Author Archives: mmariola

How Green Is The Yucatan? Concluding Thoughts

I have a few final thoughts on the Yucatan’s “eco” status that will best be articulated by answering some of the questions I asked in my first post.  I should say quickly that the Yucatan promotional literature does not necessarily … Continue reading

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Some Observations on Agriculture in the Northern Yucatan

1.  My observations of the countryside, which are, granted, confined almost entirely to what I could see from the car window (and a good swathe from the plane window on the way in), did not reveal much agriculture to begin … Continue reading

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Should Mexico Pave This Road?

Our last day proved to be one of our most memorable, taking us 15 kilometers south of Tulum along the coastline and into one of Mexico’s twelve UNESCO-sanctioned “biosphere reserves” (the most stringent category of land protection in the country, … Continue reading

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On Local Development and Mexican Food (Part 2)

In a very interesting comparative experience to our time at Kilometer 50 Café in the little town of Jose Maria Morelos, in the much larger, beachside, entirely tourist-oriented city of Tulum we stumbled upon something we did not expect to … Continue reading

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Who Owns The Maya? (Part 6)

You would be hard pressed to find any history of the Yucatan Peninsula in which the relations between the indigenous Mayan population and the Hispanic conquistadores would be described as anything other than fractious and violent.  Certainly to call it … Continue reading

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On Local Development and Mexican Food (Part I)

Driving across the peninsula from west to east, from the Mayan ruins of Uxmal to the small resort town / Mayan ruin of Tulum, we decided to take the secondary roads rather than the main highway, which I particularly loved … Continue reading

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Who Owns The Maya? (Part 2)

Everywhere you go at the major tourist sites on the peninsula, you see vendors of all kinds of handicrafts — some complete kitsch, some mass-produced but authentic-seeming items, and some undoubtedly authentic artisanal products.  But what is striking is how … Continue reading

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Who Owns The Maya? (Part 1)

This is a sign outside the artisan gift store at the major archaeological site of Uxmal.  Notice how the state appropriates and then regulates the whole idea of “artisan” or authentic crafts.  The sign reads “House of Artisan Handicrafts of … Continue reading

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Maya Inc.

The commodification of a culture is not a big surprise wherever a local population forms the service sector for a steady stream of foreign tourists.  Think of the identical tchotchske ceramic figurines of temples awaiting you outside any famous Buddhist … Continue reading

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How Green Grows the Yucatan?

Matt Mariola writing, pre-departure.   I have two primary intellectual/experiential interests in traveling to the Yucatan Peninsula, and I think it will be useful to trace my thoughts on them now, before the trip, so I can compare expectations to … Continue reading

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