San Jose Chikeh
San Jose Chikeh
   

Named San José Chiceh, or Chikeh (from the Maya chi, a mouth; ceh (keh), deer), it was originally a ranch granted at the beginning of the 18th century and dedicated to cattle ranching and agriculture, as web as honey production. Later, like most haciendas, it adopted sisal production in the mid-19th century. San José Chiceh shows two periods in its stripping machinery: one from the mid-19th century and the other from the early 20th, when a second machine was added in 1902. It has a machine room with two chimneys, one square and the other round. It is colonial in character and architecture, and although modest, having then over 1000 hectares, Chiceh was one of the most productive haciendas in the area. The property is included in the inventory of haciendas from the 1845 census carried out by Juan Pío Pérez . In the year 1839 it belonged to the Izamal family of Font y Hubbe. Dr. Font lived on this hacienda during the Caste War, when Chiceh was in the path of the rebels entering Izamal from Sitilpech. Chiceh was affected in 1933 by the extension of common lands in Izamal, and in 1939, together with Balantún, Kanán, Kankabchén and San Gregorio, by the extension of common lands in Sitilpech. In later years it became property of Fernando Barbachano and later of Agustín Franco, governor of the State of Yucatan, in the 1960s. Today it belongs to Mr. Eduardo Llamosa Neumann, who acquired it in 1997 and has set about its restoration and maintenance. The hacienda is colonial in style and consists of a main house – the oldest building in the “shell” and witness to its agricultural origins – with palm-roofed verandahs in the 18th century style. Also, according to the present owners, it includes a prison, a machine room, a web mechanism, a church, wells, orchards and a large irrigation tank that has been converted into a swimming pool. Inside the property there is an underground cenote and a cave called “Sodts cenote”; more than ten kilometers of pathway have been reconditioned as trails for observing the fauna and flora. The property, with a wealth of biodiversity and over 170 hectares, is currently used privately for ecological projects.

This hacienda is in the municipality of Izamal, and is located in what was a suburb of pre-Colombian Izamal, meaning there are some Mayan remains in the area. It is a mere six kilometers from the town, on the road leading to Sitilpech, (which runs from Valladolid to Merida, and was previously known as the “royal road”).

Ecotourism
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