Maní, Yucatan — City and state officials are ready to make the case that Maní, one of the municipalities along the Covent Route, deserves to be declared an official Pueblo Mágico.
City Council formally launched the application process to achieve “Magical Town” status, a national tourism promotion that highlights municipalities with natural beauty, cultural riches and historic significance.
Mayor Santos Román Dzul Beh reported that he is working in coordination with the state government to present an application before federal authorities. The designation already has the support of SEFOTUR, the Ministry of Tourism Promotion, which decides which pueblos are indeed magic, the mayor said.
So far, 83 towns have achieved this status, including Izamal and Valladolid in Yucatan state. Some towns, such as San Miguel de Allende, have had the designation taken away, indicating that municipalities have to work to maintain their positions on the list.
Maní deserves the honor, according to Dzul Beh, for its historical significance, and sacred treasures and Mayan codices in the pueblo’s possession.
About 100 km southeast of Merida, Maní attracts tourists to its Franciscan monastery established in 1549, built from stones cut in pre-Columbia times. Its history includes the horrors of the conquistators’ campaign against the Maya. In 1562, Friar Diego de Landa held an auto de fe Inquisitional ceremony here, burning a number of Maya hieroglyphic books and a reported 5,000 idols, saying that they were “works of the devil.” This act and numerous incidents of torture at the monastery were used to speed the mass adoption of Roman Catholicism throughout the region.
The region is agricultural, mainly henequen and maize, but also cattle, and hammocks production continues here as well.