“To act is to exile oneself.” —Fernando Pessoa
Growing Corals works as a physical manifestation of coral reef decay in relation to global warming in the shore of Cozumel, Mexico. It is designed as an immersive experience based on two main interviews I conducted. The interviews speak about the only two coral restoration programs in the island. One is a private project (Cozumel Coral Reef Restoration Program) and the other is a larger government-funded one (Fundacion de Parques y Museos de Cozumel), expressing two distinct approaches to the issue of coral bleaching and its plausible solutions. My project recognizes the difference in resources between the groups, but brings forth the desire for a common solution, which creates an economically and socially profitable eco-tourism. This book opens up the opportunity to teach tourists and train locals to sustainably engage with the marine life. There is no distinction between the interviews. Instead, it gives the reader the tools to engage with and analyze the content to reach their own conclusions. Rather than being a didactic tool this thesis serves as both an entryway and a platform to start dialogue around the strategies put in place
by these two groups.
This project has become the starting point of my collaboration with Dr. German Mendez. Going forth we wish to implement sustainable tourism practices in Cozumel—and the rest of the country—by committing to educate the community and find new proposals to benefit the ecosystem, the locals and the tourism industry equally.