Mexico bans Maya ceremony at ancestral temples

New Age tourists will be flocking to Mexico's Yucatan Penninsula this week for the "end of the Maya calendar" (sic). But Yucatecan Maya elder José Manrique Esquivel protests that he and his followers will be barred from performing ceremonies at the peninsula's ancient Maya sites. "We would like to do these ceremonies in the archaeological sites, but unfortunately they won't let us enter," Esquivel told the AP. "It makes us angry, but that's the way it is... We perform our rituals in patios, in fields, in vacant lots, wherever we can." Francisco de Anda, press director for the government's National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), offers two reasons for the ban: "In part it is for visitor safety, and also for preservation of the sites, especially on dates when there are massive numbers of visitors... Many of the groups that want to hold ceremonies bring braziers and want to burn incense, and that simply isn't allowed."

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