Tulum Beach, Riviera Maya

The end of the World is believed by some to correspond with the end of the Maya calendar on Dec. 21, 2012

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COUNTDOWN TO 2012: The Italian End-of-the-World Village in Yucatan

The end of the World is believed by some to correspond with the end of the Maya calendar on Dec. 21, 2012

Part of an occasional series on the interest in the end of the Maya calendar on Dec. 21, 2012.

The Italian - Maya end of the world

Los italianos naturalizados mexicanos se niegan a hablar con las autoridades municipales sobre las obras; incluso, colocaron un letrero en el que se prohíbe el paso a la región (Foto: EL UNIVERSAL )

In a region literally surrounded by some of the most beautiful Maya ruins in the world, a group of Italian citizens have established a small enclave in the village of Xul where they intend to sit out the apocalypse that some believe the ancient Maya predicted for Dec. 21, 2012.

State and federal officials are studying the group, just as anthropologists and archaeologists from around the world have studied the Maya.

Xul (pronounced “shool”) is a village in the municipality of Oxkutzcab, some 65 kilometers south of Yucatan’s capital, Merida, and some 95 kilometers southwest of Chichen Itza. A short distance away are a string of exquisite Maya ruins — Uxmal, Kabah, Sayil, Labna, and the Cavern of Loltun, the so-called “Puuc route,” named after the style of architecture found there.

According to a report in the Mexican journal Milenio, the foreigners have constructed a ciudadela, or citadel, that according to locals who helped build it has walls with hollow centers that contain some unknown material that, reportedly, is supposed to protect those inside from radiation and bacteria that will be the result of the end of the world.

The Location

Officials in Mexico and Yucatan have expressed concern about this group and others like it, fearing that their apocalyptic preconceptions might spread. On the other hand, the Xul 2012 community has been paying taxes and contributing to the local economy while its members, for the most part, have kept to themselves.

According to Milenio, there has been an increased presence of foreigners which believe in the prophecies or the curative powers of the ancient Maya. There is a group located near the site of Ek Balam, not far from Chichen Itza, and another in Temozon in the state of Quintana Roo. Every year thousands descend upon Chichen Itza and Dzibulchaltun to witness the equinoxes.

This is the first group, however, that outwardly has apocalyptic designs, related to the ancient Maya calendar which completes a more than 5,000-year cycle in 2012. Some have claimed that the Maya have prophecized the end of the world at that time.

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