Cenotes are mystical places, natural pools deeply knit together with mayan culture. Xibalba means Underworld, mayas believe every cenote is a door, an entrance to The Underworld.
We consider ourselves blessed for having the incredible gift from nature that are cenotes. Many of them are deep and filled with crystal clear water creating an intricate underground network that emerges at random locations. So far more than 3 thousand have been discovered in Mexico and counting.
Their most captivating characteristic is that they differ vastly from one another but in the end they all share the mayan mysticism that surrounds them.
The Xibalba Freediving Competition was born 10 years ago, in 2009, and was run for 3 times in the Cenote Azul. Looking for more visibility and depth in 2018 we decided to move it into a place with better conditions: Cenote Ucil. This is the perfect opportunity to take a new challenge on this mystical place surrounded by nature and history, the Xibalba Freediving Competition will be run for third time at Ucil, and you can feel the magic of this sacred waters with a beautiful landscape, and ideal conditions for a depth freediving competition.
Xibalba Freediving Competition is organized by Lemus Underwater School, the school of the Mexican and Continental Champion Alejandro Lemus.
In our culture, everything has a meaning. Owls are frequently found at night inside the cenotes, they are messengers between both worlds, they are the only creatures that can cross at any time in either direction, just like us, freedivers.
Jaguars are revered animals widely represented in local culture, archaeological sites and symbols. The maya people believe jaguars possess powerful minds and genius, they are the head of their beliefs and providers of protection.
Talking about protection, there is the Aluxe, they are represented carved in stones or other materials and they are still believed to possess the highest level of protection. Aluxes are a sort of gnome or forest dweller, a myth, a small creature that roams the earth gifted with big owl-like eyes to see at night, that protect the fields and stay loyal to its owner. The aluxe is granted with the best properties from different animals, its heart is a combination of jaguar and dove, enabling him to be both; fearless and tender. They can imitate any animal’s call, which allows them to communicate with every animal in the forest, from the tiniest insects to the wildest beast. In mayan culture, they symbolize the highest level of protection, and that’s why we named to our Safety Team: Aluxes.
This is why we are proud to introduce all this mysticism and with our moreforst respect we appeal to every competent authority -animate or inanimate- permission from the gods, locals governors, authorities and local people in the small villages, to build in one week a friendly competition within the expertise of medics, judges, safeties, and the blessings and protection of the native culture.