TULUM, Mexico – Locatarios of the archaeological zone in Tulum are still awaiting a response from the Ministry of Agrarian, Territorial, and Urban Development (Sedatu) regarding their concerns about potential exclusion from federal projects such as the Jaguar National Park. Pedro Canul Méndez, administrator of the Tulum Craft Center, expressed his frustration, stating that despite submitting a project to Sedatu to be included in the infrastructure benefits, they have not received a definitive answer after five months.
Sedatu’s proposed project involves closing the longstanding main entrance to the Tulum archaeological zone, leaving only two access points: the central entrance near the site museum and the southern entrance on Boca Paila Road. Locatarios fear isolation from the Jaguar National Park project if the main entrance is closed. In response, they have approached the Ministry of National Defense (Sedena) to request the preservation of the primary entrance, emphasizing its importance for tourism.
“Sedena assures us that they will allow us to operate in the traditional entrance to the Maya monument complex because they will take over the Jaguar National Park from the first week of December,” Canul Méndez explained.
He further highlighted that the Defense Ministry, responsible for park operations, has promised opportunities for businesses operating near the traditional entrance. This entrance is currently managed by the DIF, facilitating essential transportation like the tourist train service. Canul Méndez warned that if Sedena also considers closing this access point, the locatarios may take similar actions to those seen recently when ejidatarios from Chunyaxché blocked the entrance to the Felipe Carrillo Puerto International Airport.
The closure of vehicular access to the archaeological zone since November 1, due to ongoing construction, has posed challenges, but Canul Méndez acknowledged the influx of walking tourists. Despite the closure, visitors arriving by car have multiple parking options, benefiting local businesses. To ensure transparency and prevent misinformation, the Tulum Municipality, Conanp, and INAH have recently installed signs indicating entry schedules and prices for the archaeological zone, aiming to combat unauthorized tours and ticket overselling.