Tag Archives: Mayan train

Pave Paradise And

19 Dec

put up another hotel.

Three new apartments across from us. They’ve been sitting empty and unfinished for a year.

We bought our property in 2012 in Bacalar, Mexico. The town is situated on a pristine lake, the second largest in Mexico. At that time the village of Bacalar was small and not particularly memorable. I always thought that if not for the Laguna, no one would give Bacalar a second glance.

A new Private Property sign and fence near our house. The jungle has been cleared by two men and a machete.

During the Covid shutdown, construction was booming in Bacalar. There are new hotels on every corner, sometimes two. The president of Mexico is pushing the Mayan Train project, a tourist train that will connect the major cities and ancient pyramids of the Yucatán. We’re talking 8,000 additional visitors a day. Those tourist dollars and jobs are hard to pass up.

A hotel has blocked our street. We can no longer walk the dogs along the lovely Laguna coast road.

One of the reasons that Bacalar has been so attractive to foreign residents is the lack of US tourists. A four hour drive from Cancun keeps people with a week vacation in the all-inclusives in Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Tulum. The addition of a fast train will change all that.

Tourists will be funneled to many of the quiet Mayan villages.

Not only will the construction of the train tear up the jungle but it will overcrowd the ancient sites of Palenque and Calakmul. Bacalar may be building hotels like crazy but the rest of the infrastructure is sorely lacking. More tourists means more boats which means more pollution in the water. Seasonal floods are already washing pesticides and fertilizers into the Laguna. The striking blue colors near our house are slowly dying.

Crystalline water that is threatened by development. (2012)

What does the future hold for Bacalar and Dos Tortas? We talk all the time about what will be our Plan B. For now we stay put. If and when the train goes through, we will have to make a decision. Stay tuned.

DOS TORTAS

Emilie Vardaman

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