The story of Xcalacoco begins on the beach. Mayan rowers have just rescued a castaway on a canoe journey from the island of Cozumel. When they reach the mainland, the people see that the man is different from them – white – and they are afraid. The village leader, the Chaman, orders to offer the white man up as a sacrifice to the goddess. The Chaman’s daughter, however, pleads on the man’s behalf. Overcome by fatherly love, the Chaman grants his daughter’s wish and spares the foreign man’s life.