I had to keep reminding myself we were in search of a “Talking Cross” and not a “Singing Cross.” As much as I wanted to be in a Disney movie, the legend only accounted for a cross that had talked (although, seriously, I think the big bucks would have been to go with a cross that could belt one out). Anyway, as the legend goes…
…in 1849, when the War of the Castes turned against them, the Maya of the northern Yucatan Peninsula made their way to Carrillo Puerto seeking refuge. Regrouping, they were ready to sally forth again in 1850 when a ‘miracle’ occurred. A wooden cross erected at a cenote on the western edge of the town began to talk – exhorting the Maya to continue the struggle against the Spanish and promising victory (bold cross or ventriloquist?). The oracle guided the Maya in battle for more than eight years, until their great victory, conquering the fortress at Bacalar. Carrillo Puerto today remains a center of Maya pride – as a symbol of the Maya people’s struggle against inequality and injustice.*
On this particular day of driving from Bacalar to Playa Del Carmen in the state of Quintana Roo in Mexico, we found ourselves in the vicinity of the town of Felipe Carrillo Puerto. It was decided we could not move forward until we had found and seen this talking cross (secretly, I was still hoping for a Let It Go reprise).
We, duh, went to the main church square in town – seemed like the logical place to find a revered cross.
I don’t see any inanimate objects here that look loquacious…?
But no luck. Further inquiries with the very kind overseer at the old church led us next to a location a few blocks away – down a deserted road on the edge of town…
…where we found the talking cross housed in an old thatch roofed building, with some – while not so illustrious – but very attentive caretakers:
No shoes allowed, no shirts required.
No shoes were allowed worn inside the premises, and apparently one of the caretakers felt this translated to shirts as well. Anyway, at long last, we were finally able to view the Talking Cross.
Teen is enthralled…with the thought of getting an actual coke soon.
It’s back there behind all the garlands, liter coke bottles filled with water and other various offerings – the reason for which our guide was not really able to explain to us (the cross might get thirsty if it decides to talk again…?)
It did not talk for us (nor did it sing) – but I thought I might have heard a few bars being hummed as we left the premises…or, that might have been Teen doing his best ventriloquist imitation.
For more travels in Mexico:
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*Mexico Lonely Planet