Conserving Critical Coastal Ecosystems in Mexico

Xcalak Marine Protected Area and Community Development

A series of events set into motion by a 1995 letter from the Xcalak Fishing Cooperative to the federal government, led five years later to a dedication ceremony for Mexico’s newest national park, attended by President Ernesto Zedillo in June, 2000. The national park includes 13,340 hectares of coastal waters counting the reef system, and 4,037 hectares of wetlands and lagoons. The 1997 Xcalak Community Strategy provided a clear statement of how the community would effectively co-manage their natural resources and improve fisheries protection, community-based tourism, and community character. Many of the elements of this vision were finally acted on five years later.