Xel-Há: preserving the Natural Wonder
What do you like the most about Xel-Há? Close your eyes and imagine you’re there, in front of the beautiful inlet, surrounded by the jungle and mangrove. Can you listen to the birds, the children playing and laughing? Can you feel the sun touching your skin?
Have you ever asked yourself who or what is behind Xel-Há? How can be preserved this stunning natural park even when it is visited by a lot of people every year? Well, there is an excellent work team at Xel-Há, but there are also many programs designed to maintain a perfect balance between the visitor’s wellness and the environment preservation. Let me talk to you about some of these programs.
In coordination with Cinvestav, the National Polytechnic Institute’s Center for Research and Advanced Studies – Merida Unit, for the past seven years Xel-Há has worked on the queen conch preservation. To date, we have seen significant growth in this species at Xel-Há, which indicates that the park’s marine ecosystem is in a good state of health. Samplings from 2009 resulted in an average of 500 conch living in different areas of the cove.
Also, in conjunction with the Mexican Flora, Fauna and Culture Organization, Xel-Há has supported the Quintana Roo Central Coast Sea Turtle Protection Program. The objective of this collaboration is to conserve, protect, research and recover sea turtle populations on the specie’s main nesting grounds along the Riviera Maya.
Xel-Há also takes care of the melipona bee, which is native to the Yucatan Peninsula. Rearing of the Mayan bee had been practiced widely by the Mayans on the Yucatan Peninsula long before arrival of Spanish. But due to deforestation, competition of the African bee and lack of instruction and incentive for new stingless bee keepers, the “xunan ka’b” bee is an endangered species. Xel-Há celebrates a Mayan Ceremony for melipona bee honey harvesting in the closest weekend of the summer solstice.
Did you ever imagine all this happens while you’re enjoying an unforgettable day at Xel-Há? And there are other environment preservation programs held by this beautiful natural park! What would you like to know about Xel-Há? Tell us!