Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Tulum: from beach paradise to eco nightmare

Driving down the Mexico's sunny Caribbean coast, environmental activists Dario Ferreira Piña, Carlos Meade and Michelle Cuervo express despair at the new constructions springing up in the once sleepy town of Tulum. "Every day new buildings are built. And every day protected areas are destroyed," says Carlos Meade, director of Yaxché, Tree of Life, an NGO working to protect the environment in Tulum. Twenty years ago, Tulum, located 130 kilometers (81 miles) south of Cancun on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, was still a hidden paradise with only a few beachfront boutique hotels and houses. Today, its narrow seaside road is crammed with more than a hundred hotels and restaurants. During peak season, it gets so crowded that reaching the city center, just 6 kilometers away, can take up to two hours. With 2.4 million visitors in 2017 (400,000 more than in 2016), Tulum is growing at an outlandish pace. Ironically, many developers promote themselves as eco-friendly, cashing in on the town's overall image as a laid-back, bohemian and green retreat. Meanwhile, the rampant construction of new hotels, restaurants and beach clubs is destroying the environment.
Deutsche Welle (

The Bay Islands of Honduras need to pay careful attention to the issues our neighbors in Mexico's Yucatan peninsula are having with over-development.

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