For us snowbirds north of 49th parallel, our notion of Mexico can be involuntarily shaped by widespread promotions of sun and sand, all-inclusive packages—easy enticing respites from harsh Canadian winters. What an injustice. In this show, the ladies at The Divine Destination Collection and others help us dive deep, beyond the stereotypes, to experience the rich resonant culture of Mexico's Yucatan.
So the truth is, it was never a conscious thing not to go to Mexico. But now I admit, there might have been the odd stereotype in the way—I likely envisioned just all-inclusives. I no doubt pictured bachelorette soirees where most of the group missed the bus to Chichén Itzá and spent days over-communicating between tequila shots. Of course, there would be stunning beaches, but I’m not so much a sun and sand girl. I don’t think I’m a group travel girl and—definitely—I’m not really a resort girl. I mean, I’m an exploring kind of traveler. Who needs all that pampering?
So of course, when a friend invited me on a girls’ luxe spiritual bonding getaway to Mexico’s Riviera Maya, well, I had to say yes. I mean, what is travel if not an opportunity to challenge our hardened beliefs and to invite personal transformation. So, with such higher purpose in mind, Yo fui—which is to say in local parlance, I went.
The Maya civilization was one of the most dominant indigenous societies of Mesoamerica, its population spanning modern-day Guatemala, the Yucatan Peninsula, Belize, western Honduras and El Salvador, and parts of the Mexican states of Tabasco and Chiapas.
Reaching their cultural peak around the sixth century A.D., the ancient Maya are remembered as a powerful civilization who excelled in agriculture, mathematics, calendar-making, pottery, and architecture. But their lofty accomplishments often eclipse a much humbler legacy that lives on in kitchens around the world today—food.
That guacamole you love to add to every burger, burrito, and bowl originated centuries ago in the Maya cities of southern Mexico and Guatemala. Savoury, steamed tamales were enjoyed by the Maya long before the Spanish invasion as a staple of holiday celebrations and festivals. Even chocolate—probably one of the most universally-loved foods of all time—was invented by the Maya, who were the first to take the seeds of the cacao fruit and roast them to make hot chocolate.
Check out National Geographic’s article on the Top 10 Foods of the Maya World to discover what other culinary delights were introduced to us by this ancient culture.
Five ways Allison and Deb at The Divine Destination Collection mingle pampering with transformation.