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Mayan Train project threatens to alter the environment and communities in Mexico by Emilio Godoy August 25,2020   |  Source: IPS

Mayan anthropologist Ezer May fears that the tourism development and real estate construction boom that will be unleashed by the Mayan Train, the main infrastructure project of Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, will disrupt his community.

“What we think is that the east of the town could be affected,” May told IPS by phone from his hometown of Kimbilá.

“The most negative impact will come when they start building the development hub around the train station,” he said. “We know that the tourism industry and other businesses will receive a boost. There is uncertainty about what is to come; many ejidatarios [members of an ejido, public land held in common by the inhabitants of a village and farmed cooperatively or individually] don’t know what’s happening.”

This town of 4,000 people, whose name means “water by the tree”, is in the municipality of Izamal in the northern part of the state of Yucatan, about 1,350 km southeast of Mexico City. The district will have a Mayan Train station, although its size is not yet known, and the prospect awakens fears as well as hope among the communities involved.

In Kimbilá, 10 km from the city of Izamal, there are 560 ejidatarios who own some 5,000 hectares of land where they grow corn and


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