Thursday,  October 6, 2022  2:41 am

MexicoFest Showcases State Of Yucatan To The West

MexicoFest Showcases State Of Yucatan To The West

The fourth annual MexicoFest kicked off in Vancouver last week with a series of travel industry and public events showcasing the State of Yucatan.

The two week long cultural exhibition began when the Cuauhtemoc tall ship sailed into the North Vancouver pier Sept. 3, commemorating Mexican independence, and continued with Yucatan art exhibits, an  academic lecture at UBC on Mayan culture and a Yucatan fiesta.

Travel industry events included the annual MexicoFest Golf Tournament and the gala reception at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver with live cultural performances and showcasing the culinary creations of top Yucatan chef David Alejandro Cetina Medina.

Claudia Franco, Consul General of Mexico in Vancouver was on hand during the festivities.

“It’s our goal with MexicoFest to teach you something about Mexico that you didn’t know, and instill a curiosity in you,” said Franco.

Franco also said the State of Yucatan is rich in Mayan culture and cuisine, and contains the most prominent Mayan archeological site- Chichen Itza.

“The Mayans were the equivalent of what the Egyptians were,” said Franco Hijuelos, noting the archeological similarities of Chichen Itza to the Pyramids of Egypt.

According to Rodrigo Esponda, the Mexico Tourism Board’s director, Canada, 2014 has seen a 22 per cent increase in international visitors over 2013, with a seven per cent increase in Canadian visitors.

The influx of international tourists to the State of Yucatan, prompted the government to install a new International Affairs department located in the capital city of Merida, catering to medical, legal and administrative needs of visitors.

Merida, in close proximity to Chichen Itza, is known for its boutique properties and refurbished haciendas, many of which are now fully operative hotels, with rooms ranging from rustic to luxury.

Eric Luis Rubio, chief of staff, State of Yucatan told PAXnewsWest the region is the cultural hub of Southeast Mexico.

Through a translator, Rubio explained some of the unique characteristics of the region.

Rubio said when the meteorite of Chicxulub hit the Yucatan peninsula thousands of years ago, it sent  a ripple effect through the earth,  creating sink holes called ‘cenotes’, which are swimming and snorkeling sites, popular tourists attractions in the region.

He added that Yucatan also has its share of white sand beaches along the Gulf of Mexico. Progresso is the main beach and cruise port, and Chelen Beach, Chuburna Beach, Telchac Beach and Celestun Beach are also seeing an increase in hotel developments.

Rubio said the Yucatan Tourism Board sending the message that the Yucatan Peninsula has as much or more in terms of tourism offerings as the neighboring Mayan Riviera, often at a more accessible price point.

Other highlights of the State are known as the ‘Magical towns’ of Izamal and Valladolid, which are abundant in medieval architecture, cathedrals, museums and restaurants.

MexicoFest continues in Vancouver and Victoria this week, showcasing Mexican cinema during the Latin American Film Festival.

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Photo: At centre, Claudia Franco Hijuelos, Consul General of Mexico in Vancouver and Eric Luis Rubio Barthell, chief of staff, State of Yucatan with performers from Yucatan.