Why is it important to ask for permission before entering a cenote?
A way of being thankful
and respectful with nature
Cenotes or sinkholes have been for thousands of years the main water supply in the jungles of Yucatan Peninsula. For this reason, they were crucial in the development of the Mayan civilization. Nowadays, we know stories, cultural facts and even enjoy a refreshing splash into many of them. The significance of cenotes and their waters make them excellent places that we must treat with respect. By tradition and to connect with nature it is essential to ask permission before entering one of them.
There was always a very close relationship between the cenotes and the mystical beliefs of the Mayans. These places of calm and clear waters were highly venerated. They were related to the Mayan god of the rain, Chaac. Also were considered as the gates to the underworld. For these among other reasons, Mayans practiced rituals and offerings to take care of them and their waters.
Another belief is that these secret places have their own protectors. Magic beings in charge of taking care of nature around cenotes, also known as aluxes. Usually small, mischievous and jealous. So it is essential to have a positive attitude and ask permission to be able to swim in their cenotes.
We also want to share with you more reasons to ask permission to enjoy the cenotes during your next trip.
We ask permission because cenotes were here long before us. It took millions of years for their formation, and each cenote is unique.
To visit them first we must leave away the rush and tension of the everyday routine. A good start is if we ask permission symbolically. This moment will give us harmony and thankfulness for the water of the cenotes.
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Thanks to these ancient underwater caves we can enjoy the Mayan jungle. Including all its mysteries, legends and stories around them.
Most of us are usually strangers to this kind of environment. We bring products that may pollute the water or leave trash in the jungle. It is a mayoral responsibility to be very careful and to leave the place as you found it. Clean!
In addition to taking care of their crystalline waters and surroundings, we must not forget that all kinds of living beings depend on the jungle and cenotes. For their welfare, we must also ask for permission.
When we travel to places with cultures full of magic as the Mayans, it is an excellent chance to open up, experience and to be part of their traditions.
To conclude, at Xenotes we love to be part of these beliefs to seek harmony with nature. That is why in your visit and with your tour guide we do a small prayer in the Mayan jungle. With this, we ask permission to he protectors of the wilderness to enter their home.
Here are more tips for your first time visiting a cenote.
Enjoy your expedition visiting of the cenotes of the jungle, hear about their legends and learn about their importance for the life of the Mayan jungle.
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