Community based tourism > Unajil Ek balam

History

Ek Balam is a town of approximately 300 inhabitants, its name in Mayan means “black jaguar”. Due to the restorations of the archaeological site of Ek Balam arises the farmer’s idea to start several touristic projects. In 2000, the CDI (Commission for the Development of Indigenous Peoples) proposed the Ejido (common lands) to build a set of cabins for touristic purposes, but it wasn´t until 2004 that they consolidated as a civil association called Unajil Ek Balam.

Nonetheless, they decided to regroup as the cooperative “U Kuchil Kuxal” in 2006 due to some difficulties that appeared. The project joined Co’ox Mayab through an invitation with the purpose to give the cooperative bigger promotion and projection.

About the location

In Ek Balam, a small village in the east of Yucatan, the most spoken language is Maya. There you´ll visit the place calmly with a local guide, you´ll visit the traditional house of the Yucatecan Maya population, participate in different workshops where you’ll learn how to make handmade tortillas, the technique for hammock weaving and needlework. You’ll also visit the Mayan milpa, where you’ll get to know the cultivation process of corn, pumpkin and beans.

You’ll visit the community museum, where you’ll learn about the history of the Mayan people from the prehispanic to the present time. With the combination of traditions and modernity, Ek Balam has found in tourism a new way to reinforce its Mayan identity. Tourism offers new productive options that help to improve their quality of life while protecting its natural and cultural richness.

Offered activities:

  • Community-based tour (milpa, needlework, hammock weaving, tortillas)
  • Visit to the archeological site of Ek Balam
  • Visit to the cenote Dzalbay
  • Lodging in cabins or tents.
  • Restaurant with traditional dishes.
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