Ancient art of the Mayans
The city of Cancun is a legendary tourist attraction, and draws millions of people every year. This once deserted island now has a booming infrastructure, and is constantly filled with walks of life from many places internationally. Before it existed as it does today Cancun was something not so desirable, in fact it was basically unknown. Cancun was a desolate landmass in the middle of the Caribbean, and belonged to the Maya civilization. Cancun's name was in fact derived from "Kan Kun," which roughly translates in the Mayan language to "nest of snakes." This name was found for the island in 18th century Mayan maps, and the island gains it’s label from the snaky sand dunes covering the empty coast. This "snake nest" was really nothing more than a coast comprised of marshes, a vastly unexplored virgin jungle, and beaches untouched by man until nearly the 1970's.
Cancun 1968: Before Being Developed
1969 was a huge year for the Caribbean region, as it was when the Cancun project was unveiled. The project constituted many objectives, which were all part of a single master plan. The master plan called for three main points to be covered: a residential zone, a tourist zone, and an international airport. Cancun was built on the concept of subdivisions, and the "broken plate diagram" was used in it's building. This kind of layout makes for huge city blocks separated by long avenues, which make the shopping centers and attractions easily accessible and noticeable..
The early foundation for the tourist and hotel zones required immense manpower as 62 miles of ditches were dug for sewer connection to a water treatment facility, and over 93 miles of power lines stretched across the Yucatan Peninsula to provide power to inhabitants. Nearly 250 acres of land was redone to accommodate the luxurious golf course, which fills in the El Rey ruins, and many, many miles of mangroves were dredged to provide better water passage from the sea to separate lagoons. In 1974, the first hotels were created to industrialize the original "master plan," as was the airstrip built which would eventually become the international airport Cancun holds. The international airport was built with 2,600 meters of runway strip, and the operating capacity allowed wide cabin planes and larger planes in general to venture to and from the grounds. .
With all of the physical infrastructure created in 1974, there was also an economic structure being built to secure the future of this tourist society. Indigenous governmental bodies "Infratur" and "Foqatur" were merged to form the National Foundation for the Promotion of Tourism. This merge brought a new agency to represent tourism in this region, which was something very necessary in an age of constantly evolving ideas and project management.
Cancun Present Day: Fully Developed and Thriving
From 1989 until present day, Cancun has been a dynamic city, and a tremendous force in the tourism market. Cancun contributes a large percentage of Mexico’s tourist related revenue and prosperity to much of it's own states' (Quintana Roo) gross domestic product. Quintana Roo was given statehood the same year the "National Foundation for the Promotion of Tourism" was created. More than a half million inhabitants control the urban sprawl that Cancun has become; and as the country’s largest tourism resort as well as the most prosperous city in the Yucatan Peninsula, it also holds the title as the Caribbean’s premier destination. Cancun shows no sign of slowing either with many projects in the works; these works involve a new deluxe marina with low-impact hotels called Puerto Cancun, more golf courses, and even a modern hospital which are all scheduled for construction in the very near future. .
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