Yaxopoil, Yucatan.

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The next stop took my breath away. Dating back to the 17th Century, Hacienda Yaxcopoil (YASH-coh-poh-EEL).  The name Yaxcopoil means “the place of the green alamo trees” in Mayan and was named after the Mayan ruins nearby.  Yaxcoil captures three major points in Yucatan history:  the pre-Columbian period, the Spanish colonial period, and the booming years of henequen cultivation during the 19th and 20th centuries. Situated on the outskirts of Yucatan’s capital city, Merida, Hacienda Yaxcopoil was once one of the most prestigious estates in the area. It covered more than 20,000 acres, functioned as a cattle ranch, and later as a henequen plantation. It doesn’t have nearly as much land now, but the essence of the time period remains.


The sink on the left is from Yaxcopoil and the one on the right is from one of the 3rd floor baths in our home.

My own home was built in 1880, and I absolutely love this historical time frame. I knew this would be a treat.

This is my son Winston and our sweet tour guide Juan inside the factory.

1. old photo of a factory worker

We toured the buildings and learned about the process they used to manufacture henequen (sisal). The Casa de Maquina is the “large engine house.” The shredding machines were used to strip fiber from the henequen plant for more than a century before production ceased.
There was so much more to see, but I’d be writing forever. All of that history and culture!  Completely magnificent!

To top it all off, my son really set us up. I had no earthly idea that the place was for sale!  Don’t worry it’s still for sale today.

1. Grupo Plan. Black & White Historic Henequen/sisal Production Photos from Assorted Haciendas near Merida. Digital image. Historic Haciendas of Yucatan. Loco Gringo Riviera Maya Hotels & Vacation Rentals, n.d. Web. 23 Aug. 2012. <//www.locogringo.com/past_spotlights/dec2004.cfm>.

Shelli Alford is an artist and author, who enjoys learning from master oil painters from around the world and reviewing their classes, workshops and demonstrations.

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