Hi guys! I’ve recently got back from vacations in Riviera Maya, Mexico. I visited the cities of Cancún, Playa del Carmen and Tulum that are really recent as they have been built in the last 90 to 50 years.
I also did – of course – some historic visits around Valladolid and Mayan Ruins in Chichen Itzá and Tulum that were my favorite part of the trip.
Indeed, when explorers discovered Mayan Ruins near a hundred years ago, the touristic demand increased and those cities around Cancún were constructed to accommodate tourists and give them tours to discover Mayan civilization – which you can still benefit from.
Now, don’t take me wrong.
I enjoyed eating the amazing Mexican food, talking with super nice people and watching breathtaking sunsets and beach views.
But I’ve also seen THE DIRECT CONSEQUENCES OF HUMAN IMPACT ON OUR ENVIRONMENT and I want to let you guys know about what is going on:
Sargassum or «Sargazo» in Spanish, has been around for quite a time now on the Caribbean beaches, but, according to locals I’ve spoken to, sargazo is more and more persistent since the last couple of years, and it’s affecting tourism in the Mayan Riviera.
Sargazo is massive seaweed rejection from the sea that comes from the south of Latin America (like Brazil) and should be temporary. I say “should” because now locals don’t really know when it will stop.
You can still swim in the water, there’s nothing wrong with the seaweeds, but let’s be honest: if you are a tourist on your honeymoon, that paid an all-inclusive hotel in front of the beach, it’s not the ideal views you were looking for. Same, if you are a local, you’re not expecting to leave your job for a while to clean the beaches for tourists to enjoy their swim. It’s not ideal for anyone, but nature is what it is.
Not mentioning the strong smell of the sunburnt and rotten seaweed once put aside as you can see in the pictures. A local confirmed to me that you need to be careful when walking on the decomposing seaweed as it’s plenty of bacteria and can cause infections.
I make sargazo a «big deal» because I’d like to place emphasis on the fact that what comes around, goes around. If we throw trash in the sea, the sea rejects it back.
KILOMETERS OF PLASTIC
The other human-caused environmental disaster I was very unhappy to notice while taking the colectivo (local bus), is the large amount of plastic thrown on the sides of the highway to the rainforest, despite the “don’t throw trash on the road” signs. And also plastic on the beach as you can see above.
When I shared my surprise to the bus driver he said something along the lines of “oh, it’s like this here. People throw trash away all the time”.
TROPICAL FOREST BURNING FOR BUSINESS
It’s not a secret that rainforests around the world are slowly disappearing to satisfy business purposes like buildings, infrastructures, wood business, etc. From the sky, you can clearly a lot of smoke focus points that are clearly controlled by humans.
Us, humans, are burning down our forests: the lungs of the Planet Earth, to make money.
With all of that said, and as you know, I am not the kind of person that focuses on the negative. Nonetheless I like to raise some awareness on our environmental impact as humans and how destructive can tourism be when it’s not properly regulated. I wanted to give light on how locals working in unbearable heat for tourists to enjoy the beach, how the rainforest and the environment are being mistreated for business reasons, and also how you can change that as well.
Let me know what your think of this post on the comments below !
PS. Do you also want to start contributing into making less impact on the planet? Check-out my ZERO WASTE FOR BEGINNERS post to start your action!