Mérida, Yucatán — Couples seeking the exotic and spiritual are increasingly drawn to Mayan wedding ceremonies. But it’s more likely those couples are coming from places other than Mexico or the Yucatán Peninsula.
Ancient Yucatecan culture has begun to attract couples from other parts of the world who want to be wed through marriage rituals based on writings of the sacred book Popol Vuh and other ancient Maya stories.
Francisco Matos Campos is a Maya priest and founder of the NGO Guerreros Mayas Urbanos, or Urban Mayan Warriors, dedicated to the rescue of Mayan culture and traditions. He told Notimex that in Yucatán and Mexico couples prefer the traditional Catholic marriage ceremony, while in other countries, there is a growing interest Mayan weddings.
Since offering his services as a priest has has performed several Mayan wedding ceremonies for couples from countries such as Japan or Australia, but mostly for couples from Europe, a continent where every day there is growing interest and admiration for the Maya.
“In my time doing this, only a couple of Mexicans has requested my services. Really very few countrymen are interested in culture and, on the other hand, in Yucatán many seek to erase any evidence that it identified as Maya,” he said.
In fact, Matos Campos revealed that a large percentage of these marriages has performed it out of Yucatecan territory, as preferred by the interested place is the Riviera Maya, in the neighboring state of Quintana Roo.
Matos Campos stressed that the cost of a Mayan wedding is variable, usually between 15,000 and 20,000 pesos, depending on the request of the parties, as the ritual may include prehispanic music and dances.
One Yucatecan couple that went against Catholic traditions and family expectations were María del Mar Boeta Madera and Javier Alcocer Sánchezare. Their Mayan wedding ceremony was attended by only family and close friends.
Boeta Madera explained she and her partner never had an interest in Catholic weddings, and while they believe in a higher power, they are not beholden to religious traditions.
“What I can say is that we believe that everything in the universe has a reason, everything is connected, plants, animals, humans,” said the bride. “Every living thing deserves to be cared for and protected. And since when Javier and I decided we wanted to make a life together, we wanted you make a commitment that we will work together to make this work,” he said.