World Tour – Day 20 – February 27, 2007
A rich, exciting day of celebration in Chichen Itzá began with the early-morning flight of the New7Wonders hot-air balloon in front of the “El Castillo” pyramid, probably the most famous structure in the vast Chichen Itzá archeological complex. As the fog lifted, the royal-blue balloon rising in the stillness of the ancient Mayan city sent chills down the spines of the New7Wonders team. A crowded press conference in the afternoon was then followed by a magnificent, exuberant celebration gala of Mayan and Yucatan culture. The official certificate of candidacy was handed to Patricio Patrón Laviada, Governor of the State of Yucatan.
The ceremony featured a moving series of songs in Maya sung by local children in bright traditional clothing, as well as performances by the Traditional Yucalpetén Orchestra and the folkloric ballet troupe of the Yucatan Cultural Institute.
Other speakers during the day’s events included Jorge Torre Loría, Yucatan’s Secretary of Tourism, and the Director of the Yucatan Center of the National Anthropological and Historical Institute (INAH), Federica Sodi Miranda. The celebration continued through dusk, until the majestic buildings of Chichen Itzá were lit up against the dark sky. A festive dinner featuring traditional dancing with fire completed an extraordinary day.
At the crowded press event later in the week in Mexico City, the Director-General of the Mexico Tourism Board, Francisco López Mena, accepted another original New7Wonders certificate for Chichén Itzá from Bernard Weber.