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CHIAPAS

HOTEL - MUSEUM
CASA NA BOLOM
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HOTEL - MUSEUM CASA NA BOLOM
16 rooms in a fascinating cultural foundation and museum dedicated to assisting and protecting the Lacandon people, located in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas

Na Bolom is a Mexican based non-profit, non-governmental organization founded in 1951 by the Danish Archaeologist and explorer Frans Blom and the Swiss conservationist and photographer Gertrude Duby.

Na Bolom which means “House of the jaguar” in Tzozil is a beautiful old colonial house with three magical organic gardens, Na Bolom, was once home to famous Dutch archaeologist Frans Blom and his wife the Swiss photographer Gertrude Duby. The Bloms were great explorers and were some of the first outsiders to come into contact with the Lacandon Indians hidden in the mist of the dense Lacandon rain forest of Chiapas. The Lacandones are the only people who managed to escape Spanish colonization. They lived so far into the dense jungle that the Spaniards could not penetrate the vegetation and never found them.

Frans and Trudy established very close friendships with the Lacandones and decided to turn their large colonial house into a museum and research centre dedicated to informing people about the Lacandones while at the same time making it a place where the Lacandones themselves can stay when they come to the city to sell their crafts among other things.

Today, Na Bolom is an interactive complex that houses a museum, a hotel, a cultural center, a research center, a library, a guest house for the Lacandones and a restaurant; all of this surrounded by a cultural heritage of national importance. In addition, it is a place of experimentation for some of the most important works on the conservation of the Lacandon Jungle. It also offers lodging in its old colonial house; each room has its own fireplace, there is a small library and you can eat at the large banquet table often shared with a Lacandon family.

Originally built in 1891 to house a religious order, NA Bolom is located in the community of San Cristobal de las Casas and the centre operates with a multinational staff of 35 people and an international volunteer program.

NOTE: The proceeds from the hotel, museum, restaurant and tours go to the maintenance of the house and the museum; this income helps to maintain the project of housing the visitors from the Lacandon communities and the conservation of the cultural projects and the Lacandon communities. Na Bolom also organizes several circuits for the guest of the hotel.

The Hotel:
Following the tradition initiated by Gertrude Duby, Na Bolom also offers rooms for common guests. Each one of the 16 rooms is an extension of the museum, decorated individually with old furniture, artwork, textiles and photographs from the indigenous villages of Chiapas .Many rooms are named after a particular village or archaeological site and they are decorated with items from that location. Some are named for the academic institutions which used to participate regularly in Frans' scholarly conferences in Na Bolom's facilities and profited of the services that the house always offered.

Every room has a private bathroom, fireplace, books, and many small details about the indigenous people of the region. Three rooms at Na Bolom are reserved for the visitors from the Lacandon community. Free rooms and meals are offered when they are in San Cristobal for activities or when they need medical attention. They receive this medical attention through Na Bolom's Lacandon Medical Fund.

Na Bolom offers its guests, as a courtesy, a guided visit in the museum. The personalized attention creates a warm and nice environment. The guest can feel free to walk around the beautiful gardens, take a cup of coffee and read a good book in the library or have a nice talk with other visitors, at the same time they exchange experiences.

The types of rooms offered are: Individual, double, triple, familiar and junior suite. The a la carte breakfast and a guided visit to the museum are included in the room rates. There is wireless Internet available in the library and in the main patio.

Restaurant/bar:
The traditional dining room offers a large variety of menu options, complimented with salads prepared from Na Bolom's own organic vegetables. The marmalade, bread and granola are especially prepared for the enjoyment of the guests.

The main communal table, with the capacity to seat forty people, is part of a tradition left by the founders in which visitors, guests, Lacandones and collaborators of Na Bolom come together to enjoy delicious dishes and converse at their pleasure in front of a roaring fire.

Service schedule is from Monday to Sunday:

·    Breakfast: Served from 7:30 am to 12:30 pm. The scent of freshly-brewed coffee in the mornings provides a pleasurable atmosphere for any occasion to come together at Na Bolom.

·    Lunch: Served from 1:30 pm to 6:00 pm. (a formal lunch will require reservation)

·    Dinner: The traditional dinners, served in the Na Bolom style with a different menu each night, are enjoyed after the bell from the main patio is rung at 7:00 pm. Reservations are required.

Additional services:
Na Bolom has several spaces, indoors as well as outdoors for events and the hotel manager is at your service to assist you in planning and to make sure that your event is a success. The following meeting services are offered: Coffee breaks, breakfast, lunch and dinner, cafeteria menu, screen, a video projector and slides projector.

At Na Bolom, your events may range from conferences, seminars, workshops to personal events. There are special menus for all the budget levels, and the possibility to hold your event in the thirty-five person dining room with a grand imperial dining table; the library, which accommodates twenty guests; or the beautiful main patio, which has a capacity of up to two hundred people.

The Museum:
The museum was created from the Blom's private collection. Presently, there are five permanent exposition rooms and two temporary exhibit rooms.

·    The Lacandon Room: This ethnographic collection reflects artifacts and gifts collected from trips the founders made to the Lacandon jungle. This room allows for an approach to the religion of the Lacandones through its cultural materials as well as the elements of daily life.

·    The Explorers Room: The trips to the jungle during the first half of the twentieth century were arduous, and often lasting for many months. In this room and through the displayed photography and the video "Men, mules and machetes", the visitor would be able to understand how the Bloms' expeditions were carried out.

·    The Moxviquil Room: This room carries the name of an archaeological site located at the top of the mountains, two kilometers (approximately one and a quarter miles) from San Cristobal de las Casas. This site is considered as one of the most important ceremonial centers in the valley. Frans Blom conducted excavations here in 1952 and Dr. Weigant excavated again in 1953; to date, no other person has carried out additional excavations at the site. In the exhibit room, there are examples of ceramics, stone tools as well as skeletons that demonstrate the funerary customs of the ancient inhabitants of the valley. Also, we can see here some fine examples from Frans Blom's various expeditions and investigations made in the Lacandon Jungle, Oaxaca and other parts of México. Aside from his work as an explorer and archaeologist, Frans was also skilled as a cartographer. He is noted for crafting the first map of the Lacandon Jungle, which later served as a model for present-day maps.

·    The Chapel: The Chapel is physically one of the clearest examples of the neoclassical style constructed in San Cristobal from the end of the nineteenth century. This style can be observed in the distinct elements visible in the chapel such as its columns and the original painting founded on the ceiling and altar. Although the chapel was never consecrated or used for religious purposes, it represents a fine location to observe religious Chiapanecan paintings and sculptures from the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries.

·    Gertrude Duby Blom's Bedroom: After her death in December 23, 1993, "Trudi's" room was maintained as a space to display her distinctive suits, jewelry collection and personal objects.

In the corridors of Na Bolom, one can appreciate the home's unique as well as diverse art collection comprised of forged iron crosses and Gertrude Duby's paintings. In addition, the corridors are adorned by artwork donated by different artists, one noted example being the collection of photographs taken of the founder.

Crafts Shop:
The Museum Store "Jardín del Jaguar" (Garden of the Jaguar) offers alternative products from Lacandones artisans as well as from other ethnic groups in the State of Chiapas.

The Store is located in front of the Museum, immersed in a pleasant garden. In addition to the store itself, there is a replica of an indigenous house from the highlands zone of Chiapas that exhibits indigenous articles and embroidered dresses with exquisite elaboration. The Store shows a part of the rich artisan history of Chiapas and fulfills the social function between the product transactions of the craftsmen who provide it.

The Garden:
The project of the Garden of the Jaguar has been a test pilot that involves forms of exhibition of native architecture characteristic of the region. Each one of these constructions is a store-museum, an innovating concept in which they exhibit unique crafts of great quality in a similar form as it would be done in a museum, and where the visitors can purchase original Lacandon pieces such as figures carved in wood, items made of mud, organic jewelry made with seeds, arrows, basketwork and new products of the different projects on which they are working. In the first and second stage, support has come from the German Embassy, the Foundation of American Express and the World Bank.

Eco-Tourism:
Eco- tourism is one of the most rapidly growing sectors of the tourism industry in the developed world. Tourists are no longer content to simply lie on a beach soaking up the sun; they want to learn about the country they are visiting; its culture, history and its people and want to feel that in some way or another they are contributing to the local economy and supporting cultural and environmental sustainability.

Many of the most attractive destinations for eco-tourism are in areas inhabited by indigenous peoples. These regions are often incredibly rich in natural resources and beauty such as the Natural Biosphere of Monte Azules in Chiapas, Mexico. The indigenous peoples of these areas live in harmony with their habitat. The Lacandones who live within Montes Azules, known as the Lacandon Jungle, rely on the forest for food, building materials and medicine. Therefore, we need to respect these habitats creating a type of tourism which will benefit the local people, provide an unforgettable experience for the tourists while at the same time reducing to the maximum any cultural or environmental impact. In order for eco-tourism to be viable in such areas the local people must also be well organized and cooperative.

In the name of the founders Frans and Trudy Blom, Na Bolom has a responsibility to continue to respect and support the communities of the Lacandon Jungle and to be extremely conscious that the places visited during tours are not changed or damaged by the presence of tourists.

At Na Bolom, no particular member of a community is favored; there is no tipping as this can cause tensions within the community. Instead, free medical attention is offered to all Lacandones and supplies are being sent to each community.

Tours to the jungle
Since the beginning of Na Bolom, Trudy offered tours to the Lacandon jungle as a source of income to continue renovating the house and to support her various projects. Today There is a well-developed sustainable tour program aimed at giving guests and visitors the opportunity to travel in small groups to the many beautiful locations in the near vicinity.

Na Bolom aims to provide tours which cause minimal cultural and environmental impact: Small groups, well maintained vehicles which pollute as little as possible, qualified guides, safety; a decent living wage to the employees as well as the local guides who offer their services. When visiting the Lacandon jungle the name of Na Bolom represents 50 years of friendship with these communities.

The specialty tour is a five day adventure into the least visited Lacandon community; Naja. The camp area constructed by the local people as a gift for Trudy is being used. Na Bolom provides: tents, sleeping mats, food, shelter and water. You just need a sleeping bag or blanket. For those who do not like to camp there are also some cabins close to the camp area where you can sleep in a bed and still enjoy the home cooked food of Doña Bety, a legend by itself

For more information on the Cultural Association Na Bolom visit www.nabolom.org.

For prices, reservations, availability and bookings, please contact us at: visit@luxuriousmexico.com

       

ACCOMMODATIONS
DESTINATIONS

 
Amatenango del Valle Chiapa de Corzo
Comitan de Dominguez Palenque
San Cristobal de las Casas San Juan Chamula
Selva Lacandona Tapachula
Tenejapa Tonala
Tuxtla Gutierrez Zinacantan
CIRCUITS
PHOTOS VIDEO
Ç Chiapas, San Cristobal de las Casas, Museum-Hotel Casa Na Bolom, Courtyard - Photo by German Murillo-Echavarria 1006
  Chiapas, San Cristobal de las Casas, Museum-Hotel Casa Na Bolom
Courtyard
Ç Chiapas, San Cristobal de las Casas, Museum-Hotel Casa Na Bolom, Library - Photo by German Murillo-Echavarria 1006
  Chiapas, San Cristobal de las Casas, Museum-Hotel Casa Na Bolom, Library
Ç Chiapas, San Cristobal de las Casas, Museum-Hotel Casa Na Bolom, Room - Photo by German Murillo-Echavarria 1006
  Chiapas, San Cristobal de las Casas, Museum-Hotel Casa Na Bolom, Room
Ç Chiapas, San Cristobal de las Casas, Museum-Hotel Casa Na Bolom, Main restaurant - Photo by German Murillo-Echavarria 1006
  Chiapas, San Cristobal de las Casas, Museum-Hotel Casa Na Bolom, Main dining room
Ç Chiapas, San Cristobal de las Casas, Museum-Hotel Casa Na Bolom - Photo by Secretaria de Turismo de Chiapas
  Chiapas, San Cristobal de las Casas, Museum-Hotel Casa Na Bolom
Ç Chiapas, San Cristobal de las Casas, Museum-Hotel Casa Na Bolom, Chapel, altar - Photo by German Murillo-Echavarria 1006
  Chiapas, San Cristobal de las Casas, Museum-Hotel Casa Na Bolom, Chapel, Altar
Ç Chiapas, San Cristobal de las Casas, Museum-Hotel Casa Na Bolom, Terrace restaurant - Photo by German Murillo-Echavarria 1006
  Chiapas, San Cristobal de las Casas, Museum-Hotel Casa Na Bolom, Terrace restaurant
Ç Chiapas, San Cristobal de las Casas, Museum-Hotel Casa Na Bolom, Gardens - Photo by German Murillo-Echavarria 1006
  Chiapas, San Cristobal de las Casas, Museum-Hotel Casa Na Bolom, Gardens

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