Another Tourist Climbs up Chichén Itzá Pyramid — This One Got Hit With a Stick
Another day, another tourist climbing up the historic Chichén Itzá pyramid Kukulkán. Ah. While we’re over here wondering if the Maya archaeological site’s tourists will ever learn to respect it, onlookers made sure to make a point out of this one.
On Saturday, January 28, a Polish tourist disrespected the Temple of Kukulkán by trespassing and climbing up the stairs. As per the Mexico Daily Post, the tourist wanted “to take pictures” up the temple for social media.
An angry crowd waited for the tourist as he went down the pyramid’s steps
Shortly after, the Polish tourist was escorted down the ancient Maya pyramid by two security guards. He of course had violated the rules of Chichén Itzá, a Maya site dating back to the 5th century AD. Known as “the city of the water sorcerers” and deeply important to Maya culture, the Temple of Kukulkán was even named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. For all of this and more, onlookers were not happy about the Polish tourist’s behavior.
As the tourist walked down the steps, the crowd grew angrier. Videos show how he quickens his pace once he sees people waiting for him at the bottom (including a guy with a stick, but more on that later). The Polish man walks alongside the two security guards as one man approaches him and yells, “Get away from here!”
The same man asks the tourist, “Are you stupid?” to which he replies, “I made a mistake.” At that point, the man yells, “It’s not a mistake!” and he’s right — there’s no doubt the tourist knew what he was doing.
That’s the point things get a bit more violent (and no doubt painful for the tourist). When the Polish man is clearly wrapped up in the conversation about stupid mistakes, he doesn’t seem to realize another man coming towards him with a stick.
At that moment, the second man hits him with a large stick and asks him where he is from. The tourist replies, “I’m Polish,” as he rubs his head.
Several people have unfortunately disrespected the Temple of Kukulkán in the past
Now, some people are wondering if the man with the stick went too far — or if it was needed punishment to scare off other tourists from repeating the same behavior. This makes sense: unfortunately, it’s not nearly the first time this happens.
Back in January 2021, a woman from Tijuana was crowned #LadyKukulkan when she spread her husband’s ashes on top of the pyramid:
While there’s no doubt there was a lot of heart in her actions (it was reportedly her husband’s dying wish), some still criticized the move for possibly damaging such a historic site. Meanwhile, and definitely less heartwarming, another woman went up the Maya pyramid in November 2022. The epitome of “disrespectful,” videos show how she danced on top of the pyramid as people yelled, “jail”:
Onlookers reacted furiously to the woman, even throwing water and plastic bottles at her. Well, it seems like the Polish male tourist didn’t get the memo back in November — because his actions got him similar treatment. Except nix the water bottles — and throw in a large wooden stick?
This time around, the Polish man who climbed up the pyramid was arrested for 12 hours and fined 5,000 pesos ($266). Head of National Institute of Anthropology and History José Arturo Chab Cárdenas said, “Tourists must respect… the archaeological zone to preserve the cultural heritage of Mexico… and enjoy that Mayan legacy.”
This is how people are reacting to the man who hit the Polish tourist with a stick
While the hours-long arrest and relatively small fine are paltry, social media users are on the fence about the onlooker hitting the tourist with a stick.
One Twitter user agreed with the move, writing, “That’s how first-world European tourists learn.”
Another chimed in, “I think it’s good. There are people who believe they are above everything and I think this is the only way they will learn… After this, you will see how they will understand to respect our culture.”
Meanwhile, another user was all for it, and said we should all invite the guy with the stick to some birrias. LOL.
Still, others aren’t so sure violence was the right choice here. As one person commented, “Should we complain about [his actions]? Of course. It’s our heritage. Should we hit him with a stick? Absolutely not.”
Others have called for a different kind of punishment at the Chichén Itzá site. Another Twitter user explained, “I’m not sure hitting him was right… the best thing would be a fine and days of community service onsite: pick up trash” and more.
What do you think?