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Property Owners > Archived Costa Maya, Mexico Newsletters > August 21, 2008 -

Costa Maya Newsletters: of primary interest to property owners from Mahahual / Majahual - Rio Indio - Placer - Uvero - Punta Herrera - Xcalak and other points along the southern coast of Quintana Roo, Mexico

*******************Costa Maya Newsletter*******************
21- August/Agosto. 2008
- one year anniversary celebration of Hurricane Dean and rebirth of Mahahual.


Jats'a-já - the first annual festival for the anniversary of Dean.


I just returned from the Festival of Jats'a-Já. It was the first of what I hope are many festivals celebrating the rebirth of Mahahual. The Mayan Word means the moisture that enters house when it rains - there is no equivalent in English or Spanish that I'm aware of and it has nothing to do with hurricane. I grilled both of my Mayan workers who were in agreement with the meaning and they couldn't figure out how the word was used for the festival. I'm certain that if you live in a Mayan style house, the word has more meaning than it might to those living in sealed up homes that were made to keep the cold out. Mayans traditionally live in houses meant to breath - thatched roof with wooden poles stuffed with the palm fibers to keep the mosquitoes out yet allows breezes to enter. There are usually no windows and only a front and back door that allows the wind to blow through. The traditional Mayan houses are slowly being replaced by concrete structures. I

I wonder how much of the real Mayan culture is really remaining here in Quintana Roo. For example, the Festival of Jats'a-Já was accompanied by Mayan Ceremonies to bless the boats and the sea. This was a lovely ceremony with everyone wearing white. Still, it didn't seem very solemn with children running all over the place screaming and people talking over the ceremony. The priest looked like he walked off the field and came to Mahahual without changing his clothes. Meanwhile beautiful Mayan women dressed in traditional dress gathered around a fire preparing tortillas by hand as offerings to the gods. Despite the casualness of the ceremony, I enjoyed every minute of it, especially the tortillas afterwards!
Mayan Ceremony Mayan tortillas

I've placed more pictures below along with commentary and the schedule. I look forward to this activity next year where it should be bigger and better.


Pictures and descriptions are included in the itinerary below

Jatsa ja
VIERNES 22 AGOSTO 2008 / Friday

HORA/TIME: 17:00–18:00 MISA DE ACCIÓN DE GRACIAS/Prayer of thanksgiving
LUGAR/ Place: Iglesia Del Poblado De Mahahual/Village Church

HORA/TIME: 18:30 INAUGURACIÓN DEL PRIMER FESTIVAL MAYA DEL JATS’A JÁ / Inauguration of the Festival Maya del Jats’a Ja
LUGAR/ Place: Plaza Martillo (frente a Capitanía de Puerto)/ In front of the Port Captain’s office

LUGAR/ place: Plaza Martillo

HORA/TIME: 20:30 CEREMONIA MAYA/ Mayan Ceremony
LUGAR / Place: Plaza Martillo (frente a Capitanía de Puerto) in front of the port captain’s

LUGAR / PLACE: Plaza Martillo (frente a Capitanía de Puerto)/ in front of the port captain’s

HORA/TIME: 22:00 - 3:00AM MUSICA DISCO/ Disco Music
LUGAR / PLACE: Tequila Beach Club

SÁBADO 23 AGOSTO 2008/ Saturday

HORA/TIME: 10:00 – 21:00EXPOSICIÓN FOTOGRÁFICA “MAHAHUAL ATRAVÉS DEL TIEMPO” / Photographs of Mahahual through time
LUGAR / PLACE: Plaza Martillo (frente a Capitanía de Puerto) in front of the port captain’s

HORA/TIME: 14:00 – 18:00 MUESTRA GASTRONÓMICA “LAS DELICIAS DE MAHAHUAL” / Samples of Mahahual Restaurants
LUGAR / PLACE: Plaza Martillo (frente a Capitanía de Puerto) in front of the port captain’s

HORA/TIME: 17:00 – 19:00 TORNEO DE PATINAJE / skating tournament
LUGAR / PLACE: Malecón - Plaza Martillo (frente a Capitanía de Puerto) in front of the port captain’s

HORA/TIME: 10:00 – 18:00 EXPOSICIÓN Y VENTA DE ARTESANIAS DE COSTA MAYA Y CHINCHORRO (por confirmar) / exhibition and sale Handicrafts of Costa May and Chinchorro
LUGAR / PLACE: Plaza Rubia

HORA/TIME: 21:00 – 3:00 BAILE CARIBEÑO / Caribbean Dance
LUGAR / PLACE: Plaza Pargo

DOMINGO 24 AGOSTO 2008/ Sunday

HORA/TIME: 9:00 – 12:00 ACUATLÓN / Aquathalon
LUGAR / PLACE: Sobre el Malecón, saliendo del Tequila Beach Club – Starting at the Malecon and ending at Tequila Beach club

HORA/TIME: 13:00 PREMIACIÓN Y CLAUSURA / Awards and closing ceremony
LUGAR / PLACE: Plaza Martillo (frente a Capitanía de Puerto)

Children enjoying the podium before festivities start.
mayor Mayor of Mahahual gives a surprisingly short speech to open the festivities.
Mayan Altar Mayan Priest preparing the altar for the offering to the gods and blessing of the boats and the sea to protect against the storms.
boat parade

Nautical procession- a lovely part of the ceremony where people were invited onto the boats to join in the Nautical Procession.

The fireworks consisted of a single firework accompanied by a lot of bottle rockets.

decorated boat Decorated boat ready for the parade.
Mayan Altar with offerings to the gods Mayan Altar with offerings to the gods. This ceremony was later in the night at the end of the first nights activities.
Photos before and after Dean Nostalgic remembrance of Dean. Some surprisingly touching photos were displayed.
Tasting Mahahual Restaurants About a dozen restaurants (including Mayan Beach Garden) shared some of their dishes with the crowd. Only about 250 people showed up for this - they missed a treat!
swimmers Swimmers ready to race the Aquathalon
Runners on the Malecon Runners on the Malecon

Above: the Aquathalon participants exhausted but ready for the closing ceremony.


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