In Yucatán there are no rivers or lakes, water is mostly found deep in the earth, in cenotes. If you’re wondering why our water is so well-hidden, the Yucatecan legend of the lady in the water will make everything crystal clear.
The goddess of the Earth, Luum Cab, only had one daughter: the beautiful Há (water), and she loved her above all else. The two were inseparable and the mother was always happiest when she was at her daughter’s side.
One day, the young Há went for a walk. She yearned to be alone so that she could enjoy a moment of freedom. She arrived at a hidden place in the forest. It was the dwelling of the god Uinic (man) and it was an absolute paradise. Parrots and hummingbirds lived there, great trees grew delicious fruits, and beautiful flowers left a lingering perfume in the air.
Uinic was resting under the shade of a Ceiba tree when he saw the young girl and immediately fell in love. But when he tried to speak to her, she disappeared. Há was so fascinated by the place, though, that she returned the next day and Uinic, who had fallen madly in love, invited her to return. Days went by, and as destiny would have it, Há fell in love with the handsome god. But how would she tell her mother?
“You will never marry Uinic!,” her angry mother said. “You will never see him again!” She took the beautiful Há and magically transported her deep into the earth and hid her there.
“Nobody will hear you or see you, particularly not your beloved Uinic!,” she said. But Uinic looked for Há in every corner of the Mayab. One day, desperate and saddened, he began to cry next to some rocks. His cries reached Há, who started yelling out for her beloved. Following the sound of her voice, he discovered a small cave and entered. When he found Há, he realized he could not rescue her because she was far too deep within the cave.
Using his magical powers, he returned to the surface and knocked down a huge tree to make a wooden ladder for Há to climb. This is how they succeeded in being together. That is why in Yucatán, we cherish the water that’s found deep within the earth, as a reminder of Uinic’s love for Há.
Editorial by Violeta H. Cantarell
“Meridana,” traveler, animal lover, passionate reader, commentator, and enthusiastic promoter of the natural and human beauty of Yucatán.
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