EMILIANO & JAEHEE
emiliano@lacasapark.com  917 406 2854
jaehee@lacasapark.com  917 373 1548
Take the C train to Clinton Washington | Map

IMG_0293Hacienda Yaxcopoil.

One of the main interest for us to explore Merida was to visit these rich and historic Haciendas in and near Merida. ( thanks to Emi’s creative research as always..!)  Hacienda and museum Yaxcopoil, the 17th century Plantation house is located 13kms from Merida and it’s magnificent despite how much it has run down by today.  It was a bit cloudy day, so actually it was perfect for us to do a bit of field trip by car and we planned to visit also one more hacienda Ochil which is located very close to Yaxcopoil. After an early breakfast of “pan tostatda and nutella (always our favorita!) at our lovely colonial home with beautiful tiled floor we rented during the stay at Merida, now we are hitting the road to Yaxcopoil!

IMG_0090The exterior  of much weathered and washed hacienda Yaxcopoil (it means the place of the green Alamo trees) over last 4 centuries…

Hacienda Yaxcopoil was once considered as one of the most important rural estate in the Yucatan due to its size and magnificence. It covered about 22,000 acres of land at the time of its greatest splendor, operating first as a cattle ranch then later as a henequen plantation ( Agave platation; mainly seperated fibers from agave plants to make ropes). It’s hard to believe the remained hacienda today is only less than 3% of it’s original size due to continuous political, social and economic changes. It’s very sad. I can’t even imagine how rich the hacienda would have been at it’s best period!

IMG_0096

IMG_0106Beautiful interior of Casa Principal, the main building contains large lounges and drawing rooms with original European furnitures from 19th century, spacious corridors with high ceilings (about 30 feet at least!!!) and extensive gardens with varieties vegetation in colors and species… The Casa Principal has 5 rooms that stretch out to both east and west in symmetry with most amazing colorful tile work that changes from room to room. Here check out all 5 different tile work.

IMG_0107The center room.: the reception room is presided over by two oil paintings showing Don Donaciano Garcia Rejon and his wife Dona Monica Galera, who acquired the hacienda in 1864.

IMG_0105The first room off the center one in west wing.

IMG_0108

IMG_0113The last room in the west wing.

IMG_0111

IMG_0112Old photos and paintings of residents at Yaxcopoil are still hung from room to room. Either that is power of Government or a rich and considering private investor, we really hope things will remain and preserved in safe ways.  The hacienda’s decaying is being stopped by special treatment using some sort of mixture with honey to allow the visitors to experience the authentic charm of the haciendas and feel the echos of old history yet also it breaks my heart to think that all of this could be gone in any time or further decay and get destroyed… The hacienda is up for sale to public at this moment.

IMG_0124 The transfer of tile work from the center room to the first room of the east wing.

IMG_0125

IMG_0126The second room  into the east wing. The beautiful tiled floor continues and changes. As the tiles feel more as marble like texture, matt yet colorful but not shiny and slippery as ones in new days. Contrast to today’s modernism in less and minimal approach to the beauty, these old hacienda’s intricate tiled floor works as warm and more is more kind of attitude. I absolutely love the patterns and colors. They are done in immaculate taste.

IMG_0116The terrace right outside of the east wing toward the back of the hacienda. The view from here to the open court yard  in between the casa principal and the hall, and the entire site of historic plantation field where Machine house is located is quite amazing.

IMG_0117

IMG_0160

IMG_0128

IMG_0178

IMG_0197Not sure how popular this hacienda is during this time period, but honestly we only had handful of visitors the day we visited. Above is Senor, Mario who was born in the Yaxcopoil Hacienda and raised and worked for all his life at the hacienda. He was sent to school right in front of the hacienda and had one doctor for all his life also right in front of the hacienda. Senor Mario gave us priceless private tour of the entire remaining site . Senor Mario had countless stories and memories to tell us with such a pride and nostalgia.  I mean Yaxcopoil Is his life and himself. He’s 67 years old today.

IMG_0196

IMG_0170Maybe one of our favorite rooms at Yaxcopoil hacienda. The ‘ Hall’ that turned into a small museum of Yucatan potteries and  objects. The beautiful flooring again and rustic bowls and hefty stone grinders are quite fabulous here.

IMG_0166

IMG_0167Here the Maya Room displays numerous pieces of ancient potteries and other archaeological relics of the ” Classic Period” ( A.D.250-900) found in the Mayan ruins of Yaxcopoil.

IMG_0169

IMG_0147Once it was a cattle farm that bred 2000 cows, the Hacienda now has 2 horses outside of east wing of the casa principal. They are peaceful…

IMG_0150

IMG_0208We follow the trail of senor Mario on his special private tour for us. Walking through the garden of the Hacienda.  He points out impressive water system for the entire hacienda including US made water pump that still works for today .

IMG_0226

IMG_0229Collected water by the water pump from the well underneath will be collected here and get to distribute to entire hacienda through stone water way that is built all the way around the property. It’s a huge system if you think then the hacienda was covering 22 ,000 acres of land and fed 2000 cows and other thousands of workers.

IMG_0242The Machine House: Casa de Maquena…

Ahhh it has been so run down… missing a few walls and all.  But also it’s very beautiful. Senor Mario had specially opened up the engine room for us to see (actually I was impressed that this room was quite well maintained).  The henequen (agave) shredding machines that were used to render fibers from the henequen plant is actually sitting outside from the engine room.  The engine was used upto 1984, when the production of henequen fiber has ended… It was more than a century of operation.

IMG_0243

IMG_0263The 100 HP German Diesel motor.

IMG_0247

IMG_0261

IMG_0296This old photo well represent how rich and prominent work that Yaxcopoil has done at it’s best time.

IMG_0301The Chapel of hacienda.

IMG_0298

Now..It’s the end of our 2 hour tour with Senor Mario… What a great man with a pride of the hacienda and the  life he had in and for.  It naturally came to our emotions, appreciation, broken hearts and uncertainty of the future of this hacienda, Yaxcopoil.  We all broke down to tears…

Senor Mario. Thank you so much again for your generous time and stories that you shared with us.

This one single visit to the Hacienda Yaxcopoil made this entire trip worth and more. Sipping mixed cocktails and munching on chips on the beach just can’t beat this kind of experience.  It’s nice  but it’s not enough. It enriched our little lives that much more with this one visit. Our better understanding of culture of Mexico. It completely satisfied our hunger to taste what a great authentic Hacienda meant.  Also we know where to take this learning and how to apply for our new future trips with Gael to experience the ” Real” things.

I am so tired of lousily embellished insignificant commercial uneducated pretentious Bourgeoisie of this modern days. It’s everywhere and it pollutes our mind. You know what I mean!!!!!

I believe a visit to a few prominent haciendas is important to understand the past rich history of  Yucatan. The hacienda represents 3 great periods in the Yucatan Peninsula: the pre-Columbian period, the Spanish Colonial period and the boom years of henequen cultivation during the late 19th and early 20th century. While many haciendas have been destroyed or allowed to fall into ruin or in a contrary, they have been completely renovated in great deal of commercial way to be used as high end hotels. But Hacienda Yaxcopoil has been preserved to stop the time.

If you are visiting Merida, this is one must check out. Step back into its history!

Comments

Name (required)

Email (required)

Website

Speak your mind

4 Comments so far

  1. Best Relaxation / Spa Hotel in the Caribbean & Mexico in the 2010 TripAdvisor Travelers? Choice Awards :: Asia Vaganza on December 31, 2010 2:03 pm

    [...] Hacienda Yaxcopoil, Yaxcopoil, Mexico : LACASAPARK [...]

  2. Best Hotel In Lima Peru | Travel Machu Picchu on January 1, 2011 11:17 pm

    [...] a nice hotel in Lima Peru, such as the Hacienda hotels offers the traveler numerous options and good chances to spend an amazing time in Peru. [...]

  3. La Vida Yucateca, Mexico : LACASAPARK on January 4, 2011 4:40 pm

    [...] Main Entrance to Hacienda Ochil: about 1o mt car ride from Hacienda Yaxcopoil [...]

  4. Nancy on December 29, 2012 7:53 am

    I have been reading your blog about your travels throughout Yucatan as I try to read all I can about an area that my husband and I love also. I love your photos and writing, and the photo of Senor Mario brought me to tears as well. I hope that he is still well and able to give tours of the place he has such pride in. Thank you for sharing.