by Bea Lozano
Almost everyone knows that December 21, 2012 – less than a day and a half away – is the end of the ancient Mayan Calendar. The approach of this date has brought many visitors from all over the world to visit popular Mayan sites throughout the Yucatan Peninsula; no matter which way you look at it, this is a good thing. People from every country, from every corner of the world are becoming more familiar with this ancient civilization and the beautiful works of architecture they left us in the ruins of their temples and related buildings.
But what about the negative stories going around, that this is some sort of apocalypse, or at least the end of something big? Some people seem to find the end of the world in everything and anything. Others, instead of seeing the end, will see a new beginning.
I have read some experts saying that this is more than likely the case in terms of viewing the world from the perspective of the ancient Mayan Calendar. The end of the current calendar marks the end of the current era, leaving the doors open for a new one.
A New Beginning in Mexico
From this perspective, the whole event becomes a very positive one. One of the best ways to enjoy this positive new beginning to its fullest is right in the heart of the Mayan civilization – Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.
Many, many people who have moved to Mexico have found just this new beginning – a more relaxing life, beautiful weather and friendly people who value the little pleasures in life above “getting ahead”; here, people work to live, rather than live to work. The new era in the Mayan calendar is the ideal time to start this life for yourself.
The Mayan People
Many people don’t know that the Mayan culture is alive and thriving still today; the people have preserved their language, their religion and their traditional way of life. Speaking purely from personal experience, I would say the positive way of looking at this is closer to what the Mayans would do.
First of all, just looking at their history, we see that instead of seeing apocalypses, the Mayan people made new beginnings of every end – when they abandoned their great cities, for example, and later when they were conquered by the Spanish. They Mayan culture continued quietly, maintaining their ancestral way of life.
This way of life continues today, and the Mayan people continue to be a very welcoming and wonderful people.
So, visiting – or especially living in – the Yucatan Peninsula, you will experience two sides of the Mayan people. One is the wonders of their ancient civilization in places like Chichen Itza; the other is the living culture of the Mayan people. In my opinion, only experiencing both, directly, can you gain a greater appreciation of what the end of an era and the beginning of a new one mean. The two come together quite nicely in the village of Tulum, which I will explore with you over the next couple of days.
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