April 6, 2024
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INAH and Cobá Ejidatarios Join Forces to Revamp Archaeological Site

TULUM, Quintana Roo – Ejidatarios (communal landowners) from the Cobá community convened a meeting with the Director-General of the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), Diego Prieto Hernández, the Governor of Quintana Roo, Mara Lezama, and the Mayor of Tulum, Diego Castañón Trejo. The purpose of this gathering was to address differences and establish agreements concerning the operation of the archaeological zone.

The federal authorities took the initiative to convene this meeting, which took place on Tuesday, June 27th, in the western part of Tulum, where several key agreements were reached. Firstly, the imminent public reopening of the ancient Maya monument site was decided, allowing visitors access in the coming days. Additionally, the Program for the Improvement of Archaeological Zones (Promeza) will allocate approximately 70 million pesos for the rehabilitation of the internal spaces within the site.

Meanwhile, the ejidatarios, who have been charging tourists a fee of 100 pesos since November 2021, have agreed to relocate their ticket office to the main entrance of the parking area. The INAH will reactivate its own ticket module, charging 90 pesos per person in the traditional manner. It is worth noting that although the official INAH website currently states the zone is closed until further notice, the ejido members have continued granting access to visitors.

INAH and Cobá Ejidatarios Join Forces to Revamp Archaeological Site

The core stance of the ejido is to reach an agreement and proceed with their legal processes, as the livelihoods of numerous families depend on the tourism activities generated by the archaeological site. According to some ejidatarios, the collected fees are being allocated to improve the infrastructure of the walled city.

During the meeting, the Ejido of Cobá also raised several instances of unfulfilled commitments by the three levels of government, including the incomplete remodeling of the lagoon viewpoint. The ejidatarios expressed their concerns regarding these issues.

Since December 2021, the INAH had announced the closure of the archaeological site due to ongoing work under the Promeza program. However, this closure was seen by the local residents as an attempt to disguise the underlying conflict.

INAH and Cobá Ejidatarios Join Forces to Revamp Archaeological Site

A few weeks ago, personnel from the National Guard arrived with a precautionary measure to safeguard the archaeological site, but the ejidatarios opposed their presence, leading to further tensions.

This recent meeting serves as a significant step forward in bridging the gaps between the different stakeholders involved in the operation and preservation of Cobá’s archaeological site. The agreements reached to reopen the site and invest in its rehabilitation highlight the commitment to preserving the rich cultural heritage and supporting the local community’s economic sustainability.


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