2009 Mexican Eco-Blogging Green Adventure What I Learned in the Yucatan Peninsula
Posted Apr 07 2009 11:49pm
An eco-experience in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico teaches you far more about life than just touching jungles, oceans, and cenote ecosystems.
There are lots of questions I learned how to answer while on this amazing eco-journey in Mexico. Answers I never thought I would understand. How will a greener world come about when there are battling drug cartels practicing beheadings as a common answer to controlling its members? How will a greener world come about when over half the globe is living in poverty? How will a greener world come about when death, war, poverty, and disease cover much of the earth?
There is an answer and I see it clearly: education and community.
Common teaching mentality related to green issues seems to dictate a “from the top down” mindset. First educating the leaders, then the governments, then the corporations, then the people of the world. Perhaps this is a good idea, however, there is a better possibility; educating from the ground up.
At the Sian Ka’an Biosphere, an over 1 million acre world heritage site featuring jungles, ocean reefs, and mangroves, our Mayan guide, Antonio, taught us basic information via word of mouth just as his father had taught him.
As children, we did not learn how to brush our teeth from a mysterious government entity – we learned how to brush our teeth at home by watching the example set by our parents and grandparents.
When we learn the very basics of water conservation, we learn to turn off the water when we are brushing our teeth and to not let the water run down the drain wasted. Our parents teach us that skill - not the leaders of our country, not the politicians or corporate entities – just our family. While in Mexico I watched the wonderful Mexican locals trying very hard – by example – to make a difference for their families and communities.
While visiting Mexico I did not see a single crime and we met lots of wonderful friends and people. I was a guest in a country which is heritage rich as well as environmentally rich. Most every person I spoke with or spent time with was helpful, friendly, and giving. Each person was concerned about the environment in their own way and worked towards helping their world and community. I was surprised by this; expecting a far different attitude.
Similar to the United States, being “green” in Mexico means living a lifestyle that is considerate of others. It is about community and caring for the world. Largely, it is about educating children from the ground up. Here in Mexico, children live in homes like you and me. Sometimes the children live in poverty. All the time they are being taught by their families what is right and what is wrong.
My experience these fourteen days in Mexico has taught me that perhaps when the people, the REAL every day people of the world, work together to build a greener and more eco-aware community it defies all negativity, crime, and hate. It becomes possible because people working together can make a difference.
Enormous thanks go, again, to the Mexican community, the Mexican Tourism Board, the Cancun Visitors Bureau, and the Riviera Maya Tourism Bureau for gifting my family and I with the joy of spending time learning and living an authentic eco-experience in Mexico. Our experiences with the Mexican people have been safe, healthy, and fun – in other words; wonderful!
Perhaps the single largest thing I learned on this journey is that life is so very short – it is time we all worked to unite and help communities the world over with the common goal of being “green” and understanding more about nature and each other.