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The Mexican island of Cozumel has a wonderful and colorful history of serving as a spiritual sanctuary to the ancient Mayan people and Maya civilizations.
Origins of Name “Cozumel” in Mayan Mythology
The name “Cozumel” itself is derived from the phrase “Ah Cuzamil Petin” which roughly translates and corresponds to “area resembling an island covered with Swallow birds” in the Mayan’s language. This “Swallow Island” served these ancient ethnic peoples of the Yucatan, as a most spiritually and religiously revered piece of ground that served as the resting place of the god creature Ix-Chel herself. For in the world of the Maya Ix-Chel served as the goddess of fertility and mythological wife of Itzamna god of the sun or none other than the “Sun God” himself. From every corner of the Mayan empire, stretching from present day Yucatan, to as far away as what are currently the countries of Belize & even Honduras, Mayan females of child bearing ages journeyed to this island of Cozumel on a sacred pilgrimage to pay homage to Ix-Chel and pray fervently for God-given fertility, as well as uneventful and successful healthy childbirth.
The Mayan Fertility Goddess Ix-Chel Bequeathed the Name “Island of the Swallow Bird”
With the greatest of gratitude and all her power Ix-Chel, in the annals of Mayan mythologies, bequeathed onto this land mass the symbol and symbolism of this wonderful Swallow bird of the air. For to glorify the goddess figure Is-Chel
herself the Mayan peoples had constructed myriads of shrines and temples to the deity herself. In the languages of the Mayans “Elegant swift swallow bird ” translates roughly into the word “Cuzamil”. Fast forward to the Spanish Conquistador times and the descriptive name “Cuzamil” morphs into our modern day “Cozumel” What visitors and tourists find to their astonishment and amazement is that there are no shortage of those classic Mayan era sanctuaries and temples still standing in 2012 for them to simply and conveniently visit on a short visit from Cancun to Cozumel. If they don’t have the time or inclination to make a full jaunt to the more major , but more remote Mayan archeological ruins centers of Chechen Itza , Tulum or Coba there is still plenty to see on a quick trip from Cancun to the island of Cozumel.
Cancun Tourists Have Shorter Easier Access to the Mayan Ruins of Cozumel Than Chichen Itza
Yet for those in the major regional tourist center of Cancun who yearn for a tour of Mayan ruins and want more than a YouTube video online and yet not a full days travel by bus taking them off the beach Cozumel is just a hop skip and jump away. Yet even in the middle of the most developed tourism regions of the off-shore small land mass itself lie any number of well deserving Mayan temples worthy of the trek.
Lopez Morelos – a long term tour guide who covers much of the Riviera Maya with the greatest of enthusiasm and historical depth. Visiting the Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza is a must in this year of the 2012 Mayan calendar states Morelos emphatically.