Uxmal is one of the Yucatan’s largest archaeological sites and extends well beyond the official national park of the same name. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht / Yucatán Magazine
Mexico has announced the creation of a 6,500-acre conservation area near the Uxmal archaeological site.
Conservation aside, the project hopes to bring a larger number of tourists to the area, especially when the Mayan Train begins operations, which is scheduled for next year.
The reservation, known as Nuevo Uxmal or New Uxmal, is also said to have its own luxury hotel, reportedly to be built and maintained by the Mexican Armed Forces.
The involvement of the Mexican armed forces in projects such as the Maya Train and New Uxmal has analysts concerned, who warn of the militarization of Mexican society.
In addition to the hotel, the reserve will also have campsites and simpler accommodation.
Although not officially confirmed, it is likely that this reserve will also host structures of considerable archaeological importance, requiring INAH involvement.
Mexico has also announced plans to connect the reserve to Route 3 of the Mayan Train via shuttle buses.
Earlier: Work begins on the Tulum-Bacalar Maya Train route
Although no official date has been given for the project’s completion, federal officials have said that the early stages of construction have already begun.
The official approval rate for the Mayan Train project and related projects is currently around 80%. But these numbers come from the government or from pollsters paid directly by the government.
View of Uxmal from the top of the nunnery. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht / Yucatán Magazine
In reality, opinion is much more divided, with many – including many of the President’s supporters – arguing that the project is an unrealistic pipe dream.
Adding to the skepticism last month was the announcement that the rail network would be expanded to pass through Umán and the port city of Progreso.
“Like any government project in Mexico, the Mayan train is riddled with bureaucracy and nepotism. We have people who are in charge, who have no idea what’s really going on, but other than that, yeah, it’s also just an impossible amount of work,” a source working on the project said in June.