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Since the founding of Puerto Morelos (1898), gum (latex) was the economic motor of what today is known as The Cenotes Route. The center of this activity was located at Central Vallarta, a work encampment that was mainly dedicated to the exploitation and process of the chicle - gum.
It was obtained from the Zapote tree. Chicle - a Mayan word- means movement of the mouth.The equipment tat a person needed in order to work and extract the chicle from the tree consisted on stout ropes, leather bags, jicara pots (great seed pods), a well honed machete, tree climbing equipment and a shotgun, since this activity was performed in the middle of the dangerous tropical jungle.
The leather bag was fixed to the lower part of the Zapote tree and with a sharp machete the person would make zigzag cuts all along the tree, from top to bottom so the resin could slowly drip into the bag. These were carefully collected and taken into the bag. These were carefully collected and taken to the encampment where it would be cooked for approximately eight hours; then it would be kneaded and poured into molds forming bricks, that were later transported on mules to the "truc" (small train wagon), that was pulled by horses over railroad tracks, all the way to central vallarta where an inventory was done and payment distributed.
From this counting station was taken to Punta Corcho - the original name for Puerto Morelos - to be exported by ship.
Today this route has several Cenotes, or sinkholes, that are a natural marvel. They feed from underground streams and rivers that are all under the Yucatan peninsula. On the Cenotes Route you can find an ecological Park called Selvatica, the are also many Cenotes, among the most popular are: Verde Lucero, Boca del Puma, 7 Bocas, y Las Mojarras. This adventure is waiting for you at only 25 minute drive from Puerto Morelos.