CULTURE  

 

Cozumel (formerly spelled Cuzamil) was named by the ancient Mayans, a name comprised of their words “CUZAM” (swallow) and “LUMIL” (land of).  The island’s name was eventually changed to Cozumel by the Spanish.  

 

Our island was always considered a sacred sanctuary honoring IXCHEL, the goddess of the moon, fertility, and childbirth. Pregnant women and females wanting to have healthy children would participate in religious pilgrimages from every corner of the Mayan Empire, coming from as far away as Tabasco in the north and Honduras in the south.   

 

On May 3rd, 1518, Juan de Grijalva, the renowned Spanish explorer, landed on Cuzamil and renamed it “the Island of the Holy Cross.” Cozumel still celebrates this day at the town of El Cedral with all sorts of traditional events, such as bullfights, horse races, traditional banquets, and dances. Later, during 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries, Cozumel was a safe haven for pirates. 

 

As a consequence of Yucantan’s “War of the Castes,” the town known as “Villa de San Miguel de Cozumel” was formally established by families trying to escape the violence. From 1920 to 1930, the popularity of chicle (organic chewing gum derived from tree sap) swelled. This increase in chicle production, as well as its pineapple exports, were important to Cozumel’s economy. Today, the island’s population is around 75,000 and the island’s main economic activity is tourism. Cozumel is now recognized worldwide for being one of the most spectacular scuba diving destinations. Clear waters, magnificent coral reefs, hundreds of varieties of colorful fish, and underwater scenery all help to distinguish Cozumel from all other Caribbean destinations. 

 

 

For more information visit the Cozumel Museum on Rafael E. Melgar Avenue. 

 

Guide, tourist information,maps,restaurants,diving,hotels,ferry,Cozumel,sites of interest,vacations,snorkel,tours,Mexico,Riviera Maya 

 

 

Guide, tourist information,maps,restaurants,diving,hotels,ferry,Cozumel,sites of interest,vacations,snorkel,tours,Mexico,Riviera Maya