The sanctuary of the Xcacel-Xcacelito sea turtle, which is located in the municipality of Tulum, is threatened by a mega tourist project that includes 520 rooms.
In 2001, thanks to the opposition of various sectors of society when this
sanctuary was still part of the municipality of Solidaridad, the project
of the Meliá hotel chain was reversed and the site was decreed as a protected
Now, 16 years later, the company Palmares de Country intends to create “La Calma Eco Resort Luxury”, just behind the aforementioned sanctuary.
It is expected that this construction will provoke a reaction from numerous groups that once faced hoteliers to preserve the most important sanctuary in the area.
On that occasion, the legal defense was headed by the mayor of Solidaridad and today a candidate for federal deputy for District 01 of Quintana Roo, Miguel Ramón Martín Azueta.
In 2000, when the hotel group Meliá announced its intention to build a development with five complexes and 1,453 rooms, the main environmental groups such as Grupo Ecológico del Mayab (GEMA), by Aracely Domínguez; and the Ecological Citizen Movement “Yax Cuxtal”, founded by Aniceto Caamal Cocom, Guadalupe de la Rosa and Jorge Fuentes, among others; They organized society to take this project back.
After months of an arduous legal battle, in 2001 the then National Institute of Ecology (INE), revoked the permits to the Spanish capital chain.
In 2009, another group of entrepreneurs tried to develop the Punta Carey project, supposedly of low impact, but it was not allowed either.
Now, the Palmares del Country company, in a new attempt to exploit the marine turtle sanctuary, presents the “La Calma” project, which consists of a tourism development that supposedly will value the present ecosystems, considering the availability of water, the management of waste, installed infrastructure, compatible architectural designs and environmental and social impact, generating a proposal with the capacity to plan growth through a master plan, designed under the pillars of sustainability.
The project will be located on Federal Highway 307 Agrarian Reform-Puerto Juarez, between km 247–248, in the delegation of Chemuyil, Municipality of Tulum, Quintana Roo, and contemplates the construction and operation of 520 rooms distributed in 23 buildings grouped in four blocks: Selva, with nine buildings and an area of use of 4 thousand 082.52 m² and 3 levels; Laguna, with four buildings of three levels and an area of use of one thousand 854.15 m²; Costa, four buildings of three levels and an area of use of thousand 639.32 m², and Toucan with six buildings of three levels and an area of use of 2 thousand 817.42 m².
The Master Plan of the project is a management scheme of a territory of 26.05 hectares, and consists of different areas of use (habitat area of stay, integration of services, integration habitats, recreational habitat, habitat creation and habitat conservation area), with a surface area of 23 thousand 907 m² representing 9.17% of the total area of the property. The remaining 236 thousand 572.96 m² will be conservation areas.
This was hardly presented to the Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat), which means the beginning of a whole process that, like the first occasion, could end up in the courts.