March 10, 2012

Ahoy! Welcome to Marina Arroyo Seco... really

ARROYO SECO, Jalisco, Mexico - A few weeks ago, graders, tractors, dump trucks and pieces of huge earthmoving equipment descended on the dirt and gravel road leading into the village.

After years of government promises, the 3-kilometer road from Highway 200 into beautiful downtown Arroyo Seco is being paved.

If I didn't see it happening, I wouldn't believe it, either.

But this week I received some other news either much more exciting or quite depressing, depending on your perspective.

It appears a master plan for El Tecuan, just south of Arroyo Seco, is about to be implemented, a plan that will include construction of a marina at the extreme south end of Arroyo Seco's Playa Grande in what is now a natural lagoon filled with birds and fish.

Playa Grande is the Arroyo Seco beach dotted with about a dozen and a half houses and now home to three excellent seafood restaurants, by the way.


About a quarter mile past the last house there is a huge land outcropping which provides a great natural breakwater. And apparently that will be where the plans show the entrance to the marina will be. The marina will be built specifically to allow for ocean-going yachts to berth there, using the lagoon behind it as the actual place to moor vessels.

I use the word 'apparently' because this all comes third hand. A village amigo talked with an Arroyo Seco resident who attended a meeting in the Chamela area about a week ago at which state and local government officials announced a plan for a major development in the area of the old Tecuan Hotel and along the beach. Part of that meeting was to get the various stakeholders: ejido members, fishing cooperativa people, and everybody else, to sign documents assigning a variety of rights to the developers and the development so that things could get rolling.

Some folks apparently declined, because they didn't agree and/or the formula for sharing the benefits of such a project wasn't favorable enough.

Note the 'apparently' there. How that will shake out is way beyond my pay grade to analyze.

Besides the resort or hotel or whatever development - and the marina - the plan calls for opening up and deepening the lagoon and waterway that runs from Arroyo Seco to Tenacatita. According to the person at the meeting, La Veina (the river flowing into the anchorage where many yachts hang out) will be dredged, too, to allow for people to boat along an inside passage from Arroyo Seco to Tenacatita Bay.

The Mexican environmental agencies might have something to say about that.




And how this relates to Tenacatita is anybody's guess. The beach and much of the land formerly occupied by Mexicans and gringos (many with federal titles) is still in the grip of the Guadalajara developer who seized the area at gunpoint and still holds it hostage like East Germany before the Berlin Wall fell.

I haven't seen the actual plans for the development and marina, though they have been described to me in great detail and are the talk of the town. It could be that when we return in November of this year, not only will we speeding in on a new paved road, we will head out to the beach and perhaps see even more earthmoving equipment dredging the lagoon, building breakwaters and perhaps putting a light atop the land outcropping as a navigational beacon.

And down the El Tecuan beach, some big hotel/resort/development will be going in.


The irony is great for Admiral Fox and I.

We sold our 48-foot sailboat Sabbatical six years ago and decided to stay on shore, choosing this small, agricultural village as our home. We have a four-wheel Honda quad (with a trailer for beach toys or cargo), a motorcycle, two bicycles and a palapa/hacienda-style house right in el centro.

And inspired by Rick, June and Lyle of La Manzanilla, we have even been considering putting in a small garden next fall.

In the terminology of people who travel the world aboard sailboats, we 'swallowed the hook (anchor)' when we moved to land.

Now there might be a harbor with space for boats the size of Sabbatical within walking distance of my house.

If they build the marina quick enough, I might just buy another boat. Though this time, I think a panga would make more sense. Or at least as much sense as buying any boat that will spend its life in saltwater does.

Or, perhaps it's time to launch the Arroyo Seco Yacht Club.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


slamont said...

Unbelievable. Or, maybe not. It is Mexico after all, where anything can happen and sometimes does.
My distant perspective is a bit warped: I hate to see that beautiful lagoon and mangrove swamp destroyed so a few more mega-yachts can have a stopping place where we once kayaked with the cocodrillos.
But then, I hope the people of Arroyo Seco and their neighbors reap some benefits in the long run.
My cynical side says this will only benefit the developers, the politicians and probably the guy who snitched away the property a Tencatita, destroying one of the nicest holiday spots on the Pacific coast.
I smell a political rat.

evilcat said...

Gah! Thanks for reporting.