December 21: End of Mayan Calendar or End of the World?
CANCUN, MEXICO: Gonzalo Alvarez, who had just arrived in Cancun for two weeks of revelry linked to a major milestone in the Mayan calendar, seemed reasonably cheerful for a man about to swallowed up by the Apocalypse. "We came to party and to get ready for the beginning of a new era," said the 39-year old architect, as he gathered his luggage from a baggage carousel at Cancun's airport.
Alvarez had traveled to Mexico from Florida to witness firsthand the beginning of a new Mayan era on December 21, 2012, which will be marked with celebrations throughout southern Mexico and Central America.
Mexico is one of five countries preparing to observe the date, which marks the end of a more than 5,000-year era, according to the Mayan "Long Count" calendar, which began in 3114 BC.
For many people in this region, December 21 will be a date for celebration.