The Dark Side of Tulum (Documentary)
Has, quickly become one of the destinations, in, the world. Mexico's. Yucatan. Peninsula. Here. In this tropical climate, the, elevation, is low and the, land is flat there. Are no surface. Rivers or streams. However. Just. Below the ground lies. A vast system of the, world's largest underground. River a. Combination. Of geological. Events, led, to the development of this unique ecosystem. Over. 65, million, years ago the. Yucatan, Peninsula was, a giant, reef covered. By several feet of ocean. During. The last major ice age sea. Levels dropped and exposed. The ancient reef. The. Coral and it's dependent, Maureen life would, not survive. Jungle. Eventually, grew over. The limestone platform. That was left behind. After. Centuries. Of erosion, a massive. Cave system, was born. Slightly. Acidic rainfall. Dissolved. The alkaline, limestone, and made, its way through the ground carving. A vast network, of caverns. And tunnels. Inside. The caves. Otherworldly. Formations. Can be found. Millions. Of, stalactites. Stalagmites. And, columns. Decorate. These mysterious, places. Some. The, size of a pencil and, others. Larger. Than trees. Growing. At a rate of just. A few centimeters. Per, year. As. The ice age came to an end, glaciers. Melted. Sea. Levels rose and, the. Caves flooded, the. Volume, of water in these rivers is so great that it, cannot exist above the surface. It. Filters, its way through the soft porous limestone and, settles. Underground. It. Is. The only source, of freshwater throughout. The entire Yucatan. Peninsula and. Like. Almost all rivers, on earth it eventually. Flows to, the sea. History. Has been found here. Carbon. Dating of artifacts, and skeletons, preserved. Perfectly. By the crystal-clear, water, reveal. That humans, have been visiting, these caves for, over thirteen, thousand. Years. Many. Of these caverns, eventually, collapsed. Creating. What we know today. Cenotes. The. Subterranean, rivers, and their natural sinkholes, which, serve as an entrance to, this spectacular, world. The. Mayans referred, to these sacred sinkholes, as the. Notes, which. They believed was an entrance to the underworld were. Their gods and, spirits reside. The.
Ancient, Mayans were king astronomers. Measuring. Time and interpreting. Cycles, of the stars. Many. Of their most important. Buildings, were, aligned, to, correspond, with them. The. Mayans were philosophers. Mathematicians. Artists. Architects. And warriors. It. Was they who first understood. The concept, of zero and they. Who first cultivated, cacao, papaya. And corn. They. Developed, complex, and accurate, calendars. And perfect. Pyramids, of immense, size. All. While, much of Western, Europe remained. In the dark ages. The. Mayans have always known that Tulum, is special, but. It is magical, in fact. Tulum. Is the largest of just three, coastal, Mayan, cities where, high priests. Were once trained, and. For. Reasons, unknown. This. Great civilization, left. This, sacred land. Some. Say, it was warfare, others. Believe that the Mayans may have exhausted, the, environment, around. We'll. Tulum meet a similar fate as. It. Seems we, may not have learned from, our past. We. Can all remember a time when we were pushed just, beyond our comfort zone. A time, when, we experience, the, thrill of something, new something. Exhilarating. A moments. When the complete, unknown went, from scary, to, wonderful. Creating. A sudden shift that. Forever divided, our lives into. The floor and after. This, is exactly what happens for many of us when first discovering. Tulum. It's. As if a wave of clarity, washes, over you and you, ask yourself, why. Have I not been living here my, entire, life. In. Recent. Years Tulum. Has become a diverse community of, artists. Chefs. Musicians. Healers. Entrepreneurs. And explorers. Thousands. Of people from all over the world now. Call this place home and. Who. Could blame them Tulum truly, provides, everything. That you could ever need. Here. You, will find clear, turquoise, water, compliments. Of the Caribbean, Sea. The. World's largest underground. River for. Cave divers, and thrill-seekers. The. Second, largest Barrier, Reef system, for. Marine lovers and coral, experts. Throughout. The area there are 92, known. Mayan, ruins and even. More waiting. To be unearthed. And just. South of the city the. Incredible. Seeing calm biosphere. A protected. Unesco world heritage site, extending. For nearly. 600,000. Hector's, each. Year, there are more than 300. Days of clear skies for those who worship the Sun there, are thousands. Of mammals. Birds, and reptiles and. Endless. Jungle for. The Wild Ones in. Tulum, the, food is fresh, the. Music is alive and the. Atmosphere. Is captivating. What. More Cantera, dice possibly. Have to offer. Every. Day you're seeing new areas, of the, jungle being, torn, down it's, really devastating. A lot of these projects, kind of have like an eco, eco. Name about them but when you really dig deep and you look at everything that's going on there's absolutely. Nothing ecological. About them, Heather Froemming, has been living in this area since 1998. Back. Then it was home to less than 4,000. People now. Just, twenty years later there.
Are Nearly. 40,000, people living here plus. An astonishing. 2 million tourists, per year you're. Seeing things, grow really, fast and unfortunately. There, is no master plan there, is no infrastructure. In, place, to deal with that kind of growth the. City itself, is only designed to support roughly 10,000. People, two. Looms population. Has grown far faster than development. Of urban facilities could, keep up and, despite. Claims of environmental. Support, by most business, owners -. Looms natural, environment, is that serious, risk, I think, that there needs to be a lot, more community. Involvement on, the part of business, owners who are coming here and really, not giving back to the, community, into the environment and in fact destroying, it for. Profit. Really. That needs to stop, especially. If you're gonna be selling it as this, natural. Paradise, well, you have to protect natural paradise, you have to keep the mangroves, you can't be, filling. Them in to make another parking, lot or to make more rooms the, mangrove, is so. Unbelievably. Important, to the natural, environment here. And every. Single, day more. Mangrove, is getting filled in this is illegal. And. It needs to stop immediately the. Mangrove, is our filtration, system it's our septic, system or natural, way of cleaning, the water and all the water, that goes through the mangrove systems and out into the ocean is filtered. And clean, so, that you have a nice clear, Caribbean, ocean so that you can have coral. Reefs without. The mangroves, you do not have those conditions, so the. Entire, reason that people come here for the beautiful you know turquoise, water and the white sand beaches and the coral reefs is due, to the mangroves, and the, saddest, thing ever is to watch people, coming here making, money and making a lot of money off of the resources, off of the beauty of this place and filling, in the mangroves that's a tragedy. It's it's ridiculous, and that's, something that has to stop now and it. Is no surprise that, two looms reef is already, feeling the effects, sadly. This. Coral, has died. It. Is very important, to understand, that all of Earth's ecosystems. Are connected, if, one. Is vulnerable, the, whole is compromised. Tulum. Needs all of its individual. Ecosystems. To function, properly in, order for the collective, to thrive and much, like the human body one, malfunctioning. Organ will, disrupt the entire system. As we know the reefs are in danger the reefs are, are. Really. Disappearing. There is no secret about that the reefs are. Under, constant threat so, we cannot, just ignore, that, everything. Is connected and we. Are adding, problems, to the width we have problems in the reef because of the global warming acidity. Of the water acidity. Of the atmosphere, and we are adding more so. We, shouldn't be surprised, that everything, is dying and everything is getting, deteriorated. We, are being part of the problem and we need definitely to be part and to, be responsible. To. Lumes environment. Is especially, delicate and complex, due, to the enormous, underground river that flows beneath our feet, think, of this system as the veins of the earth and when they become damaged, the entire area, is affected. Unfortunately. These, freshwater veins, are being heavily polluted, from, a multitude, of. There, is a massive landfill. Right in the middle of the jungle just, a few kilometers, from town, it has, not been categorized, or measured, which, is standard, practice for waste, management and, hazardous.
Pollutants Are currently, leaking into, the supply of freshwater. Fecal. Matter is constantly. Being poured directly, into. The aquifer as a result, of faulty sewage, systems, and, irresponsible. Development, throughout the urban area in Toulon like 20%. It's. Sending. Their wastewater to the treatment, plant so it means that is 80%. The. City. That. We don't know where the wastewater goes. Or. Well we do know it's. Going into the underground, this. Video, was, taken in 2006. Directly. Beneath the, streets of Tulum and yes. This. Is human, fecal matter, it's. Difficult, to watch and even more difficult, to imagine what, it would look like today. While. Many places do, have individual. On-site, wastewater treatment, facilities. Most. Are poorly maintained, and often, leak or worse. The, systems are inadequate. Intended. For just 5 to 10 people while, serving, an establishment. Of over 100. I think it's it's it's, amazing, that, we are, in the 21st. Century and we know better the surface of the Moon than, there are underground systems, and. We. Are in the largest, and biggest underground. Rivers, of the world, and. We need to tell the world, it's. Comparable, to the Amazon, and to the average. But, because it's hidden underground. Is, not so obvious and maybe. We. Flush the toilet and it's coming straight into the underground. Water system, so my, advice to people. That want to come and buy land and and do development, it's, like oh you. Cannot, do, development, on the cost of the, beauty of this place and for, those who deny that, to lumes environment. Is at risk let's, take a look at Playa del Carmen a city, just 60, kilometers, north, of Tulum, also, facing, environmental devastation, in. 1998. Playa. Had roughly 20,000. Inhabitants today. The. Population is, well over. 200,000. And is, expected, to reach 2 million, by year 2025. What. Once was a pristine, coastline, and jungle, has been replaced by concrete, I really, think that we're not prepared, for the. Amount of growth that's, happening. Now and that's going to happen because if you compare it, directly. To what. Happened in Playa there's. So many correlations. And basically, the situation is, almost identical and, this. Exponential, growth does. Not have, the infrastructure, in place in. Order to take this into consideration to. Make the bad news worse beaches. At popular, travel destinations. Around the, world have, already started to close due to contamination, and if, we're not careful this. Can happen in Tulum. In a, place where the likes of Leonardo, DiCaprio, spends his holiday, and Yogi's. From around the world come, for holistic retreats, how. Have things become, so bad well. For one part real, estate developers, have not been very helpful. Heavily. Advocating. For new projects, and pushing, sales. Another. Reason is serious, corruption, and negligence, from the government, and business. Owners, some. Establishments. Have even been shut down by profepa. Mexico's. Environmental. Protection, Agency but. Somehow they. Remain open, for business. We. Have been experiencing. Not. Very convenient development. And it has to do a lot with some. Corruption, and some things that shouldn't be authorized, and without arise in the past and even in the present but. We just cannot put a finger, and blame the, authorities, and blame the politicians, because. In corruption we have two sides we. Have the side that gets the money and we have the side that keeps the money as well, so, why. Punishing, just one side just by putting your finger on one side we have two sides as well there. Are countries like, Rwanda, in Africa, where, law, gives. Punishment. To both sides and then corruption. Vanishes. And there, is certainly no shortage of, money in tulum as the world's elite continued to arrive, this. Is evident, from the area's extremely. High prices and, also. Evident, from the amount of money spent on just fuel, alone, a majority. Of the beach hotels, for an entirely, undies, all generators, they. Collectively, spend, over eight point five million, dollars, a year to power their so called ecological. Establishments. Consuming. Roughly nine million litres of fuel which. Is enough, to drive around the earth nearly, six thousand, times. As. Prices. In the area have skyrocketed. Wages. Have not some. People, making, as little as $4. Per day when, the classified, is so obvious, the, poor community, often, has no choice, but to pollute, and sometimes. They, even resort, to stealing crime, is also on the rise and, intensely. This is a big, problem, that if you don't get a hold of it early. On can get really out of control I think and so. As a smaller, community, I think those are some, of the things that we have to look at before we can keep growing.
-, Looms ecosystem. Has been perfectly, engineered to. Create an environment unlike, anything else, on earth. Will. We destroy the, land that has already given, us so much or. Will. Our community, pull together and. Finally. Change, things. Tulum. Is just a small representation, of, a much larger, issue happening. Across the globe, the. Collapse, of our natural world it is. Time now to, collectively, move away from that narrative towards. A more honest, and sustainable. Society. The. Sepal claims of environmental. Practice, are happening, everywhere, and now. More, than ever we, must be, aware of the dangers, of this false information. For. Instance, while. Plastic, pollution is, a major issue. Recycling. Is not the. Answer, nor, is bioplastic. These. Are merely band-aids. Only. 9% of. All paths that can actually be recycled. And as. We've seen in tulum most. Of our plastic, is not separated. And sits, in landfills. No. Plant-based, plastic. Will ever biodegrade. In these, conditions. Does, that mean you shouldn't continue, to recycle, of course. Not, any effort. Is better than no effort and tulum, recycles, is trying, their best to create a cleaner community. Please. Do what you can to support them. Another. Example, of falsification. Is that solar panels, are the answer for clean energy. Sure. Power, from the Sun is great in theory but, what. Many people don't know is the, high cost at, which it comes. It. May seem like an appealing alternative, yet. Solar panels, often contain, harmful materials. Such, as lead and cadmium, these. Rare, earth metals, which are highly, toxic when, mined and processed take. A heavy environmental. Toll on soil and water and those. Who work and live near the mines tend, to suffer so. What happens to these panels, after they no longer work, well. Just, as plastic, they are not so easy to recycle and are considered, hazardous when. No longer in use and, don't. Forget, similar. Metals are found in, our smartphones, and computers, so. When it comes to environmental devastation, we. Are truly all to blame. Now. Let's be clear the. Intentions, of these alternative. Solutions, are inspiring. But. Why not direct, that momentum, towards, something that is sustainable on all counts. One. Technology, that. Actually, imitates, Earth's natural, geological. Process, is creating. Clean, sustainable. Renewable. Fuels. From waste. This. Means that no new carbon, is being released into the atmosphere which. Is the leading cause of ocean, acidification and. Global warming and the. Reason that fossil fuels have, such a bad reputation. This. Innovative. Process, uses, water heat. And pressure. Just. As the earth does to. Turn our waste into energy it, has even received high, validation. From the US Environmental, Protection Agency. Syn. Pet is currently, collaborating with. HRM, Mexico, for, the deployment of this technology. Supplying. Clean, renewable. Fuels, from trash while, using existing. Infrastructure, means, we can address two, problems, quickly waste. And energy, it is not just a compelling, alternative to. Fossil fuels, but. One that goes against. The current trend. It. Makes plastic, waste highly. Valuable. Technologies. Such as this are promising, and will soon be available but. There are many things we can do right now to, create change in tulum. Money. Must, be used for development, of necessary, infrastructure, such. As conducting more, urban, areas to the wastewater treatment plant, and creating. Better practices. For waste management. There. Are density. Laws and building, regulations. That must be followed this means you should not be building, multiple units, on a piece, of land that is permitted, for just one. Nature. Is our most valuable, commodity. So, please don't. Risk the environment, simply, for a cheap condo, and a so-called better. Return, on investment. Thank. You to those of you who are doing things right and for leading by example, and to. The ones who are doing things wrong we. Are tired, of your mess please. Invest, in proper, infrastructure, and stop, taking shortcuts. Otherwise. As the. Land of Tulum begins, to crumble so. Will your profits. Remember. The. Reason, you make so, much money is because, of the. Businesses. Must without. Exception. Have, adequate, wastewater, treatment facilities. If you, are not already aware. Sargasso's. Seaweed is not, a result of ocean plastic, it is caused from excess, nutrients, in the water more. Commonly, known as fecal, matter so, by pumping your sewage, into the ground you are directly, contributing. To the mass production, of the same algae, that is driving your clients, away. Also. Please, be aware of your energy, consumption, water. Conservation, and, waste management don't. Yield a lot of economic, benefit, but energy, conservation, does. If you. Decrease, your energy, consumption, your, savings, can then be used for.
Protecting And restoring the. Damaged environment as. We. See here, for, the average hotel in Tulum a shocking. 60, percent of energy is consumed, from, just air-conditioning. Alone. Although. You may be new to this place please, be aware of your surroundings. So. If the Wi-Fi, is out or, the shower pressure is low or the, a/c is broken, understand. That you are in the jungle and such. Luxuries, should, not be expected, nor, demanded. Please. Do not use sunscreen as, it is killing our coral, but, if you must make. Certain that, it is reef safe and verify. Every, single, ingredient to, avoid false advertising. Please. Do not visit this place and then leave your waste behind, bring. A refillable, water bottle, stay. At hotels, that want more than just profit, and eat, at places where, the food is locally, sourced, and most. Importantly. Ask. Questions. As a, paying, customer you, have a right to know what, they do with your waste. Thank. You to those of you who have been doing your part, the locals, are the heart of this place you. Know the, ins and outs of Tulum you know who is doing things right and who, is doing things wrong join, red, Tulum so Sandy Bay an, organization. That is already, empowering, the community and pushing. For proper legal framework, get, involved. Support. Honest, businesses, and don't, give your money to those who are not this, will create pressure. Forcing. Them to finally, do things differently. The. Mayans believed, that obsidian, was the reflective, mirror, of truth. That. It was the consciousness, of duality between, right, and wrong, between. Light and dark. Acknowledging. That one cannot. Exist without the other and that's. What the dark side of Tulum is a, mirror. For, all of us to reflect upon and decide. Whether. We want to remain part of the problem, or. Be part of the solution. It's. Your, choice. Which. One will you choose. You. I. Took. On this project for, quite a few reasons but. I think the main reason that I took it on is because I really do love. To loom and it. Makes me really, really, heartbroken. That it is being destroyed. And then it's not being taken, care of we, just keep taking, and taking and taking and, we're. Not giving, it the respect that it deserves tulum. Has given me so much to, be thankful for, and, I. Want to give, back to, Tulum. And the best way that I can and this, project is, that. Way for me I really. Had no idea, what I was getting myself into, there's, been days where I've wanted to give up but, there's also been days that I've, been really inspired and really hopeful, and I. Want, to be able to. Look. Back and, say, swim, was amazing, but look how amazing it is now you, know I don't want to look back in 10 years and say wasn't, it great when we used to go to Tulum I want to still be going there and at. The rate that it's going now I don't, know if that will be true but. If, we. See the change that, most. Of us are hoping for and if. We keep pushing and. We all keep playing our part, we. Will see change and we're gonna look back and say you.
Know We did it. You. Did it. You.