Culture

Cancun’s Scary Global Warming Problem Could Definitely Be A Lot More Lethal Than ‘GOT’ Villains If We Don’t Combat It Now

For the past several years, Cancun has notoriously become one of The Summer Spots. With promises of cheap beer, crystal clear surf and fun hangs, tourists typically flock to the vacation destination for good times in the spring and summer in troves. The location’s sands, beaches, and resorts are typically packed by this time of year, but a nasty visitor is washing up on the shores of these beaches, scaring off the usual summertime travel industry.

For the past several months, an invasion of seaweed-like algae hasn’t been just an eyesore for tourists, it’s also been a nasal deterrent.

Hundreds of pounds of seaweed-like algae is washing up on the shores of Cancun and it’s ruining the city’s tourist season.

Twitter / @tictoc

The past several months, the sunny resort town has been inundated with slimy, brown seaweed-like algae. It’s name is sargassum and it has washed up all along the coast around Cancun; stretching all the way down to Playa del Carmen and even further to Tulum. With the stench of rotten eggs, the algae smells just as gross as it looks and makes for a pretty unappealing soggy mess. It’s definitely not the sort of beach conditions that encourage tourists to visit.

Though Cancun businesses are feeling the effects of this invasion, the president of Mexico isn’t as concerned. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has reportedly called the problem controllable and has only allocated 2.6 Million for the removal of the algae. The removal is a slow process — being shoveled away by city workers — but the lack of resources makes the task even more difficult. Also, the endless onslaught of fresh algae with every tide doesn’t help. Even using front loaders and trucks for the cleanup, the work takes several hours and results in an algae-covered beach only moments later.

Officials aren’t certain what the cause of this algae is but there are clues that point to it being caused by major global issues.

Twitter / @DKaimowitz

Scientists have suggested that the increase in algae is caused by the warming of our Earth because of the global climate change we are currently experiencing. This is the same hypothesis that has been suggested to explain Florida’s Red Tide. Earlier this month, scientists at the University of South Florida used satellite imaging to discover the largest bloom of the algae in the world. It’s being called the Great Atlantic Sargassum Belt and it is impacting beaches along North, Central, and South America.

Others believe that deforestation is to blame for the assault of algae on these beaches. Due to the logging and increased use of herbicide and fertilizers by Brazilian lumber companies in the Amazon forest, dangerous runoff flows into the ocean. The nutrients in these fertilizers encourage the growth of the algae; causing super blooms to occur.

In a release about a study of these super blooms, Dr. Chuanmin Hu of the USF College of Marine Science expressed concern about the state of the Atlantic ocean. He has predicted that:

“The ocean’s chemistry must have changed in order for the blooms to get so out of hand.”

Regardless of what the Mexican president and scientists say, locals who face this problem every day are the ones most impacted by the algae.

Twitter / @newsnest00

Tourism in the community has taken a major hit during a time when Mexico is already heading towards a recession. The first three weeks of June, hotel occupancy in the area dropped by 3.4%. Air travel to the city also saw numbers that aren’t as optimistic as Cancun usually sees during this time of year. It only claimed 1.2%, the smallest amount of growth that the area has seen since 2011.

It isn’t just the international travel industry that loses money to the algae. In a city like Cancun, as much as 40% of jobs are tied to tourism alone. Events like this — that impact the beaches so severely — threaten the livelihood of locals. The Mexican transportation industry, local artisans, restaurants, beach resorts, and sight-seeing locations depend on this busy season to provide the bulk of their yearly income. In order to lure travelers, hotels in the area are even running specials. In many places in Cancun, tourists can get as much as 20% off rooms and free transportation to unaffected beaches.

Cleaning up after this mess will take a lot more than a few hundred shovels.

Twitter / @ElCanaco

Reversing the effects of climate change can not really be accomplished on an individual level. Realistically, a single person does not cause this damage. Instead, it is large conglomerations that hurt our Earth with their anti-environmental policies. Until the governments of the world decide to hold these companies accountable, nothing productive will be done to stop this damage.

Right now, we’re seeing this onslaught of algae but who knows what is in store for our environment if we don’t make major improvements soon. It’s more than just our Cancun vacations that are counting on these changes.

Mexico’s Beaches Are Still Full Of Crowds Celebrating Semana Santa Despite Calls For Social Distancing

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Mexico’s Beaches Are Still Full Of Crowds Celebrating Semana Santa Despite Calls For Social Distancing

@YucatanPareja / Twitter

Although Mexico’s President has come under fire from much of the international community for his relaxed approach to confronting the Covid-19 crisis, many municipalities and states are taking an aggressive stance to halt the pandemic.

In fact, all of Mexico’s more than 6,000 miles of coastline have been closed. That means zero access to beaches – a major draw for millions of local and international tourists.

Officially, all of Mexico’s beaches are closed.

Credit: @localesoaxaca / Twitter

Deputy Health Minister Hugo López-Gatell told a press conference on Thursday that the closure order applies to every beach in the country until the end of the national emergency on April 30.

“The order has been given. It obliges state and municipal authorities to take coherent measures and suspend tourist activity on beaches, be it international or local tourism,” he said.

Other states had already begun to close beaches earlier this week.

Those closures impacted some of the county’s most popular tourist attractions, including Baja California Sur, Baja California and Oaxaca, where local authorities closed down the country’s only nudist beach, Zipolite. Like beaches throughout Mexico, Zipolite is a big draw during the Semana Santa (Easter Week) vacation in April.

Authorities in Tamaulipas and Sonora had also begun to close beaches before the order, and Guerrero announced Wednesday that its beaches would be closed beginning Thursday.

“The state government makes this delicate decision in an unsatisfactory setting: we have had to choose between protecting life and suspending economic activity,” the state government said in a press release.

These authorities recognize that the economy – although it will be impacted – will recover.

Credit: Secretaria de Salud / Gobierno de Mexico

It said that the economy will always be recoverable as long as the human factor still exists and urged citizens to stay at home and practice other methods of social distancing.

But not everyone seems to have got the memo – as miles of beaches remained full of vacationers.

Credit: Pixabay

Even though it’s been proven that social distancing is our greatest tool against the growing pandemic, some are choosing to ignore these guidelines. And as a result, their risking the health of millions.

Over the weekend, people decided to defy the government’s order to stay at home and instead enjoy a day out at the beach in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz. The newspaper Milenio reported that Playa Villa del Mar near the port city of Veracruz was packed on Friday, Saturday and Sunday with both revelers and vendors offering products such as swimming suits, food and alcoholic beverages.

President López Obrador on Friday ruled out any possibility of implementing “draconian measures” such as a curfew to contain the spread of Covid-19, while he said two weeks ago that he wanted to avoid a complete shutdown of the economy because it would disproportionately hurt the poor.

As if people needed another reason to stay clear of beaches – other than you know, a global pandemic – wild animals are making a comeback in less populated areas.

Credit: @infolliteras / Twitter

Videos have captured the animals in Quintana Roo, where the resorts of Cancun and Riviera Maya are located.

One video, which has been watched 120,000 times on Facebook, shows a huge crocodile swimming along a canal between balconies. The people filming express their shock at the animal as he swims past without stopping for the people watching him.

Another video captured a jaguar roaming the streets of Tulum. According to local media, the big cat was spotted near the Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya Resort & Spa.

The Coronavirus Is Getting Its Own Beer And Concha At This Mexico City Panadería And We Can’t Help But Laugh A Little

Culture

The Coronavirus Is Getting Its Own Beer And Concha At This Mexico City Panadería And We Can’t Help But Laugh A Little

@lacornetanegra / Twitter

No one can accuse Mexicans of having no sense of humor. Whether it be reactions to cartel violence, an ineffective government plagued by corruption, or a global pandemic – many Mexicans turn to memes and humor to confront real issues. Enter the CoronaBeer and ConchaVirus.

Yes, the Coronavirus has ravaged communities around the world. And Mexico itself hasn’t escaped the crisis – more than 2,000 cases have been reported so far and it’s expected to get much worse.

Entrepreneurs are trying to find some common ground and an opportunity with a very scary reality.

Martha Rivas is part of the team who created the now viral “Conchavirus.” She says, in an interview with UnoTV, that the creation came from “a genuine concern about how to face this crisis due to the coronavirus.”

The creators of this peculiar product found in the “Conchavirus” how to cope with the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus. They’re bringing in the pesos like never before.

Yes, the ConchaVirus is real.

Credit: @lacornetanegra / Twitter

The “Conchavirus” was created in Mexico City’s bustling Iztapalapa district by a team of creative panaderos/as. The interesting looking confection is made with red icing, concha dough, and a lot of creativity. The team behind the now viral pan dulce, hand decorate each and every concha to make sure that it is best representative of the illustrations of the virus, provided by doctors and scientists.

For anybody wondering – a large Conchavirus is going for $6.50 pesos (or about 25¢ USD). There’s also apparently the “Manta-ConchaVirus,” but that’s…a whole other story.

It’s so real, it even got its own segment on a local news channel.

After the publication of a photo that went viral on social media, chilangos – or residents of Mexico City – began a crazed search search for the conchas. This viral moment has already been reflected in the huge growth of sales.

Meanwhile, Corona has suffered a major decline in sales because of the namesake virus.

Credit: @GabrielFrancoJr / Twitter

I mean, remember when rumors started flying around that some people actually thought the virus and iconic Mexican beer brand were somehow linked? Yea, it was a thing.

And yea, Corona beer already existed long before the pandemic but this CoronaBeer is totally different.

Obviously there isn’t much too celebrate right now given the on-going health crisis, but one beer makers hopes what when all is said and done – people will toast to good health with his new brew.

A brewery in Mexico’s state of Hidalgo has appropriated the name of the deadly virus and used it for a product he hopes will bring people together – Coronavirus Beer.

Isaac Palafox, the entrepreneur, owns a chain of cafés and was already serving the beer but it didn’t yet have a name. He describes the beer as an English-style brew with hints of chocolate, molasses and coffee extract.

“This drink is already being produced and sold in my cafes, but it didn’t have a name, until now,” he said, adding that the coffee he uses to make the beer is toasted by artisanal roasters whose methods date back to the year 1900 and incorporate practices brought to Hidalgo by German immigrants to the region.

But Mexican businesspeople aren’t the only ones looking to capitalize on the coronavirus. The newspaper El País reported that six brands in Spain have made trademark requests for names related to Covid-19, including T-shirts that read, “I survived the coronavirus.”