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THE LEGEND OF XOCOMIL



On the shores of lake Atitlán, you can hear the locals coming back from fishing, just before the strong winds that hit the waters begin. They tell the story a forbidden love and a betrayal that the rivers couldn’t forgive and who up until today, together with the wind, protest the sin of their beloved princess…

Long time before the formation of the lake there were three large rivers and their waters merged at the center of the three volcanoes. A chief of the region had a daughter, a beautiful maiden or long black hair, soft figure and incomparable beauty; her name was Citlatzin. The princess Citlatzin used to walk every day to the waters of the rivers to shower and with her tuneful and beautiful songs play in their waters; with melancholy they saw her leave. The rivers loved her and anxiously waited for her to return the next day when they would hear once more the footsteps and songs of their beloved. The rivers believed themselves lovers of Citlatzin even though they knew she was the fiancée of the North Chieftain´s son.

One morning of so many, after the usual shower, Citlatzin decided to take a walk to pick up some flowers for her mother. On the way she happened to run into the son of the carpenter of the region called Tzilmiztli. The nobility wasn´t allowed to mingle with plebeians but the casual meeting between Citlatzin and Tzilmiztli impacted both of them. When they looked into each other’s eyes they felt how the electricity ran through their bodies and they never wanted to be apart again. From that day on, Citlatzin and Tzilmiztli would secretly meet and shared unforgettable moments. On day without thinking Tzilmiztli touched her cheek and kissed her. That kiss was the beginning of a passionate adventure that made them fall in love and cling their soul to an uncertain destiny and without future.

Meanwhile the rivers saw a change in Citlatzin that they didn’t know how to interpret. She no longer played with their crystalline waters as before; instead she rushed to bath and even stopped singing for them. They knew something was distracting her but they didn’t understand what it was. They were dying of curiosity so they decided to ask the wind if he could tell them what was happening. The wind told them of the meeting of Citlatzin and Tzilmiztli. The rivers got angry and were blinded by jealousy, they decided to do something to separate them. They asked the wind to help them bring Citlatzin and Tzilmiztli to the waters. They wanted to punish Tzilmiztli in front of Citlatzin.

The wind blew and pushed Tzilmiztli and Citlatzin up to the waters of the rivers and when they got to the shores he pushed Tzilmiztli harder to get him into the deepest of the waters. Tzilmiztli entangled in the enraged waters mixed with wind that wrapped him to sink into them. When Citlatzin noticed what was happening she decided she couldn’t live without Tzilmiztli and voluntarily enter the waters too. They both sank to the depths of the river and died together.

When the rivers noticed that Citlatzin had decided to end her life along with Tzilmiztli, they got even more enraged until they formed a horrible shock of currents that covered almost all of the region.

That´s how the Lake of Atitlán was formed. The waters never forgotten the betrayal of their beloved and with the wind, still today they protest her sin.