On a recent two month trip Jane and I became acquainted with the shopping in Tulum.
At the “Pool” produce/vegetable market, we found all under one roof things we scour Mérida for with its one million population.
Our curiosities led us to this story.
This diesel monster truck deadheads without cargo from Tulum to the Valley of Mexico, a distance of 1,000 miles or 1,500 kilometers in 30 hours, burning over 2,000 liters of fuel and returning with 28 tons of produce. This trip is made twice weekly in the high tourist season and only supplies the needs of one customer.
At the time Quintana Roo became a state there were no food imports and the people were completely self sustaining…that was 37 years ago.
By an ironic and twisted fickle turn of fate the Maya of Quintana Roo, México staved off the Spanish for 400 plus years because of one man, Gonzalo Gurerrero.
Read his story…link. http://www.bicycleyucatan.com/gonzaloguerrerochetumal.html
The Maya of Quintana Roo remained independent and self-sustaining. Land belonged to those who worked it…it was simple. Not like their Mayan brethren in adjacent Yucatán under the oppressive jack-boot of the “hacenderos” or Spanish hacienda owners who took their land, plundered their spiritual heritage and impoverished them into servitude.
Quintana Roo was a pristine tropical paradise abounding in seafood, dense tropical jungles of exotic flora and fauna and scarcely any infrastructure…that was then.
October 8th, 1974, this all changed forever when Quintana Roo became the 30th state in México and the “federal land registry” established ownership with property perimeters. When Quintana Roo first became a state it was seldom visited, had nearly no paved roads and tourism was unheard of outside of the newly created resort town of Cancún. Besides being undeveloped it was a smugglers paradise for clandestine merchandise that strangely found its way into Mexico by night.
Now the land grab would begin in earnest.
Not until the 1970’s were highways built and Quintana Roo became recognized as one of the most beautiful resort areas in the world.
In 2011, just 37 years later, the pristine tropical forests have been stripped of their exotic timber; conch, lobster; reef fish and even the coral reef have been pillaged and plundered beyond restoration.
Infrastructure has arrived!
Airports, super highways, mega shopping malls, five star all-inclusive resorts, giant cruise ships queued up to disgorge thousands of visitors daily and land speculators, and hotel developers. Shopping plaza builders are bulldozing the jungle with no end in sight.
Today the state is no longer self sustaining and exports are nearly non-existent.
© 2011 John M. Grimsrud