- Words and Photos by Kristy Calabro and John Domine
Sold Magazine Loves Akumal
Picture by: John Domine / Artist: Sergio Gamboa of Akumal
The Akumal Arts Festival and Residency opening ceremony was a week ago and Sold is back home in a chilly NYC wishing we were still there. Akumal is located in Quintana Roo, Mexico, a small town between Playa del Carmen and Tulum, and it's about an hour and a half drive south of Cancun. Akumal is Mayan for "land of the turtles." The turtle nesting season is May through November. Snorkeling with turtles is also a popular attraction and they were a huge theme in many of the walls you will find around Akumal. We wrap up our coverage with a collection of some of the "turtle" murals and a look back at the closing ceremony.
"Shellebrate" the Turtles - Celebrate Akumal
Jennifer Smith and Jake Klone (klonism), spoke at the closing ceremony where all the artists were blessed by a Shaman and it was an emotional experience. Jennifer said, “We are going to keep this going, this is not a closing ceremony, this is a blessing for all of us, keep the light going, we’re going to continue the art, we’re going to continue making this town the special place that we all know in our hearts that it is.” Jake said, “Thank you to all you guys (the artists). We couldn’t have done it all without you. I want to thank all the people of the community, all of the families…all of beautiful Akumal!"
On the final day of this unforgettable Akumal adventure, John Domine and I took one last walk on the beach before heading home. The timing was perfect as we saw two women gently digging and placing scoops of sand into a box. We ran over to witness turtles hatching and then saw them released into the ocean! It was a chilling, goosebumps, kind of moment! We were given this wonderful opportunity to be a part of the inaugural festival and our journey couldn't have ended more perfectly by watching the birth of 100 sea turtles on Akumal's Jade beach. The festival has transformed the community and brought new life to an already special place. It was tough to leave, tough to say goodbye, but it’s just the beginning! Sold is so grateful that we were able to document this beautiful transformation through art. We look forward to the future and to next year! We love Akumal, "the land of the turtles" and now "the land of art!"
photos and collage by: John Domine