Frozen in Time: Hacienda Yaxcopoil
One of the most striking edifices which demonstrates the grandeur of the henequén boom, architectural imprint of the colonial era in Yucatán, especially with its monumental Moorish double arch, is Hacienda Yaxcopoil (17th century; one of the first haciendas of Yucatán). A visit to this hacienda is a trip to the past. The hacienda’s history joins together three great periods of the Yucatán of yesterday: prehispanic life, the colonial era, and the henequén boom. The production of henequén fiber in the hacienda concluded in 1984, after more than a century.
With 11,000 hectares of land at the height of its splendor, Yaxcopoil was considered one of the most important rustic plantations because of its size and magnificence, both in cattle ranching and then henequén fiber production.
Today, the hacienda is a private museum, open to the public, with unique accommodation for overnight stays; and is one of the few haciendas of its kind in Yucatán; it has been preserved almost intact, thanks to the pains taken by its current owner to maintain it in excellent condition.
The current owner is Don Miguel Fernando Faller Cervera, descendent of the family which acquired the hacienda in 1864. Don Miguel tried to demonstrate, with the most accuracy and simplicity, the spaces and furnishings that the hacienda owners were accustomed to using at the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century, where the visitor can admire the various article and utensils used in the era of the splendor of the hacienda.
Among the most interesting things to see in the hacienda are:
The main house (casa principal), has various salons, high ceilings, and spacious walkways. The original European furniture which displayed the ambience of the era is still present.
In the office there are books, plans, documents, and other collections from the era of the administration of the hacienda.
The main bedroom has typical hammock hooks on the walls to hang hammocks; in its private bathroom are the porcelain fixtures and a sink manufactured in England.
The dining room and kitchen have beautiful, fine furnishings which reflect an excellent domestic and country lifestyle. In the kitchen garden are the pool with its dressing rooms, the water tank, and the water wheel, with its American motor and pumps from the beginning of the 20th century, which still work to extract underground water for daily use.
In the surrounding lands, from the prehispanic era, Yaxcopoil still has Mayan ruins formed by numerous pyramid structures.
The fiber extraction area demonstrates traces of the first motors as well as machinery from the 19th century, used for agricultural and industrial processes.
Yaxcopoil was a self-sufficient hacienda in every way. During the henequén boom, it had various maintenance workshops, such as carpentry, ironwork, lathes, and a foundry.
Opposite the machine room, you can see the other buildings which used to form part of the hacienda and functioned as school, hospital, and store.
Hacienda Yaxcopoil is 33 km. south of Mérida on the way to Uxmal. Entry: $75 pesos. The hacienda also has two beautifully restored guest rooms for overnight stays, with delicious regional meals served at whatever time you desire.