One of the most beautiful things about Mexico is that almost everything is rich with narrative and meaning. The rain falls because of the god Chaca, who strikes clouds with his lightning axe. The sun rises because of the god Kinich Ahau, who is married to the moon goddess Ixchel. In short, nothing should ever be taken as face value, for everything has a story behind it—and more often than not, a romantic one.
One particular tale we love is about the Chechen and Chaca trees. Found scattered throughout the lush forests of Yucatan Peninsula, these trees serve as a dynamic duo: the Chechen tree contains a poisonous sap that is remedied by the nectar of the Chaca tree, which is always found growing near. But how did this phenomenon come to be?
Mayan folklore tells the story of two great warriors, Kinich and Tizic, who were brothers of enormous strength, but of very disparate nature. Kinich, the younger brother was merciful and loved by all, while Tizuc was sullen and drew his strength from the anger and hatred in his heart. When both brothers fell tragically in love with the beautiful Nicte-Ha, they battled to the death for her heart.
The fight was long and brutal—the moon hid for several nights, the sky filled with dark clouds, and the ocean became fierce. Eventually, both brothers died in each other’s arms. In the afterlife, they begged for forgiveness and a chance to return to the world of the living to see their beloved Nicte-Ha once more.
The gods were feeling generous that day and granted their wishes. Tizuc was reborn as the Chechen tree and Kinich as the Chaca tree. The trees now solemnly watch over Nicte-Ha who, having died of grief, was reborn as a beautiful and pure white flower. At NIZUC, you’ll find the trees, growing in the reflection pond near the lobby. Be sure to visit them and take in the beautiful result of this tragic love.