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Living Green in an Eco-Paradise

by Kary Vannice

What’s new in Huatulco? A movement.

A movement toward a cleaner, healthier life for Huautlco, its residents and the planet.

Thirty years ago, Huatulco was founded with a vision toward a better way to bring tourism to Mexico. Designed to be a “green resort” it was meant to give visitors the feel of connecting with nature and relaxing in the Pacific. A clear juxtaposition to the likes of Cancun, Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas. A place to enjoy, not only the beach, but also the surrounding beauty of the Sierra Madre mountains and national park.

But, is being surrounded by green space enough to be able to call yourself truly “green”?

Sure, we all enjoy being surrounded by Huatulco’s beauty and lush green jungle and days at the clean beaches with their crystal clear ocean water. But really, have Huatulco and its residents been doing enough to live up to that “green” badge of honor?

Well, I haven’t been around since the inception of the new “green” Huatulco in 1984, but in the last few years, I’ve been happy to see more and more “green” ideas, projects and events springing to life in our area.

Likely because of its eco status, Huatulco has been host to several events, expos and forums that have focused on the topic of suitability. In June of this year, The Binniguenda Hotel hosted a group of activists and organic producers from around Latin America. These leaders in the organic movement came from countries like Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico and many others. Their aim is to share their knowledge across borders and create a network of organic growers throughout North and South America to strengthen the market for their products and educate people about the benefits to the environment of organic production vs. large-scale agriculture that relies heavily on toxic pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers.

Also participating in this event were members of Huatulco’s Organic Market committee. The Mercado Organíco de Huatulco (MOH) is a grassroots movement that sprang to life about a year and a half ago when a few members of our local community thought the idea up over a rich, hot cup of locally grown coffee (organic, of course!). Since then, it has grown to be a bi-monthly event, taking place in the Santa Cruz Park the first and third Saturday of every month.

Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 9.37.04 AMThe market boasts between 35-50 individual producers, depending on the season. The producers’ commitment to providing clean, quality, home-grown fruits, vegetables, cheeses, chocolates, and many other fresh delicacies ensures that patrons not only get that natural farm-to-table flavor, but also the comfort of knowing that their purchases have been cleanly and locally grown, and that they are supporting a local family.

In turn, the Organic Market helps local community organizers by providing a platform for representatives from the municipality to hold educational workshops for children on topics such as recycling, reusing and renewable energy.

But will clean water, clean air, clean food and open space be enough to achieve the aim of being truly “green”? While Huatulco was developed with the idea of preservation of the surrounding environment in mind, are we really doing enough to contribute to the preservation and care of the Planet at large?

Resorts consume massive amounts of energy, water and other natural resources in order to provide for the demands of their visitors. And while Huatulco can proudly say that 100% of their energy comes from renewable sources and they have a first-rate water treatment that recycles grey water into useable (non-potable) water, visitors to our area wouldn’t know that unless they did some investigating.

Still, most hotels, resorts and homes and in this area are built by conventional means and using conventional materials. Very few businesses are taking advantage of sustainable and renewable building materials and practices, until now!

New sustainable development by Arktual SA de CV has been started in Sector O, and it is to be finished in December of 2015. This development aims to promote a “greener” way of life by providing its residence with communal organic gardens, solar energy generated by massive photovoltaic panels, reduced water consumption though modern low-flow technology throughout and a state of the art water catchment and retention system. It also will be designed to maximize the considerable natural light here in Huatulco in an effort to reduce energy consumption of their already energy saving lighting and appliances. To stave off the solar heat for residence the walls, windows and floors will all be designed, using environmentally sustainable products, to reduce the amount of solar heating inside the units.

No doubt, once finished, it will be Huatulco’s premier example of just how good it can be to live “green”.

So, while there is always room for improvement, I’d say we here in Huatulco are doing quite well when it comes to living “green”, but a movement is made up of individuals. So, join the movement and do your part to push it forward so we can achieve even greater heights of “greendom” in 2015!

Written by Kary Vannice – The Eye, Huatulco

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