Great Costa Maya
History of Quintana Roo:
One could suppose that the south of Quintana Roo, where the miscegenation that gave rise to the traits that distinguishes our country began, should be one of the best known places in Mexico. However, the region has been a frontier land for centuries, and to this day it continues to bring us great surprises for all the riches it hides.
What is now the municipality of Otón P. Blanco and which corresponds to the southern part of the state was a territory largely ignored. It was not until the middle of the 18th century, when the Spanish crown finally decided to defend it from the English pirates and built the enigmatic fort of San Felipe Bacalar.
In the following century, the fierce rebellion of the Mayans turned the area into a dark and apparently depopulated patch of the country's shining map, until, almost at the turn of the 20th century, President Porfirio Díaz decided to reintegrate it back into civilized Mexico. .
In 1893, Mexico and England signed a treaty that established the current boundaries with Belize.
The ignorance of the area was such that the Mexican negotiators accepted that Ambergris Caye or San Pedro (to which Madonna refers in her song La Isla Bonita) was an island separate from the peninsular territory and they ceded it to the English. Until later they learned that the channel that separates it from the peninsula was artificial and a few meters wide.
On May 5, 1898, a group of expedition members, commanded by Lieutenant Otón P. Blanco, founded Payo Obispo today Chetumal, a modest settlement that in its first months of life functioned mainly as a barracks in the war against the Mayan Indian. And although in 1901 the tiny population became the capital of the recently created territory of Quintana Roo, its new status did not make it less accessible. For decades, the best way to get there was by boat and later by plane.
Until the seventies of the twentieth century, with the establishment of the state of Quintana Roo and the tourist developments in the north of the state, the great highways arrived.
The economic boom of the second half of the 20th century has not been able to completely remove the character of "new land" from this area. In the place there are still discoveries: its great archaeological sites such as Chac-Choben and Kohunlich were only opened to the public in the last decade of the 20th century, and archaeologists admit that the most imposing, Ichcabal, about 20 kilometers west of Bacalar, It can only be opened until the second decade of the 21st century.