By Bruce W. Conord, June Conord
Winner, "Best shuttle Book," North American commute reporters Assoc. Covers many locations now not even pointed out in competing publications. Take to the mountain trails, swim in hidden cenotes, watch the solar upward thrust on a seashore close to the traditional Maya port of Pol? (where the authors celebrated the sunrise of the hot millennium). stopover at Bohemian Playa del Carmen, or history-rich Cozumel, the place the Spanish first set foot at the North American continent.
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The collared variety, found in woodlands and dry forests, gets its name from the strip of white fur around its shoulders. The larger white-lipped peccary has white fur near its mouth and roams mainly in the tropical rainforest. They both boast two solid, sharp tusks protruding from their jaws. The tapir is shy and nocturnal, so there is little chance of seeing one in the wild. A strict herbivore, it usually lives near water and is very clean. The tapir’s principal predator is the jaguar. When threatened away from a water escape route (the first choice), tapirs lower their head and blindly crash through the jungle, smashing into bushes and even trees to get away.
Sometimes the exploitation of the rainforest provides subsistence living for the poor. In other cases, such as the hotel we described above, it’s the greed of rich individuals and corporations attempting to get richer. Efforts by private organizations and educational institutions are now in top gear. Their goal is to educate the people and the Mexican authorities on the need for funding environmental protection, and the financial rewards of doing so. Environmental advocates in the government agree “eco-political” progress is being made – and ecotourism can take some of the credit.
That question lured the Yucatán’s first tourists, John Lloyd Stephens, a self-taught American archeologist, and Frederick Catherwood, an English sketch artist experienced in architectural drawing, to explore the ruins of southern Mexico. They set out in the midst of social and civil war and recorded 44 abandoned ruins. Stephens wrote two books, Incidents of Travel in Central America, Chiapas and Yucatán (1841) and Incidents of Travel in Yucatán (1843), which launched the archeological search for the Maya past.