We got back last week from our trip to Mexico to attend my wife’s best friend’s wedding. We had a fantastic time with everyone down there and basically just hung around the pool and swam in the ocean – something we never do here in Los Angeles. The water here is pretty gross along with being freezing cold. The water down in Ixtapa is both warm and see-through, which makes for a much nicer experience. However, as soon as a school of stingrays swam by our feet, we both walked out and never went back in. I don’t want to end up like The Crocodile Hunter, thank you very much.
While we had a fantastic time and were so happy to see our friends get married, when my wife and I went for a walk on the beach we realized just how different some things are in Mexico. The resort areas, you see, are still clean – Ixtapa is a relatively new resort beach and thus has not suffered the consequences of human interaction yet, unlike Los Angeles beaches. But because the people using the resorts do not see the damage that waste, trash and pollution can cause, they are a little more careless with how they treat the beach. Here in Santa Monica, people tend to pick up their trash, avoid throwing cigarette butts out their car window, and do their best to recycle. Down in Ixtapa, there are no trash cans on the beach. So you know where the trash goes? All over the place. When we went for our nightly walks, the beach tended to be littered with plastic cups, food wrappers, cigarette butts, and assorted other trash items. We started picking up any plastic cups and straws that we saw were on the verge of being swept into the ocean, carrying them with us until we got back to our hotel and could dispose of them properly. Sure, people looked at us funny – but they probably thought we were members of some environmental organization and didn’t say anything.
The problem with this is that long-term, this will have a huge impact on the condition of the water and the beaches. The people using these resorts might not see it yet, but eventually all this trash and waste will start changing the color of the water – to the color of the water in Los Angeles. People here used to not care either but when we started getting “F’s” for grades on our water condition, people started acting accordingly. Down in Ixtapa, they aren’t there yet – so they treat the beach like a trash can.
I think the resorts need to step up their environmental standards and start putting out trash and recycling bins, along with maybe sending a few people out at night to clean up the beach in front of their property. As far as I could tell, none of them did – thus we picked up a lot of the trash. If they want to maintain their beautiful beaches long into the future, you would think they would be doing everything they could to preserve what they have now – and hopefully they will start doing so. I wrote a letter to the hotel telling them as such, but I did not get a response. I do hope, however, that they take it under advisement, as Ixtapa is such a gorgeous place and I would hate to see it ruined.
And lastly, congrats to our friends for getting married! May you both have a happy and healthy life together, and see you at Christmas!