Voters stand in line in Mexico City, Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018, to cast their decision on the referendum regarding the construction of the so called "Mayan Train", that would connect several cities of the Yucatan peninsula.
Voters stand in line in Mexico City, Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018, to cast their decision on the referendum regarding the construction of the so called "Mayan Train", that would connect several cities of the Yucatan peninsula.

Mexico's new president is asking businesses to invest in the Maya Train, a railway line that would link passengers to archaeological sites and popular tourist destinations.

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador engaged in a traditional religious ceremony in the Mayan language Sunday, calling on the ancestors to give their blessings to the project. 

The governors of Chiapas, Tabasco, Campeche, Quintana Roo and Yucatan were also present at the ceremony.

The president said there is already $296 million in Mexico's 2019 budget for the project, which he estimated would help to create hundreds of thousands of jobs. 

Lopez Obrador said, however, another $741 to $890 million is needed for the train and its 1,500-kilometer route. He told investors they would receive a federal subsidy for each kilometer they build. 

Environmentalists are concerned about the impact the train will have on the five southeastern Mexican states. 

The route passes through virgin forests and jaguar habitat.