Two Old Town San Pedro landmarks torn down as Sunset Boardwalk constuction begins
Two landmarks of old town San Pedro, the Saca Chispas Football Field and the ‘El Embarcadero’ area, have been torn down to make way for the construction on the new San Pedro Sunset Boardwalk. The dismantling of the areas, seen as the last remaining symbols of San Pedro as a fishing village, started the week following the annual Costa Maya Festival, making way for the multi-million dollar development project that will transform the location into a modern spectacle for tourism.
The project will be a state of the art enhancement geared towards improving tourism on the western side of the island. While ground was broken on June 21st, the San Pedro Sunset Boardwalk Project has come under fire by local fishermen, tour operators and residents in the area since November of 2009, when planning and consultation started. Some residents opposed the project on the basis that the ‘El Embarcadero’ area is the only place on the island that paints a true picture of how the island used to be when it was a fishing village.
Others in the community, including the elected leaders have maintained that the transformation is essential for the island to be more competitive in the tourism industry and will transform the area into a modern harbor for fishermen, water taxis, craftsmen, tour operators and customs and immigration. The project estimated to cost $5.69 million is expected to be completed in a span of 16 months and scheduled to open in October 2013. The project is one of four projects under the Sustainable Tourism Project financed by a loan from the Inter-American Development Bank.
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