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1. Let us introduce ourselves...

1.1 Introduction.

We are a group of ten students in the Turismo Sustentable y Gestión Hotelera career of the Departamento de Turismo Sustentable, Gestión Hotelero y Gastronomía (Sustainable Tourism, Hotel Management and Gastronomy programme) at the Universidad del Caribe, a nationally respected public university located in the City of Cancun, in the State of Quintana Roo, México. This book on sustainable development is written as a class project for our Spring 2008 “Sustainable Tourism Topics II in English” course at our university.


The primary purpose of this book is to raise national awareness in México about sustainable development. In an effort to make positive contributions on ways México can develop sustainably, the ideas we present herein are solution-centred. The audiences for our book are Mexican politicians at all levels of government, our fellow Mexican citizens, and any one person interested in learning about sustainable development and México.

Particularly explained in this book are:
  1. What sustainable development is as a three-dimensioned concept, approach and practice.
  2. How scientific evidence shows that human development activities are (un)sustainable and harming Earth’s natural environment.Why sustainable development is important to México.
  3. Specific advances México has made toward sustainable development.
  4. Identification of some important sustainable development actions that México and Mexicans can pursue in order to strengthen our society and natural environment for our citizens.
  5. That México can become a global leader in sustainable development.

We aim in this book to make the concept, approach and practice of sustainable development something that is simple and easy to understand for both Mexicans and our country’s political leaders. We try and explain why it is important for sustainable development to be fully integrated at all levels of Mexican society, including at the levels of government (national, state and local), business, industry, NGO and community.

We hope that, through our own small contribution with this book, México’s political leaders and our fellow citizens will learn of new ideas and also be reminded of existing ways that can, if collectively applied, help make Mexican society more sustainable and even help to make México a global example in sustainable development.

Purposely this book uses currently topical news stories, along with recent scientific data and sources, in an effort to be more interesting to read. Appropriately, the book and its messages are written for the cultural and national realities of México.

Intentionally, all resource material used for this book (all but 7 of the approximately 125 cited sources used) are taken from the World Wide Web, thereby ensuring our sources are easily-accessible to the general public who read our book. By our providing web-based sources, we also strive to practice a key principle of sustainable development: transparency. Also, we see the World Wide Web as a more sustainable research tool for it doesn’t use carbon-capturing trees to produce its written text.

As students, we find ourselves studying in different years of our university programme. While we each live in either Cancun or Playa del Carmen (Playa is a town 60 kilometres south of Cancun), our families moved to this area known as the Riviera Maya from many different regions of Mexico. Our diversity in age and background, along with state of origin within México, have all provided us with differing experiences and perspectives. Yet our common bond has become our understanding the value to humanity of our species practicing sustainable development.

1.2 Who “we” are...

We start by explaining who “we” are and “why” sustainable development is important to each of us:

Angel Sebastian Argüello Corona (Sebas)
Born in México City (DF), lived in Tuxtla Gutierrez for 9 years and has lived in Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, México for the past 5 years. 18 years old. “For me, sustainable development offers a clear way for humans to properly and fairly use Earth’s resources today, while also ensuring that resources are left in perpetuity for use by future generations of humans.”

Jesús Antonio Chuck Lievano (Jesús)
Born in Villahermosa, Tabasco and has lived in Cancun, Quintana Roo, México for 1 year. 18 years old. “I think sustainable development is one of the best ways that human societies can operate under. It is a process for achieving a balance in human societies and for improving all aspects of the human reality (social, economic and environmental). It is a means to help better the quality of life for humans across Earth.”

Arturo Díaz Colonia (Arturo)

Born in México City (DF) and has lived in Cancun, Quintana Roo, México for 14 years. 21 years old. “I see that Earth needs sustainable development. People need a better quality of life. But if humans don’t soon change our living patterns, we may be saying good-bye to our future!”

Mario Alberto Maldonado Pacheco (Mario)
Born in Mérida, Yucatan and has lived in Cancun, Quintana Roo, México for 12 years. 18 years old. “As I see it, sustainability is what will save humanity from itself.”

Pablo Martínez Parres (Pablo)
Born in México City (DF) and has lived in Cancun, Quintana Roo, México for 12 years. 20 years old. “The beauty of sustainable development is its attempt to balance its social, economic and environmental components. For me, sustainability is about how humans can retain favorable planetary conditions on Earth for the continued development of human life at a local and global level. First, I see this as requiring a balance of human needs within our planet’s carrying capacity in order to protect future generations. This means human activities need keep inside Earth’s limits to avoid destruction of biodiversity and our planet’s complex ecological systems that support life.”

Nohemí Rogerio Mendoza (Nohemí)
Born in México City (DF) and has lived in Cancun, Quintana Roo, México for 11 years. 22 years old. “I would like this book to help open people’s minds on how they might create a global vision on the fair and equitable use of Earth’s resources. A new global vision is urgently needed for all of Earth’s life – human and non-human – to live and prosper well in to the future. The environment has become a very important topic in both industrial development and as a social topic. Humans – women and men, girls and boys, people of all ages – are not emotionless machines but beings with feelings. And human feelings seem to be telling us in the strongest of terms that we now must take care of our planet if our human species wants to continue to be part of Earth’s future.”

Claudia Jacqueline Rojas Calderón (Claudia)
Born in México City (DF) and has lived in Cancun, Quintana Roo, México for 16 years. 22 years old. “For me, sustainable development is important because I want a better world for my future children and for the Earth. Our home planet must be taken care of because it provides us with all essential things necessary for human survival, whether food or medicine and every thing else. “

Gabriela Salas Velázquez (Gaby)
Born in México City (D.F.), has lived in Cancun, Quintana Roo, México for 14 years. 19 years old. “I see sustainable development as an essential way to help humans survive on our planet. When I learn of and even see the fast rate at which humans are using Earth’s resources and impacting our planet´s natural environment, I become very concerned for human life over the long-term. Sustainable development principles applied in all aspects of our lives will help give next generations of humans the opportunity to live the experience of life, just as current human beings have been given this same, precious, gift.”

Joanne Cristina Salazar Castro (Joanne)
Born in Tizimin, Yucatan and has lived in Cancun, Quintana Roo, México for 16 years. 18 years old. “For me, sustainable development is important because human life – including things such as human development - depends on our use of Earth’s natural resources. All that humans eat, all materials we use for our daily lives, even the very breath we breathe comes from nature. If humans want to continue living as a species on Earth, it is now necessary that we make changes in our lifestyles.”

Patricia Vega Acosta (Paty)
Born in Chetumal, Quintana Roo, México and has lived in Cancun, Quintana Roo, México for 3 years. 22 years old. “Sustainable development is a big concept, which tries to address relationships between humans and their natural and created environments. It offers a balanced way for humans to use Earth´s natural resources and for the development of human societies, including our economies.”

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