LATINO VOICES
12/21/2012 05:21 pm ET

Mayan Celebrations Held Across Latin America, As Baktun 13 Ends And New Era Begins (PHOTOS)

Maya Celebrations Across Latin America

Maya celebrations marking the end of the calendar known as Baktun 13 and the start of a new era were held across Mesoamerica and observed in other parts of Latin America as well on Friday.

While many foreigners interpreted the date as an apocalypse and companies like Jello built advertising campaigns of questionable taste around the event, locals living in the areas once ruled by the Mayans marked the day with celebrations.

"The world was never going to end, this was an invention of the mass media," Ollin Yolotzin, who leads the Aztec ritual dance group Cuautli-balam, told the Associated Press. "It is going to be a good era. ... We are going to be better."

Locals celebrating the dawn of the new era had plenty of company from the thousands of tourists that came to see off the end of the thirteenth Baktun in the cradle of Maya civilization. Not a single hotel room is available in the town of Valladolid, Mexico, outside of the Maya ruins of Chichén Itzá, HuffPost Travel's Andrew Burmon reports.

Check out how people are celebrating the end of the current Maya calendar across Latin America in the slideshow above.

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Valladolid, Mexico



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