Influencers in Uxmal

Every day I ask myself what I can do to lessen the rigors of “voluntary isolation.” I am still extremely careful but not as much so as I was at the start of the pandemic. However, I can see that taking a few liberties will land me on a slippery slope.

The scientists and governments all over the world tell us – Wear a mask, wear a mask – Please wear a mask. I do, and so do most other people. Yes, masks look dorky and in Yucatan’s hot, humid climate, they are not at all comfortable. But if masks are going to keep us safe, we need to wear them.

Then, over the weekend, I found out that a group of super-hot “influencers” were in Uxmal, running all over the site, mask-less, shirt-less, and clue-less. For their shenanigans and disrespect while visiting Uxmal, and their refusal to adhere to the established health code, INAH-Yucatán (National Institute of Anthropology and History in Yucatan) gave these influencers the heave-ho.

According to Michelle Fridman, the State of Yucatan’s tourism marketing maven, these paragons of social media have a combined following of more the 15,000,000. She says they are not receiving any “money” for their efforts on our behalf, but I wonder about the air tickets, hotel rooms, food, and other perks. Somehow I don’t think they are covering their own “incidentals”.

What is going on here?

In Yucatan, the authentic Maya are not shown as the spokespeople for the “promotion” of the ancient cities, built by their ancestors. No, for those purposes, we have the influencers.

How the tourism marketing and targeting strategies are contrived, differs very little from the tactics of ancient Roman rulers´ to control their citizen’s mindset. Flash & fluff, smoke & mirrors, bread & circus. There’s not much new. But the pursuit of tourism income should not sacrifice decorum or health protocols. Neither Yucatan’s tourism work force nor its other residents should be forced to accept crass behavior and disrespect as the price we pay for the influencers’ stamp-of-approval. Or anyone else’s either.

Those of us who live in Yucatan need to remember that this parched peninsula is one of the most highly respected and culturally revered areas in the whole world. There is no need to cheapen ourselves or our heritage by trying to present our archaeological sites as sexy and oh-so-cool. Give me a break! Visitors should feel honored to be here, and behave accordingly.

I support the INAH’s decision to oust the influencers from Uxmal.

Published by Changes in our Lives

I am originally from Canada but have lived in Mexico since 1976. My husband is from Merida, Yucatan and we raised our family here. We both worked for many years at Tecnologia Turistica Total (TTT), the tourism, language and multimedia college we founded for local and international students. Now retired, we enjoy spending time with family and friends, My other interests include spending time with freinds, reading, painting, cooking and travel.

10 thoughts on “Influencers in Uxmal

  1. Influencers are what we used to call “trend setters” … Remember how we would copy the clothes worn by Jackie Kennedy, the Farah Faucett hair, or the Beatles haircuts… Now-a-days, the influencers hold the same sway as they did back in our day. However, there are many, many more of them. You don’t need to be a first rung celebrity to be an influencer. A vocabulary that would rival a long-shoreman’s is common. Many have fully tatted torsos and ratted hair, they wear undershirts instead of Tshirts and long shorts instead of slacks. Others though are fashionistas to the max. 99% are very young and very thin. All of them have definite attitude. I suppose that one-on-one they would be easier to take, but when you get 13 of them together (like in Uxmal) they start rying to outdo each other’s behaviour. Emily Post would definitely not approve.
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    1. So disgusting these ‘influencers’ like those who were at UXMAL & who go to other places and behave the same way. The me, me, me entitled people are shameless hucksters & should not be given the time of day let alone any perks for promoting places/peoples. There are some good/great people/organizations who do the same but with respect for where they go & who they meet.

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      1. You know it… What I get most upset about is the way they purportedly treated the Uxmal custodians and security personnel. And then of course the example they set for other “influencer wannabes” It is a sad commentary on the times..

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  2. Can’t imagine how this post of your got by me, but thanks for opening the discussion. Yes, of course these hooligans needed to be evicted immediately. Can just imagine the thoughts of those Mayan INAH caretakers and site visitors, wondering how such disrespectful goofballs could influence anyone. Don’t you wonder how they got organized? There is normally intense competition among them for income derived from endorsements and, well, media attention (good or bad, they don’t care). And, yes, they got paid quite a bit by someone to pull that stunt.

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    1. Don’t you just want to give them a good talking to… as only a long-time teacher can? How did these hedonistic little twerps ever “influence” anyone? But it is all part of the 2020 world, isn’t it? Miss you Chloe…

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