Quintana Roo’s archeological sites gradually reopen in the new normal

193 archeological sites in Mexico were closed for six months due to the COVID-19

Quintana Roo’s archeological sites gradually reopen in the new normal
Quintana Roo has 17 archeological sites - Photo: Taken from state governor Carlos Joaquín's Twitter account
English 24/09/2020 13:09 Mexico City Adriana Varillas Actualizada 13:11

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The National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) and the Quintana Roo government witnessed the reopening of the first four archeological sites located in the northern part of the state: Tulum, Cobá, San Gervasio, and Muyil.

The ceremony, that marks the reopening of the 40 archeological sites throughout Mexico out of the 193 in the whole country, was attended by the INAH’s general director Diego Prieto Hernández, the general director of the National Fund for Tourism Promotion (FONATUR) Rogelio Jiménez Pons, and governor Carlos Joaquín González, in addition to the INAH’s state governor Margarito Molina.

Prieto Hernández remembered that 193 Mexican archeological sites closed on March 23, that is, six months ago. “We would have never imagined that,” he said.

During his speech, he stressed that tourism is a fundamental economic source for Quintana Roo, a reason that enhances the relevance of gradually reopening its archeological sites.

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“Today, officially, four archeological sites reopen. Tulum, an extremely important port that is, since the 12th century, a fundamental place to understand Mexico,” he said.

The federal official explained that the reopening will be done carefully, not only because of tourists and visitors in general but also for the staff.

On September 14, the first day of its reopening, Cobá received 706 visitors, according to Margarito Molina.

Prieto Hernández considered that COVID-19 has taught Mexico how to recover the culinary traditions of its original peoples, such as the Mayan milpa. “We have to return to healthy food,” he said.

FONATUR’s general director, Rogelio Jiménez Pons, stressed the touristic relevance of Tulum and guaranteed that the Mayan Train project will improve all the archeological sites in the Yucatán Peninsula located near the train’s route.

“Tulum is the jewel in the crown. An admirable place,” he said while acknowledging it is a community “surpassed by its urban growth.”

After listing the government’s efforts to battle the health and economic crisis, governor Carlos Joaquín González praised the INAH’s decision to reopen the first four archeological sites of the more than 12 located in the state.

According to the INAH registry, there are 17 archeological sites in Quintana Roo: San Gervasio and Caracol-Punta Sur in Cozumel; El Rey and San Miguelito in Cancún; Muyil in Felipe Carrillo Puerto; Xel Ha, Xcaret and those inside the Calizas Industrials del Carmen (ALICA) and in Playacat in Solidaridad; El Meco in Isla Mujeres; Kinichná, Kohunlich, Chacchoben, Oxtankah. Chakanbakán, and Dzibanché in Othón P. Blanco; Tulum and Cobá in Tulum.

Some of the rules for visitors include the mandatory use of face masks since the gates to protect the staff selling tickets as well as those who check them at the entrance.

Visitors will be provided hand sanitizer and will have to undergo temperature checks. Visitors must keep 1.5 meters apart from others, except for children, who will have to be accompanied by an adult.

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