Trip Start Jan 02, 2012
69Trip End Apr 12, 2012
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Huatulco means 'the place where the wood is adored' based on a legend that about the great civilizing god Quetzalcoatl who left the inhabitants of the bay and port of Santa Cruz a wooden cross with instructions to treat it as sacred.
This is a small port, one of the Mexican government's designated tourism growth sites. Back in the late 1960's the Mexican government examined both coasts for potential development. Development proceeded with a keen eye on preserving the region's delicate ecological balances. Much of the area is protected habitat and a strict building codes is in place. 80% of Huatulco's Sierra Madre mountain lowlands - nearly 42,000 has been set aside as a nature preserve. Huatulco is heralded as the Western Hemisphere's first eco-tourism resort.
We spent the day on a 'Rural Communities and Traditions' tour that may be our yardstick for future tours. We traveled into the mountains adjacent to Huatulco on dirt roads to learn about local customs and culture.
Our first stop on the tour was at a home where a plot of land is devoted to citrus and fruit cultivation and a wide variety of edible and medicinal plants are grown. We tried a herbal tea made from hibiscus and watched a demonstration of the traditional method for making adobe bricks.
In a low-growth caducifolia jungle tree nursery we visited an area devoted to the cultivation of nopales (a healthy and tasty cactus) and were served a lunch where all dishes included the cactus
At another home we were able to see a wide variety of locally created items and were shown the traditional process of making tortillas and tamales.
Back in the port we walked around the small park and the beach before checking out some of the shops and then returning to the ship.
All in all it was a great day and I like the more rustic character of this community. By 4:45 pm we were sailing out of the harbor and on our way once again.