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Old 07-29-2017   #1 (permalink)
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Watch Out For the Mud Puddles in Isla Holbox

If you go to Isla Holbox, don't play in the mud puddles for you might get some on you.

Holbox mud puddles not what they seem

Hopeless planning, little upkeep, neglect by government blamed for sewage problem.
from Mexico News Daily | Friday, July 28, 2017
"Isla Holbox, Quintana Roo, may be a tropical paradise but it is one with a sewage problem that has the potential to cause serious environmental damage on the island.
When tourists visit Holbox and see mud puddles in the road they usually assume it is stagnant rainwater. But it’s not necessarily so.
Wastewater overflows every day from a sewage system that can no longer cope with the pressures placed upon it.
According to the state Water and Sewer Commission (Capa), the problem stems from a drainage system that was installed more than 18 years ago when the island population was just 800.
At the time, a four-inch sewer pipe and 81 collection tanks worked perfectly.
But today the permanent population of the island, situated about 10 kilometers off the northern coast of the Yucatán Peninsula, is over triple that number and 20 of the tanks no longer work.
For the past three years the system has not been functioning at an optimal level leading to the risk of severe damage to the environment.
There are concerns for the health of the island’s mangroves as well as for whale sharks, which seasonally frequent local waters, and other species endemic to the island. There are also concerns about health risks to humans from exposure to raw sewage.
Mayor Emilio Jiménez explained that 3,000 residents, 1,500 workers and up to 1,500 tourists — a total of 6,000 people — now use a system that was built for 800.
The pressure on the system and its breakdown in some sections has led to some of the island’s hotels disposing of wastewater into the sea or even the street.
Pedro Gasca, 58, lives in the island’s main settlement and has a drain next to his house.
“Three years ago the drainage stopped working on the whole island,” Pedro said.
“At the start when they installed it and got rid of the septic tanks, it worked very well. Today, the system is overflowing.”
Gasca has also had problems within his own home. A neighbor ran to the beach to warn him that water was running from the house.
“When I arrived I discovered that the water from the toilet was overflowing. Shit was coming out for two continuous hours.”
The problem is not confined to the drainage system and pipes.
The treatment plant, situated on the east side of the island, is also overflowing, flooding the plant’s yard and reaching the surrounding mangroves.
On a tour of the plant, local official René Correa donned rubber boots to show a journalist from the newspaper Milenio the extent of the problem.
“What we are stepping on is not clean water. It’s everything that overflows on to the mangrove swamp that surrounds this plant. As you can see it goes up to our knees and it’s not even raining.”
A worker from the water commission said the problem is “the result of population growth but it’s also the fault of hopeless urban planning, a lack of maintenance of the drainage [system] and neglect on the part of all levels of government.”
Correa said that more than 15 million pesos (US $844,000) are paid annually to authorities in property taxes, hotel licenses and other taxes but “none of those resources stay on the island.”
All that comes back, he says, is “40,000 pesos with which we pay for the gas for the garbage trucks.”
Capa says that 30 million pesos are needed to fix and update the system.
The Quintana Roo government has stated that a plan is in the works but neither local authorities nor island residents are aware of any details or when work is expected to start.
René Correa also accused Governor Carlos Joaquín González of ignoring his calls and messages.
Meanwhile, the fetid puddles continue to accumulate, plaguing unwitting tourists and residents on the island paradise.
It is not the only environmental threat Isla Holbox is facing.
Environmental groups have denounced a range of other issues they believe are affecting the island and the federal environmental agency Profepa recently closed down 36 tourism-related projects, deeming them illegal."
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Old 07-29-2017   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by absoluteAL View Post
If you go to Isla Holbox, don't play in the mud puddles for you might get some on you.

Holbox mud puddles not what they seem

Hopeless planning, little upkeep, neglect by government blamed for sewage problem.
from Mexico News Daily | Friday, July 28, 2017
"Isla Holbox, Quintana Roo, may be a tropical paradise but it is one with a sewage problem that has the potential to cause serious environmental damage on the island.
When tourists visit Holbox and see mud puddles in the road they usually assume it is stagnant rainwater. But it’s not necessarily so.
Wastewater overflows every day from a sewage system that can no longer cope with the pressures placed upon it.
According to the state Water and Sewer Commission (Capa), the problem stems from a drainage system that was installed more than 18 years ago when the island population was just 800.
At the time, a four-inch sewer pipe and 81 collection tanks worked perfectly.
But today the permanent population of the island, situated about 10 kilometers off the northern coast of the Yucatán Peninsula, is over triple that number and 20 of the tanks no longer work.
For the past three years the system has not been functioning at an optimal level leading to the risk of severe damage to the environment.
There are concerns for the health of the island’s mangroves as well as for whale sharks, which seasonally frequent local waters, and other species endemic to the island. There are also concerns about health risks to humans from exposure to raw sewage.
Mayor Emilio Jiménez explained that 3,000 residents, 1,500 workers and up to 1,500 tourists — a total of 6,000 people — now use a system that was built for 800.
The pressure on the system and its breakdown in some sections has led to some of the island’s hotels disposing of wastewater into the sea or even the street.
Pedro Gasca, 58, lives in the island’s main settlement and has a drain next to his house.
“Three years ago the drainage stopped working on the whole island,” Pedro said.
“At the start when they installed it and got rid of the septic tanks, it worked very well. Today, the system is overflowing.”
Gasca has also had problems within his own home. A neighbor ran to the beach to warn him that water was running from the house.
“When I arrived I discovered that the water from the toilet was overflowing. Shit was coming out for two continuous hours.”
The problem is not confined to the drainage system and pipes.
The treatment plant, situated on the east side of the island, is also overflowing, flooding the plant’s yard and reaching the surrounding mangroves.
On a tour of the plant, local official René Correa donned rubber boots to show a journalist from the newspaper Milenio the extent of the problem.
“What we are stepping on is not clean water. It’s everything that overflows on to the mangrove swamp that surrounds this plant. As you can see it goes up to our knees and it’s not even raining.”
A worker from the water commission said the problem is “the result of population growth but it’s also the fault of hopeless urban planning, a lack of maintenance of the drainage [system] and neglect on the part of all levels of government.”
Correa said that more than 15 million pesos (US $844,000) are paid annually to authorities in property taxes, hotel licenses and other taxes but “none of those resources stay on the island.”
All that comes back, he says, is “40,000 pesos with which we pay for the gas for the garbage trucks.”
Capa says that 30 million pesos are needed to fix and update the system.
The Quintana Roo government has stated that a plan is in the works but neither local authorities nor island residents are aware of any details or when work is expected to start.
René Correa also accused Governor Carlos Joaquín González of ignoring his calls and messages.
Meanwhile, the fetid puddles continue to accumulate, plaguing unwitting tourists and residents on the island paradise.
It is not the only environmental threat Isla Holbox is facing.
Environmental groups have denounced a range of other issues they believe are affecting the island and the federal environmental agency Profepa recently closed down 36 tourism-related projects, deeming them illegal."
There is a lot more than just puddles of waste going on. More over on the Random Thoughts thread. Too many people "discovering" Holbox recently has caused the place to just stop working. There are people who are going to block access (at certain times) to the island starting tomorrow. Who would have seen this coming?
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Old 07-29-2017   #3 (permalink)
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This problem is not unique to Holbox.
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Old 07-29-2017   #4 (permalink)
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It's sad...as soon as Holbox got trendy it's turned to shit. I have met the enemy.............
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Old 07-29-2017   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by PlayadelSolDos View Post
There are people who are going to block access (at certain times) to the island starting tomorrow. Who would have seen this coming?
Is blocking access a protest or way of sending a message to the government?
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Old 07-29-2017   #6 (permalink)
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We have been regular visitors over the past 3 years, typically going for 3 or 4 nights at a time. Will have to watch an monitor - and the news is widespread.

The last time we were there we walked down way past the airport to that part of the island. Lots of construction was happening - tourist related construction like hotels.

I hope they can make steady and good progress in addressing the issues.

Next trip, in September, Isla Mujeres is planned.
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Old 07-29-2017   #7 (permalink)
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Is blocking access a protest or way of sending a message to the government?
Usually protests are a way of sending a message to the government.

I read that tomorrow there are announced plans to block access from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. We have gone over on Sundays before. A lot of Mexican families were on the ferry, going for a day's beach trip, perhaps.

There are the ferries and there are private boat owners. I wonder if they are all on board with this.
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Old 07-29-2017   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PlayadelSolDos View Post
There is a lot more than just puddles of waste going on. More over on the Random Thoughts thread. Too many people "discovering" Holbox recently has caused the place to just stop working. There are people who are going to block access (at certain times) to the island starting tomorrow. Who would have seen this coming?
They are asking for a boycott.
Not blocking.
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Old 07-29-2017   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by roni View Post
Usually protests are a way of sending a message to the government.
PDS2 didn't use the word protest, he said people were going to block access or whatever, Mr. Smarty Pants.

Unlike you, I don't like to assume things, they could be going to protest Russia for all I know.
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Old 07-29-2017   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Dan-0 View Post
Is blocking access a protest or way of sending a message to the government?
I think it is a form of stopping more people from going on the island when the situation with electricity and running water is so desparate. I imagine they want to stop the day trippers, for now. The next problem will be a resurgance of previous problems between the ejidatarios and government/corporate entities. Oh, and mosquitoes.
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Old 07-29-2017   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Babaloo View Post
They are asking for a boycott.
Not blocking.
Um, maybe your Spanish is different from mine.

Quote:
Para los que piensan venir a holbox Comunidad de Holbox y Visitantes.
Debido al desabasto de agua, nulo funcionamiento del drenaje, fallas graves en el suministro de la energía eletrica y falta de compromiso por parte de las autoridades municipales y estatales, el acceso a l es necesario impedir a isla de Holbox la cual ya se encuentra en un estado de emergencia.
Se lamentan las molestias que esto ocasione; debido a que al dia de hoy no hay garantía de los servicios básicos para tí que visitas la isla y para quienes la habitan.
Se invita a tomar las precauciones necesaria este DOMINGO 30 DE JULIO 2017 ya que se realizará un CIERRE TEMPORAL para ingresar a la Isla de Holbox DE LAS 10:00 a las 16:00 horas.
Levanta la voz: CON UNO MAS GRITAMOS MAS FUERTE.
TODOS A LA CALETA:
DOMINGO 30 a las 10:00
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Old 07-29-2017   #12 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by PlayadelSolDos View Post
Um, maybe your Spanish is different from mine.
I read another post on Facebook from Holbox which was the basis of my post.
I can't and won't argue with your source.
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Old 07-29-2017   #13 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Babaloo View Post
I read another post on Facebook from Holbox which was the basis of my post.
I can't and won't argue with your source.
Not looking for an argument. I had just posted this earlier today on the Random thread.
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Old 07-29-2017   #14 (permalink)
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Playa's infrastructure has kept up with the extra 100,000 people i'm sure.
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Old 07-30-2017   #15 (permalink)
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Playa's infrastructure has kept up with the extra 100,000 people i'm sure.
Not at all, but it appears that Holbox totally dropped the ball much worse than Playa.
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