To the rescue of traditional toys and games in Yucatan


The yellow canvas of the first magical town of Mexico and Yucatán extends its arms of sunshine to visitors who are amazed by the imposing Franciscan convent, the sanctuary of the Virgin of Izamal, the second largest atrium in the world after San Pedro in the Vatican.  

In the greatness of this place, they are also recreated in stories, they are reflected through generations that do not want to let the legacy of the great Mayan culture disappear. 

In one of the picturesque streets of Izamal, there is Don Martín Francisco Pech Ancona, craftsman of this magical place, who exhibits the traditional toys of yesteryear, such as the kimbomba, the tinjoroch, the cirquero, the balero, among others, which perhaps people who are grandparents now can still remember with joy. Those times when wooden toys and simple games were the only means of recreation for children. That is why the rescue of these toys is essential for Don Martín who by inheritance of his ancestors has dedicated himself to making these: 

 “Due to the technological boom, cell phones, tablets, video games, kids are no longer playing with the traditional Mexican and Yucatecan toys and games that our parents taught us previously, such as kimbomba, tinjoroch, cirquero, chácara, those are the main targets that Ka ‘bo’ ob Ku meyajo’ob to rescue this important part of Yucatecan tradition”. 

Don Martín lost his workshop where he made toys last year when the heavy rains in the state and the pandemic drove tourists away, however, in the middle of the street, and under the name “Ka ‘bo’ ob Ku meyajo’ob” with which he named his workshop, and means ” hands that work ”, still continues to show visitors and inhabitants of this picturesque municipality how the tinjoroch is played, which buzzes cutting the air while the thread tightens and its center rotates without stopping made of small circular wood or a bottle cap.  

Given the low sales and scarce tourism, Don Martín says that he is sure that the arrival of a modern, dynamic train, such as the Maya Train, will drive this magical town again, and it will boost the local economy.

“Izamal will welcome the train, and if this is to be completed, it will be a trigger not only for the artisans but for most of the economy of the Izamaleños, the arrival of the Maya train is something that will help the people of Izamal since more visitor will come not only from Merida, but also from other states too”, he said. 

If you visit Izamal, look for Don Martín near the Franciscan convent, he will teach you to play with the balero, you can have fun with the cirquero and you can help to rescue these traditional toys.

Source: YA

The Yucatan Post