Merida and Hotel Xixim, in Mexico’s Yucatan, Host Mayan Culture Festival, International Conference

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The Mexican state of Yucatan, a unique blend of the ancient Maya, Old World cultures and natural wonders, revealed itself as the best of three worlds to international groups this last month. The city of Merida, with 60% of its residents of Mayan descent, hosted the International Mayan Culture Festival from October 17 to November 3, while an international organization held their annual worldwide conference at the beachfront Mayan style Hotel Xixim (http://www.hotelxixim.com).

Local Mayan Dance Group from Celestun

"Profesias Mayas" Jazz Dance Group Celestun

At Hotel Xixim, we proudly support ecologically sustainable practices and our local Mayan communities.

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The Mayan culture, one of the world’s great ancient civilizations, had its beginnings over 2,000 years ago in Mesoamerica, with its apogee between 300 and 900 CE. Today, the state of Yucatan is one of several regions in Mexico in which speakers of an indigenous language constitute a majority group. In Yucatan, traditional Mayan culture is preserved. Hotel Xixim, a unique Mayan hotel one hour west of Yucatan’s capital city, Merida, offers a present-day Mayan experience: lodging in individual Mayan bungalows, traditional and Mayan fusion cuisine, Mayan SPA treatments, Mayan wedding ceremonies, excursions to nearby Mayan ruins, a cultural and natural history library, and friendly Mayan hospitality.

FICAMAYA in Merida
For the second year, the city of Merida celebrated the living legacy of the Maya World, or Mundo Maya, with a 17-day long International Mayan Culture Festival (October 17 – November 3). This festival in Mayan Yucatan, FICMAYA, also included the participation of other Mexican states and Central American countries with Mayan heritage.

An ample Mayan and Yucatecan-themed program was offered to the national and international public in multiple languages: concerts from symphonic orchestra productions to traditional troubadour (trova) serenades; Mayan dance from interpretive ballet to ancient and traditional styles; visual arts including film and Mayan language theater; photography, sculpture, painting and traditional craft exhibits; and scientific and literary conferences discussing Mayan mathematics and astronomy. Global visitors enjoyed Mayan music and gastronomic feasts along the elegant avenue Paseo de Montejo and in the city’s colonial parks. Merida’s Gran Museo del Mundo Maya opened with new Mayan archaeological exhibits. Events featured the world-famous Ballet Folklorico de Amalia Hernandez, and the grand finale performance by Yanni at the 16th century town of Izamal, complete with outdoor sound and light show.

For information on the 2014 International Mayan Culture Festival in Merida, Yucatan, visit the festival website and register to receive notices.

Worldwide Conference at Hotel Xixim
Several worldwide organizations have selected Hotel Xixim, just one hour west of Merida, for their annual retreat conferences. A recent group of 85 guests, arriving from over forty countries into Merida earlier this month, was transported to their business retreat at beachfront Hotel Xixim, nestled in the Celestun Biosphere Reserve.

Jaime Solís, Hotel Xixim’s general manager commented, “We are pleased that international groups have selected Hotel Xixim for their worldwide retreats and meetings. I believe they enjoy our unique Mayan hospitality and culture. We are proud of our dedication to ecological sustainability and eco-tourism practices, as well as support of our local Mayan communities”.

Hotel Xixim’s international group guests enjoyed the exclusivity of the hotel’s private setting on this western Yucatan white sand beach, a gala dinner with Mayan cuisine, and a camaraderie-building beach bonfire night. Many of the recent guests, taking advantage of their first visit to the Mayan world, extended their stay to sightsee at the nearby renowned Mayan archaeological sites of Uxmal, Chichen Itzá, and the caves of Loltún, the latter with vestiges of ancient Maya inhabitants from over 2,000 years ago.

For information on Mayan culture and daily excursions to Mayan archaeological sites from Hotel Xixim, visit the hotel’s Mayan Culture and Archaeology web page.

About Hotel Xixim
Hotel Xixim, pronounced “she-sheem” means “sea shell” in Mayan. Located in the Celestun Biosphere Reserve, just one hour west of Merida and near the world-class Mayan archaeological site of Uxmal, the hotel offers 32 individual beachside Mayan bungalow suites with capacity for up to 90 nightly guests and dining for up to 125. The hotel’s new Wellness Center includes a 43 foot diameter yoga or group retreat meeting pavilion, SPA treatment and juice therapy bungalows, gym, tree top ocean view bar with game and library area, a restaurant with Mayan-Mexican fusion and vegetarian menus, outdoor areas for yoga and meditation practice, two fresh-water swimming pools, and a beachside Jacuzzi.

Hotel Xixim is the recipient of TripAdvisor’s 2012 and 2013 Certificate of Excellence, awarded to only ten percent of hotels listed on this global travel review site. The hotel also received Fodor’s “2012 Choice” award and the 2010 Colibri Ecotourism award for ecologically sustainable practices. For assistance in planning a wellness or yoga group retreat, family reunion, wedding group, business conference, birding expedition, or archaeological adventure group, inquire at groups(at)hotelxixim(dot)com. Visit http://www.hotelxixim.com.

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Patti Kilpatrick
Solsierra Marketing
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