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May 15, 2018

San Pedranos Meet on Cayo Rosario Development

San Pedranos are up in arms about a proposed development within the Hol Chan Marine Reserve.  A small caye called Cayo Rosario was sold off to a private developer and since acquiring the land, San Pedranos say that the developer has published plans to build several structures over water.  It is a massive proposed development that, according to the plans, will require significant dredging within a reserve. Now, the area in question is used every day by residents, tourists, tour guides and operators, but it also serves as a breeding ground for many ecologically important species of fish. But San Pedranos are saying no to the development. At this hour, more than two hundred guides, residents and concerned conservation entities are at a public meeting.  G.O.B. representatives and local authorities were invited but up to news time they were no shows. In Wednesday’s newscast, we will have the full story with comments from all concerned sectors on the island.  But for now, we bring you this interview with veteran tour guide Omar Arceo of the San Pedro Tour Guide Association.

 

Omar Arceo

Omar Arceo, Tour Guide, Member of San Pedro Tour Guide Association

“The Rosary Caye became a part of the Hol Chan Marine Reserve area by the request of the minister, the mayor; they requested that in about 2006 and both the Hol Chan Board, along with the San Pedro Tour Guide Association, did an assessment plan that took six years. And then they took it to the government, they legislate it and past it as a law that Cayo Rosario will be part of Hol Chan Marine Reserve including from Bomba that is on the New River, by stone crab. From there to Blackadore Caye, south of Bracilete and Heavily Flatas, Punta Bajo, French Caye and the Mexico Rock…all the marsh lands and the mangroves and the wetlands will be part of the habitat where Hol Chan will be fully responsible to administrate it and to see that things happen the right way. And then six years after, we find out that they de-reserve it to give this huge mega development that is not going to bring us a profit to the local community; it will bring down the economy because where they want to build will be some mega resort is something that is not in our reach, we will never imagine. They want to reclaim three hundred feet in circle, about maybe fifty-two thousand tons of cubic yards to reclaim a beach of three hundred feet. And put in probably fifty to sixty mangrove bungalows. Pier on the south; probably two piers probably twenty water structures on each pier and they will run a sewer pipe, a water pipe and a fuel pipe. That is our concern because they de-reserved the Hol Chan Marine Reserve where the local community, me as a fly-fisher and all the community of San Pedro are not happy with this development because nobody will benefit.”

 

Again, on Wednesday we will have much more about the Cayo Rosario development in a comprehensive story.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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