April 6, 2024
Today´s Paper

Tulum: Centro Ecológico Akumal celebrates 30 years of existence

Thirty years ago, the civil association Centro Ukana I Akumal, better known as Centro Ecológico Akumal (CEA) was created, as an effort by the residents of this community to preserve the natural beauties of this incipient tourist destination, managing since then to successfully carry out campaigns for the care of sea turtles and marine reefs, in addition to raising awareness of the importance of these resources in both the state population and visitors.

To mark this important occasion, CEA held a gala dinner at Lol Ha restaurant, where resources were also raised, which was attended by the president of the association, Carlos Ortiz, as well as members of the board, residents and businessmen of Akumal, Carla Andrade, attended on behalf of the president of the hoteliers of Tulum, David Ortiz Mena, as well as other benefactors and stakeholders of CEA.

Three decades ago, a small group of people saw the tourism potential of Akumal, but also the risk of damage that this growth could have on this bay, already visited not only for its beauty and for being a nesting site for sea turtles, but also for serving as a starting point to explore the subway cave system of the region. Thus, Carlos Ortiz explained, this group, first as the Yacht Club, and then as Centro Ukana I Akumal, took it upon themselves to take direct actions to guarantee a sustainable development model, with respect for the environment and the local communities.

This includes, mainly, the sea turtle protection program, which has been in existence for 28 years and has helped to significantly improve the populations of green and loggerhead turtles, both at risk of extinction, explained Héctor Lizárraga Cubedo, executive director of Centro Ecológico Akumal, who emphasized that this is a year-round task, not only during the nesting season, which begins in April, as they must prepare permits, reports and raise awareness among hoteliers and residents to support them.

CEA has not only specialized personnel and a network of volunteers for this work, but also a two-hectare piece of land that they received as a donation, which they use to obtain resources for their operation. The self-sufficiency of this A.C. also makes them an independent and citizen voice, which can provide information to government agencies to help them implement public policies.

Lizárraga Cubedo explained that another important initiative they are carrying out is the restoration of corals, which is already in its third stage, with the participation of an international organization, the Mar Fund, as well as multiple allies in various divers, interested in preserving and recovering this valuable reef barrier.

Already 30 years old, Centro Ecológico Akumal has now decided to also focus on actions to mitigate global warming, an external factor that has negatively impacted this bay, through, among other things, the circular economy and the management of carbon credits.

“Quintana Roo has 800 kilometers of coastline, with many coastal communities, whose economy contributes greatly to the Gross Domestic Product, so the implementation of direct actions against this phenomenon should be state and federal policy,” said Hector Lizarraga Cubedo.

About this gala, the director pointed out that they have the goal of raising 150 thousand pesos, through the entrance fee and the auction of objects donated by local hotels, money that will be used to hire three technicians for the next nesting season.

“We are fortunate to have people who have supported this organization for 30 years: Residents, hoteliers who not only support with economic resources, but with equipment,” he said.

During the event, a recognition was given to Pascual Poot Ek for his 30 years of tireless work in favor of conservation within CEA.


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