How to go to Muyil and Sian Ka’an on your own and simultaneously support the local community

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In front of the ADO station you can find a combi that takes you to Muyil for 30 pesos.
The enterence to the ruins is right across from the bus stop.
I like the Muyil ruins more that the ruins of Tulum. In Muyil you get a bit more of a jungle feel.
Only few people were there when I went, which was at 9 o’clock. It was silent. I could hear birds and gekkos singing. Raindops fell peacefully from the leaves. Rays of sun danced on the briks of the ruins.

My friend and I found a boat man by the entrance to the ruins, but you can also find them by the lagune.

You can drive or walk to the lagune without entering the ruin site, but the walk from the ruins is nice.

The boat took us to two lagunes, and a small river where we floated on life jackets while the current transported us to the other end of the river where our boat man waited with our sandals. It was soo relaxing! The water was so clear that we could see the bottom all the time. When we used our glasses we could see fish and the mangroves from underneath. If you have followed my blog, you already know that I find the sight of the mangroves from below enchanting.

I really enjoyed just laying on my back with my head facing the sun. It was refreshing to tan with half of the body in the water, and a view of green mangrove trees on both sides, and white clouds on a blue sky above. I would not have minded taking an extra round.

I highly recommend that you go on your on instead of buying a tour. I have been told both by the boat man and a man in a tour agency store, that the tour agencies that claim that they support local Mayan communities, do not do anything.

The young man who took us on a boat ride in Sian Ka’an, told me that he liked his job and that he liked life in Muyil where he was born and raised. He found it peacefull and quit. In Muyil everybody speaks Maya. He told me that the Mayans are loosing their tradition. Many young people no longer want to speak the Mayan language. In Muyil they still have a milpa and grow corn.

Part of what the boat men in Muyil earn goes to the community. They have for example used the money to construct a new school. The community school is where the children can learn maya.
Every 6 month the boat men have to pay 10000 pesos to the government to be licenced to sail in the reserve. the fee is created with the goal of protecting the area. It hinders that too many boats will sail in the biosphere.

He fears the land will be destoyed if sold to forreigners. He fears that foreigners will build hotels and come with fancy boats, which will appeal more to the tourists than his simple boat, whereby the local men will loose their livelihood.

Like the boat men of Muyil, I cannot do much to hinder that the natural reserve disappears by being turned into a hotel zone. Neither can I hinder that foreigners run the boat show and thereby take jobs from local people. Nevertheless, I hope somebody will read this, be influenced, and decide to buy more directly from the community. This will assure the livelihood of the Muyil men, and help the cultural traditions such as the wish to teach the children the language of their abulitos.

I know that I should not say this directly, or without a long academic argument, but I do find it very wrong that foreigners own the land of the area, and control the businesses. And that the Mexicans, not least the Mayans who have lived on the land for generations, are used as cheap labor. Therefore, let’s support the local boat men who we can support, while they are still there!  

A small wave in the water might grow strong!  

P.S.

You save money! you do not have to wait for a group, or be bussed around by a guide! You get nature and quitness!
Prices pr person
bus: 30 pesos each way
entry to the muyil ruins: 49 pesos
board walk: 50 pesos
boat to two lagunes and the river where you can float: 600 pesos and a tip

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