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The Chechén and the Chacáh

In the state of Yucatan, Mexico, there is the Mayan jungle in the southern region of this country. There are two endemic species of trees that are the chechén and the chacáh. They are related to each other since they are poison and antidote; besides being united by a Mayan legend about two warrior brothers from a thousand-year-old era.

Description of these endemic species

The boxchechen, whose scientific name is Metopium brownei, reaches between 12 to 15 meters high, blooms in spring, its bark is gray and has leaves with black spots. The use of its seeds is like deworming and its leaves serve as food for the local fauna. Its resin is used against diseases such as measles through thousands of years.

It is well known for its other duality, its sap or resin is very irritating to the skin since any rubbing or treading close to it, will generate a strong skin discomfort, pain and may even leave scars similar to the appearance of the trunk of this tree . But nature is wise, so there is the antidote, which comes from the resin of another tree, brusera simaruba, also known as chacah.

The chacah measures 15 meters high, has aromatic flowers, has many health benefits, not only as an antidote to the effect produced by the chechen, but also, through its extract either as an ointment or infusion can serve as an anti-inflammatory, cure problems of the respiratory system such as asthma, colds and bronchitis. It even helps prevent intestinal infections and heals insect bites. It is a source of incense production and aromatherapy.

Mystical correlation between these endemic trees and the Mayan legend

If we go into the mystic of these trees we find a millenarian Mayan legend about two warrior brothers in love with a Mayan princess. One of them, Tzic, was the older brother, of strong and angry character; while the youngest, Kinich, was noble, loving and whose name means the face of the sun.

Both had a confrontation until death, there was no winner, they died in each other’s arms. Upon entering the underworld of the gods they asked for forgiveness and allowed them to return to be close to Nicte-ha, the beloved princess. They were only allowed to return in the form of trees, so the anger resurfaced in the Chechen tree and the love in Chakhah. So these two energies coexist in the jungle and closely.

This legend represents how perfect is the duality in the universe and how wise is the nature represented in the jungle. It is one of the most popular legends to your children in this region due to its moral. It contains the important message that every action has an impact on our life and even after it.


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