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Bacalar in Drone

Between 415 and 435 of our era, the Mayans founded the city of Sian Ka'an Bakhalal (Sian Ka'an = birth of heaven / bakhalal = surrounded by reeds). Historically it has been a strategic point of transport and exchange, but due to its distance from the state capital (Mérida) it is an area that has been isolated, representing a problem of political control and settlement; in 1630 it was an intermediate point of route to Guatemala and Honduras, during the S. XVII and SXVIII was constantly attacked by pirates -especially English, French and Dutch- which resulted in the construction of the fort of San Felipe de Bacalar, and in 1848 -As a result of the War of Castas- was depopulated until 1902, which was reconquered by the Mexican military.

Currently, the main attraction of the area is tourism and unfortunately, as there is no good solid waste management plan, uncontrolled urban and tourist growth and lack of drainage and wastewater management and industrial agriculture. A serious ecological problem is brewing in the Laguna de Bacalar, which concerns citizens and the government in general. The pollution is causing an excessive growth of algae in the lagoon. These algae - besides decreasing the oxygen levels of the water - release cyanobacteria and cyanotoxins that can affect the liver, brain and neurological system of the population that depends directly on this resource.


Biologist Shanty Acosta (2018) addresses the problem and also states that in the Yucatan Peninsula is the most important freshwater reserve in Mexico and in the State of Quintana Roo the largest volume of this water is concentrated. Previously the most important reserve was that of Chiapas, but currently most of that water is either contaminated or is concessioned to transnational companies.

Water has to be a priority, both for the authorities and for citizens. Not acting on time would represent an ecological problem and an irreversible public health crisis.


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Almaza, A. (2018). Alerta en Bacalar por inminente catástrofe ambiental. Pedro Canché Noticias. Recuperado de:

La Verdadera Historia de Bacalar. (s.f.) Mente urbana. Recuperado de:

1 Información de Shanty Acosta Sinencio durante la Rueda de Prensa “Alerta Bacalar” llevada a cabo el 12 de enero de 2018 y presentada por Angélica Amazan a través de:

Martín, C. (2015). Alarmante contaminación de la Laguna de Bacalar. SIPSE. Recuperada de: