Xcacel is Not for Sale! UPDATE
We need to have the President's environmental department (CONANP), the governor of Quintana Roo (Gov. Felix Gonzalez), and the State Protective branch (SEDUMA) to approve the change to full federal sanctuary coverage for Xcacel/Xcacelito. (14 Mar 2009) SAVE, A.C.
14 March 2009
Aventuras Akumal: Early January 2009, SAVE volunteers found newly mowed down and filled in mangroves just south of our office on the north side of Xcacel bay, one of the world’s most important sea turtle nesting sites. To remind all about the past history of Xcacel, this was a section of pristine beach bluff where the most Loggerhead (Caretta caretta) and Green (Chelonian mydas) sea turtles would come to dig their nests and lay their eggs. It was a Federal protected park first, then changed to State protection status, so, it could then be sold to a large Spanish Hotel Chain. Under great protest from people around the world, and legal action in 2000 – 2003 the environmental pressure won, resulting in this hotel's building permission being revoked.
Xcacel and Xcacelito was State PROTECTED??? State protected once again? The same State protection that sold it off the first time back in 1996 is back. In the last two months due to a wonderful investigating journalist, we have had local media coverage and have uncovered more facts. We roared our cry and now we are pushing Xcacel towards Federal protection.
There is a great deal of history that we have come to understand. The long story short, it was tricky land deals with State government not fully recovering all the lands of Xcacel in the Sol Melia Hotel Consortium land trade. The other sections of this beach went to the state university where ’it would be guarded’, and yet the university has been acting lately as real estate brokers. One of the five parcels was never returned and is now considered ¨private property¨ with development plans in the works. The environmental ministry's office called CONANP has already completed a study to make Xcacel Federally protected. They are in agreement with us, that this area is too important to destroy.
We need to have the President's environmental department (CONANP), the governor of Quintana Roo (Gov. Felix Gonzalez), and the State Protective branch (SEDUMA) to approve the change to full federal sanctuary coverage for Xcacel/Xcacelito.
In the hands of the federal government, this fantastic area filled with jungle, mangroves, coastal dunes, wetlands, white sandy beach bluffs, cenotes, coralline and lagoon reefs, turtle grasses, palms, eagles, sea turtles, etc. etc. will be under proper protection. So, we are awaiting the next few months to see if we can push the government to Federal Status. And we are watching everyday. Our journalists are ready to publish in a moments notice. We will accept no more destruction on this spot, the Turtle sanctuary of Quintana Roo.
Please help us shout, Xcacel is not for sale!
Please send an email to Mexican President Calderon. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let him know Xcacel is not for sale!
If you like, you can email the following message, or write your own letter to the president of Mexico TODAY,
Lic. Felipe Calderon
Presidente Constitucional de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos
Dear President Calderon,
Please exercise all of the power in your authority to decree federal protected status for the turtle sanctuary and bordering regions of Playa Xcacel and Playa Xcacelito in Quintana Roo. We know that the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (CONANP) completed and published studies in 2005 assigning sanctuary status for 360 hectares of Xcacel and Xcacelito. We are asking for further protection extending from the reef west through the wetland jungle to Highway 307. In addition to the endangered marine turtles who return annually for nesting, the zone contains mangrove and endangered plants. This is of critical ecological importance not only to the region, but to Mexico and to the international community. It is also one of the last public beaches for locals to enjoy.
Areas of such environmental importance as those in the Central Quintana Roo coast should not be completely sacrificed to the development of the Riviera Maya and Costa Maya. A balance must be attained.
Submitted by: Nancy DeRosa
Director of SAVE, A.C.