The Beaches of El Centenario and El Comitan – Ecotourism Destination?

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By Victor Martinez de Escobar

The towns of El Centenario, El Comintan and Chametla with a little bit of political will could convert itself into the center of eco-tourism development in both the short-term and medium-term as these three communities count on a very valuable eco-system that runs for kilometers from the west to the south of the Bay of La Paz.

This important and valuable eco-system is known as the Wetlands of El Mogote and has been named a Ramsar Site since 2008.  It is classified as a Wetland of International Importance.

Now, the beaches and the mangroves have suffered a slow but constant deteriation, thanks to groups of vandals and people unconscious of the fact that they are destroying the mangroves by driving their cars up to the sea shores and driving up and down the beaches, leaving behind tons of garbage a year.

Mangroves are various types of trees up to medium height and shrubs that grow in saline coastal sediment habitats.

The migratory birds have stopped to nest and take refuge in this important ecosystem due to the constant presence of man and his vehicles inside the mangroves.

The municipal government through ZOFEMAT (Zona Federal Maritimo Terrestre) constructed 14 palapas along the beach in El Comitan for local families to use and enjoy.  Unfortunately, a group of vandals came and burnt down the palapas within 30 days of construction.

Without a doubt it is urgent that a plan be devised and approved on how to properly manage the environment in this particularly important and fragile area. The beaches need to be protected from two-legged predators and their toys. Conservation can be obtained with both the will and dedication of local authorities and concerned citizens.

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