The Mayan archeological site of San Gervasio has an unusually long history, beginning sometime around 100 BC and continuing as late as the 16th century. Located on Cozumel Island, the largest island in the Mexican Caribbean, it was still a functioning religious site at the time the Spaniards arrived in the 16th century.
In the heart of the island, in a lush jungle populated with brilliantly colored iguanas and lush flowers and foliage, one can see why no one ever wanted to abandon this beautiful place.San Gervasio was a site dedicated to the Mayan goddess Ixchel (“She of the Rainbows”), deity of midwifery, fertility, medicine and weaving. Many women from the mainland Mayan settlements made the pilgrimage here to Ixchel´s shrine at some point in their lifetime. A graceful arch protects an altar on a sacbe (ancient road) leading into the ceremonial center. Many statues to Ixchel were found here and are still being discovered at the 40+ temples on the island. It is believed that a large ceramic image of Ixchel delivered oracles spoken by a hidden priestess for pilgrims with questions.