San Gervasio, Cozumel.

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The ruins were once a hub of worship of the goddess Ix Chel. The Maya archeological site of San Gervasio has an unusually long history, beginning sometime around 100 BC and continuing as late as the 16th century.

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Pre-Columbian Maya women would try to travel to San Gervasio and make offerings at least once in their lives. In 1560, the Spanish historian, Diego Lopez de Cogolludo, wrote: “The pilgrims arrive at Cozumel for the fulfillment of their vows to offer their sacrifices, to ask help for their needs, and for the mistaken adoration of their false gods.” The bishop of Yucatán, Diego de Landa, wrote in 1549 that the Maya “held Cozumel in the same veneration as we have for pilgrimages to Jerusalem and Rome, and so they used to go to visit and offer presents there, as we do to holy places; and if they did not go themselves, they always sent their offerings.

The park is a wildlife refuge and the local iguana population has become quite habituated to humans. Although other species of lizards abound, they are not so trusting. Likewise, the peccaries and coatis that are sometimes spotted as they pass through the ruins tend to keep a safe distance from the tourists.

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