Yucatan Adventure - Maya Travel Guide

Saint Isidro Labrador:
Patron of Xcalacoop
and Hacienda Chichen
Chichen Itza, Yucatan, Mexico

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Annual Celebrations Honoring
Saint Isidro Labrador


Yucatan Colonial Festival - San Isidro Labrador

During Mexico's Colonial Era, all native people were forced to abandon their original religious believes in favor to Catholicism, including the Maya people; a religion that promotes praying for personal requests to God through the intercession of saints, calling to mind Job 42:8. Even today, the many Mayan communities celebrate their spiritual traditions with a great mixture of both: ancient Maya Cosmovision and mystism with Catholic dogma and saints.

     In Yucatan the Spaniards bestowed a patron saint to each Hacienda. San Isidro Labrador was declared the patron saint of Hacienda Chichen by Francisco de Montejo in the 16th Century; Saint Isidro Labrador was chosen because he is the patron saint of Madrid in Spain, the native city of conquistador Montejo.  

     Since then, prayers to San Isidro Labrador have spread among the Maya people living nearby the Hacienda Chichen; especial devotion to this saint increased through the years, mainly because Saint Isidro (died May 15, 1772)  was himself a humble virtuous farmer, who had great faith and union with God.  His virtuous living is an example of faith, honor, discipline, respect, and love for God among Volunteer Mayan children programs in Chichen Itza, Yucatan, Mexicothe Maya farmers of this region, who every year on May 15th they gather in the Colonial Church of Hacienda Chichen to honor their beloved Saint Isidro Labrador.  The annual festivities to the saint include a Catholic mass, follow by a big Fiesta and meal for many Mayan community families and workers, delicious Mayan cooking: cochinita pibil tacos, soft drinks and traditional coconut sweets are served after the children brake large colorful piñatas in the Church's front yard.  Everyone is invited to participate and enjoy all our 2015 traditional Mexican fiestas and celebrations, so if you are in the vicinity of Chichen Itza on May 15 of any year, be sure to join in the fiesta and celebrations.

Saint Isidro Labrador's Brief History:

    Saint Isidro the Laborer was a Spanish farmer known for his goodness, hard work, kindness to animals and for his great love to God. He was in the service of the wealthy Madrid landowner Juan de Vargas, working on a farm near Madrid.

San Isidro Labrador: Hacienda Chichen Patron Saint.     According to the legend, St. Isidro was born in 1082 in the Christian family that lived in the small Madgerit city, which is now Madrid. When the boy grew old, he started doing peasant work for his landowner Juan de Vargas. At the same time, he revealed an unusual ability to find sources of drinking water, which made him popular all around the neighborhood and which combined with great devotion and kindness of a saint. Every morning before going to work, Isidro went to Mass at one of the churches in Madrid, then a small city called Madgerit.  One day, his fellow-laborers complained to their master that Isidro was always late for work in the morning; upon investigation, so runs the legend, the master found that indeed, Isidro kept coming late to work; even found him in numerous times at prayer instead of working the fields. To the amazement of his master, while Isidro prayed, angels were doing the work for him; thus, ending his labor in less time that his fellow farmers.  Saint Isidro is known to have performed miracles such as bringing back to life his master's deceased daughter, and making a fountain of fresh water to burst from the dry earth in order to quench his master's thirst.

     St. Isidro lived a long life till 90, during which a lot of goodness was done. In 1172 he was buried in the Church of St. Andrew, not far from his home, and from this time people were coming here to pray not only to St. Andrew, but also to St. Isidro. Little by little, he became one of the most esteemed Madrid saints and in XVI century there was a chapel built on the place where St. Isidro revealed the spring.

     In 1619 St. Isidro was officially canonized and was named the patron of Madrid. Since then a Catholic holiday was declared for Saint Isidro Labrador on May 15th of each year. Madrid’s Plaza Mayor still holds a mayor religious festival to celebrate San Isidro Labrador with processions, dances and masquerades honoring Saint Isidro; this tradition isYucatan Colonial Fiesta at Hacienda Chichen Resort also found in other small and large cities in Spain and Latin-America.  In the small Maya town of Xcalacoop the community is very devoted to Saint Isidro Labrador, relating to his humble farming background, his love for God, animals and flora.  Each year, the main plaza is dressed up with fiesta decor and a small fair enchants both old and young with games, music, and traditional churros, and Maya chocolate drinks. As mentioned before, at Hacienda Chichen, Chichen-Itza, Yucatan, Mexico, the Maya people gather each year to celebrate their Patron Saint Isidro Labrador on May 15th with a community grand fiesta including a Catholic mass, traditional procession of their saint’s Colonial sculpture, regional cochinita tacos and tortas, piñatas for the children and live music.  This year’s celebration was a joyful occasion to all participants, the staff organized a truly wonderful Fiesta and invited the nearby communities families as well. Also, Hacienda Chichen owners brought colorful “sabucanes” (typical re-usable market bags) as gifts to each of the 70 workers’ families, each bag is filled with healthy produces oriented to help families have a nutritious meal; a token of love and support to the staff which to them are part of their own family.  Hugs, kisses, laugh and joy prevailed until sunset brought the festivities to an end.  Guests staying at Hacienda Chichen during May 15th of each year, are invited to participate in this grand fiesta and enjoy the Colonial tradition still prevailing in the hearts of many Maya families today.

Submitted by Jorge Puerto
Photos courtesy of Moreno Lopez
Maya Foundation In Laakeech A.C.
Volunteer Team

6th of January Colonial Annual Celebration:

Traditional Mexican Rosca de Reyes BreadROSCA DE REYES Traditional Fiesta at Hacienda Chichen, don't miss this Colonial traditional food and piñata party time if you are in Chichen Itza on the afternoon of January 6th. Participate in this open free Rosca bread and Mayan hot chocolate at the Hacienda Chichen, who has launched a fun Colonial Mexican Traditional agenda as part of this unique green boutique hotel's dedication to share Mexico's Culture, fiestas and traditions with guests and visitors. Contact us for further details and registration; we highly recommend you to stay at this unique Green Boutique Spa-Hotel, contact their Reservation Center, call:


From Canada, Europe and USA Toll Free: 1-(877)-631-4005
From Mexico:       52 (999) 920 84 08
Email    : info@haciendachichen.com
Website: www.haciendachichen.com


14th of February Colonial Annual Celebration:

View our Mayan Chocolate Recipes NowCHOCOLATE FIESTA a St. Valentine's Day annual Celebration  Feb. 14th at Hacienda Chichen, Enjoy this Colonial traditional Chocolate fiesta celebrated on St. Valentines' Day in Chichen Itza, Yucatan, Mexico. Participate in this open free Mayan chocolate fair and St. Valentine's Day Event at the Hacienda Chichen, with a Colonial Mexican Traditional party as part of this unique green boutique hotel's dedication to share Mexico's Culture, fiestas and traditions with guests and visitors. Contact us for further details and registration; we highly recommend you to stay at this unique Green Boutique Spa-Hotel, contact their Reservation Center:

From Canada, Europe and USA Toll Free: 1-(877)-631-4005
From Mexico:       52 (999) 920 84 08
Email    : info@haciendachichen.com
Website: www.haciendachichen.com


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May 2008
Revised November 2008
Updated April, November 2009, April 2014, Aug. 2016