradise of the world, doing an internship at Xcaret writing content for his blogs was another one of them. No doubt learning too much interviewed great professionals from different fields from chefs to biologists or engineers. Visit new archeological sites and admire Mayan culture. I traveled, passed and met many people and places that I remember and cherish.

If you are curious you can read the blog posts he writes here.

Before my Sacred Mayan Crossing: transformation of life
During my internship taking photos in the archeological area of ​​Tulum

My first approach to the Sacred Mayan Crossing of Xcaret

It was during these months that I first heard about the Sacred Mayan Crossing. It was the tenth anniversary of this event that revived a commercial cross made by the ancient Maya from the port of Polé in Xcaret to the island of Cozumel and which had remained in oblivion for over 600 years.

They did it to worship the goddess Ixchel, to ask for prosperity for the earth and life and with the aim of exchanging products such as cocoa, feathers, honey, tobacco, vanilla, skins, etc.

By the time the days of the event arrived he had already written two entries about the crossing and had spoken to different key people within his organization. He had also met some colleagues in the office who were canoeists.

Together with two colleagues we covered the event to capture most of the moments of departure to Xcaret, arrival in Cozumel and return the next day.

I had more or less an idea of ​​what I was going to witness but no doubt the reality exceeded many expectations, I did not know that it meant a transformation of life for me.

The beginning of the story of my Sacred Mayan Crossing: transformation of life
The left Come on. Deborah, Maygheen and I in Chankanaab, Cozumel waiting for the canoeists

Read more about this event: The raison d’être of the Sacred Mayan Crossing of Xcaret

Love at first sight

The first thing I remember from those days is the sunrise, arguably the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. The smell of copal, the warmth of relatives, the courage of canoeists …

The story of my Sacred Mayan Crossing
Sunrise in Xcaret during the departure of the canoeists on the Travesía Sagrada Maya 2016

The TSM2016 was a very difficult voyage with very demanding currents that made the brave rowers sail for more than 9 hours and most of the canoes had to be towed to reach the port. But the return to Xcaret and the entrance to the cove was magical (or so I felt).

– The canoeists are here! He began to listen.

I remember hiding there among the tumult of people ready to take the best shots. And suddenly you see the first canoe followed by all the others. And with them tears flowed from me without understanding why I was feeling so much, so much emotion.

He saw the satisfaction and happiness on the faces of the canoeists, people of all ages – between 18 and 60 years – and constitutions, exhausted but full. I understood that to make the journey you did not need to be an athlete or a great athlete – as I believed until then – you needed to propose. And if I set out to do so, I could do it. And there, in that precise moment, I knew that one day I wanted to be on the other side, paddling.

And that day came. What started out as 6 months of college became 1 year and a distance learning degree. Then in my first job and then in calling Cancun my second home to this day, 7 years later.

My first cross as a canoe

My first trip was in 2018. From the day of the swimming test I knew that I was a challenge but that I accepted it. And so it was. It was followed by 2019, almost 2020 until the pandemic cut it off and now I am days away from my third.

A la izq. my team of the TSM2019 previously to cross already the der. my 2020 canoe training

They are months of a lot of dedication, of challenging workouts with their corresponding physical and mental fatigue, of sleeping early and getting up very early, of feelings in full bloom. But also to watch the sunrise at sea 3 times a week, sail the blue waters of the Caribbean with the gifts of its biodiversity and meet wonderful people who will return to their sea brothers.

The story of my Sacred Mayan Crossing: transformation of life - Xcaret
Wed canoe of 2020 training to the Nichupté lagoon

One of the things I love about cruising is that we’re all the same here. Because no matter the nationality, the economic level, the job, the way of dressing or thinking. All that matters is your commitment and your heart.

The story of my Sacred Mayan Crossing: transformation of life
TSM2022 training: Cancun Headquarters, Ki’mak’ool Canoe

Apprenticeships given to me by the Sacred Mayan Crossing

Travesía has given me many beautiful things. I teach the value and admire nature that surrounds me, connects me with me and the universe. A believe in me and my strength, to listen to me and feel me. Understand that if I do not prioritize well, energy does not flow.

It gave me a life transformation because I taught myself that I was wrong when I said I couldn’t take it anymore, that it was the last time I raised my arms and stretched my body to row. But if I could, because I can always do more and I can do everything as long as I can. What limits no longer exist in the mind that is why it is necessary to silence it and give way to the heart. And that what you give with the soul, life returns to you multiplied.

Also that life is today. In fact right now. Nothing more. Not to take anything for granted and that if we leave something behind then we run the risk that it will never come later.

Crossing and the recent death of my best friend and fellow boatman and canoeing adventurer, have taught me that I decide and I will live every day giving my best in every step. And enjoying. For me and for those who are not but if yes, they would be enjoying it.

For all this and for what I continue to learn every day I dedicate every year my pilgrimage to the goddess Ixchel and offering her my heart. And I will continue to do so as long as life so desires.

representatives of the goddess Ixchel. On the right. Doña Isabel Solís “la maestra Chabelita” QDEP

Pd: If you got here first of all THANK YOU for reading about my journey and my life transformation and secondly, registrations come out in September.

See you at sea!

Mar Oliver

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