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Learning How to Craft a Hammock for a Siesta

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The latest travel report offers a history lesson in the art of the siesta and the art of crafting the perfect hammock for that siesta. NY1's Valarie D'Elia filed the following report.

Siesta: a Spanish word that doesn't need any translation.

"You will look younger for many years, like my mother said, because you have this break and you sleep," says Constantino Urzaiz of Hamacas Merida. "You really close your eyes, you sleep for one hour."

In Mexico, there’s only one setting for a siesta.

"Sleeping in a hammock for Yucatecan families is a must," says "Yarima," a Yucatan tour guide. "In the city, we combine the use of hammocks with beds. If you visit a family in the countryside, you won't sit in a couch. You are going to sit in a hammock.”

The tradition of sleeping in a hammock transcends economic borders.

"It doesn't matter if it's a poor house or a middle-class or a rich house," Urzaiz says.

Hammock-making in the Mayan world can trace back to the village of Chumayel, an hour south of the city of Merida.

The owner of "Hamacas Merida" employs 500 families in the village to hand-weave an inventory that rocks people to sleep across the globe.

"The hammocks you see here tomorrow could be in Merida," Urzaiz says. "We pack it there, and the next day, it could be in Japan."

The hammocks from Chumayel are woven mainly from durable nylon, more expensive silk and the most comfortable and breathable of all, cotton.
"One hammock like this one, because it's rope, can take just one day to make like this one," Urzaiz says. "But the other ones with the thin cord could take up to a month to weave."

There is a fine art to getting into a hammock, and that includes always kicking off your sandals.

As is common practice in the travel industry, Travel With Val often receives complimentary travel or reduced "media" rates at hotels, resorts and attractions, including those that may be featured in these reports. Such consideration is not taken in exchange for any express or implied promise or understanding of any nature, particularly regarding the content of these reports. These reports only feature travel providers personally recommended by Valarie D’Elia in the exercise of her independent editorial judgment, and do not represent the endorsement of Time Warner Cable or any third party. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP