December 20, 2011

Mexico launches 2012 countdown

Apocalypse buzz, Maya culture draw tourists

Mexico plans festivals, museum to cash in

By Adriana Gomez Licon
Cities and towns in the Mayan region are starting the yearlong countdown today. The city of Tapachula on the Guatemalan border will start an 8-foot 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 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.

Yucatan state has announced plans to complete the Maya Museum of Merida by summer.

And President Felipe Calderón recently announced there would be about 500 Mayan-themed events throughout the year in southern Mexico, including workshops and dance and music festivals.

Officials are building a state-run tourist hotel at the natural reserve of Calakmul in the state of Campeche. And the National Institute of Anthropology and History is opening three additional ruins to tourists.
Comment:  For more on 2012, see World Won't End in 2012? and Mexico Seeks "2012" Tourism.

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