Published On: Thu, Oct 4th, 2018

Akumal Bay certifies “Nature Guides” to take care of the sea turtles and other natural attractions

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Only 3 or 4 tourists (of the 12 people authorized to swim with the turtles by the local cooperative), can be seen at the Akumal Bay on Tuesday, October 2nd.

“16 local tour operators have authorization for the turtle watching activities in Akumal, each one of them is allowed to take groups of 12 people, but right now the tourist influx is very low”, said Vicente Israel Chagolla.

“We hope that in the coming holiday season the demand for this service will increase”, points out Israel Chagolla, secretary of the cooperative Ecotour Ko’ox Ximbal. “The affectation is reflected in the lack of economic income for the families that depend on this activity”, he continued.

The turtle watching season is suspended during the whole month of September. This period of time is used for the tour guides to approve certai tests and get certified as “nature guides” and be able to work in different natural areas. The course features six modules, takes up to six weeks to be completed and obviously the objective is to provide a better service to visitors. The course includes CPR and first aid training as well as other aspects in quality service.

(Photo: SIPSE)

There are about 22 social organizations and individuals that have permission for this non-extractive activity in the bay (turtle sighiting). At the same time they are authorized and certified to take the tourists to other sites, such as cenotes and the Yalkú lagoon.

He pointed out that since the bay was “privatized” and people need to pay to enter, the number of visitors fell from around 3,500 people to 500. He stressed that permit holders are constantly alert so tourists do not damage seagrass, or touch the turtles. This is a permanent surveillance work through community committees to monitor the activity of the visitors and of the guides as well, Vicente Israel Chagolla concluded.

Source: SIPSE



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