When the Mayans ruled the Yucatan Peninsula, they extracted the sap of chicozapote
and turned it into gum. The practice continued after the collapse of the Yucatecan Mayans. Chicle
was consumed locally until Mexican general Antonio López de Santa Anna introduced it to American businessman Thomas Adams, who began importing it to the United States in the 1870s.
and their families were the first ones who settled down in Cancun. Some of their houses we can still see in the city. Over 600 chicleros in 56 communities across the peninsula, many of whom are indigenous Mayans, keep working continuing an ancient Maya tradition of producing and selling natural gum. Nowadays, the organic gum is exported to 30 countries. By maintaining this ancient tradition, chicleros
are helping to sustain local indigenous communities and the rainforest.
You can find more information about Mayan in Museo Maya de Cancún
, located in Blvd. Kukulcan, km 16.5.