The cooperative Granja de Cocodrilo Parador Turístico Cocodrilos de Río Lagartos, had a very difficult year 2020 due to the intense rains caused by hurricanes, tropical storms and cold fronts. In fact, the whole has remained under water for more than 5 months.
Although the water has now fallen and no longer has the level of almost three meters that it reached in October and November, there are still many flooded areas.
The site, known as the Itzamkanac tourist parador, is located at kilometer six of the Tizimín-Río Lagartos highway.
This site is also a crocodile farm that is recognized as a Unit for the Conservation, Management, and Sustainable Use of Wildlife (UMA).
Currently, because of the floods, the cooperative has zero resources and is crying out for help from the authorities, so that it can rebuild itself and can re-obtain the resources they collected through visits and tourist walks.
The activities were paralyzed since the Covid-19 pandemic started and visits were suspended, but they were able to survive thanks to the savings that the partners had.
Things worsened as a result of Tropical Storm Gamma, which remained stationery for several days generating heavy rains in eastern Yucatán.
Then came the final blow with hurricanes Delta and Zeta, which made the water rise to such a level that the roofs of the palapas and other constructions of the tourist Parador were underwater.
Everything was lost. The water pumps, the stove, refrigerators got wet, the whole electric installation, as well as all the wiring, were damaged.
“We need them to give us a hand to reactivate the tourist inn and be able to work,” said Martín Alcocer Marfil, a member of the cooperative, in an interview.
“As soon as the water goes down, we will start to fix everything here … we need paint, the electrical installations need to be fixed, we need cleaning products to remove mold and repair what has been damaged,” he said.
Fortunately, they did not lose any of the 290 crocodiles they have at the UMA, as their guards are protected by very high meshes.
Unfortunately, what was lost were some of the nests and eggs. This year there was no reproduction in captivity at this center.
During the impact of the tropical cyclones and in the days after the flood, the partners were buying chicken to feed the crocodiles.
For this they had to ask for a loan of 25 thousand pesos, which is one of the debts they now carry.
Right now they are in crisis, they go fishing to feed the crocodiles.
“The situation is critical, not even with Hurricane Isidoro we had as much impact as we have now,” Martín recalled. “On that occasion, to protect the refrigerators and other belongings, we placed them on chairs and this prevented them from being damaged.”
“However, this time the water exceeded two meters in some parts, the water overflowed the road, it was something never seen before,” he continued.
“We need them to do the same thing here that they did on the roads that were flooded,” he said. “In San Felipe they brought machinery and opened some drains and immediately the water disappeared … we need something like that here so that it can finish drying and we can work now.”
When the farm was 100 percent up and running, partners offered one-hour rides, at a rate of 300 per boat that could fit up to four people.
Visitors can touch the crocodiles, take photos, we should talk about the importance of the crocodile in the environment, in order to remove the mentality that the crocodile is bad or that it will harm people.
“The crocodile attacks if its habitat is invaded, but it is not an animal that attacks humans,” he mentioned.
The cooperative is made up of 10 people and each one has three to four other people to work.
When it’s high season they employ cooks, waiters, people who offer tours, and so on.
In total they are a source of employment for 25 people.
For more information on the tourist parador, you can call 986 107 6220.
Look for them on Facebook as Parador Turístico Itzamkanac.
Source: Reporteros Hoy