What now seems like a very, very long time ago I knew Mitra Taj as a journalism student – and now I’m linking her article ‘Environmentalists vs. Luxury Developers‘ from worldpress.org. Mitra, if you’re out there, drop me a line.
Puerto Penasco, like much of the northwestern coast of Mexico still reeling from a decline in the fishing industry, is getting a makeover. The city, 60 miles south of Mexico’s border with Arizona, is increasingly better known for its designer golf courses than for the 850 tons of shrimp it pulled into its harbors last year. But as investors pour millions of dollars into luxury vacation developments, many worry that the rush to cash in on tourism could destroy the unique desert-marine environment — think, coyotes hunting crabs — that draw more than 1.6 million visitors annually.
“Sometimes because we’re so desperate we don’t think of the future, of preserving what we have,” said Fernando Garcia Pacheco, one of 11 councilmen who govern one of the fastest-growing tourist destinations in Mexico.