san blas mexico

San Blas - So far so good.

For those of use who have been coming to San Blas since the 70s, we are amazed at how little it has changed. Actually, there have been quite a few changes but they have been gradual and tasteful. As an opponent of change in general I must admit that I have been opposed to almost every change in the beginning but afterwards I felt that it wasn't too bad.

A while back they restored the old aduana. What was once crumbling ruins is now a thriving cultural center with art exhibits, workshops, exercise classes and karate. Hurricane Kenna in 2002 destroyed what was left of the old fort on top of the hill - so this too has been renovated and now makes a lovely spot for weddings, conferences, etc. As part of the Marina Project, they renovated the plaza. Now there are more lights and more people. On the down side they kicked the Nahua vendors off the plaza. I think most of the tourists enjoyed shopping at their colorful stalls.

Over the last 15 years several hotels have been renovated as well. I used to stay in the old Flamingoes hotel in the 70s with its high ceilings and jungle like courtyard. Now it is quite luxorious with a swimming pool and garden courtyard - but a bit more than the $4 a night I used to pay.

Rumors still abound about megatourism in San Blas. The latest rumor is that someone bought the end of Borrego Beach for 40 million dollars and is going to build a golf course. Forty million dollars! If this is true I wonder who got the money - certainly not someone from San Blas or I would have heard about it. I would have thought they could buy the whole town for $40 million.

I have been out of town for a few days - just up the coast in Santa Cruz. People have asked me about the jejenes. I told them it was not a problem for me since I am used to them and I am not allergic. They told me horror stories about big red welts all over their body lasting 2 months. Will the developers spray? What about the environmental consequences? Do they care? Probably not. Where there is money to be made it seems people care about little else. I wonder if even huge hotels would change San Blas that much. I just spent 6 months in the Bahamas. Seems that to make more money the hotel owners have convinced their guests that is is too dangerous to leave the hotel so the thousands of tourists there have little impact on my life.