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Economy of Yucatan Peninsula


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In the late historic and early modern eras, the Yucatán Peninsula was largely a cattle ranching, logging, chicle and henequen production area. Since the 1970s (and the fall of the world henequen and chicle markets due to the advent of synthetic substitutes), the Yucatán Peninsula has reoriented its economy towards tourism, especially in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo. Once a small fishing village, Cancún in the northeast of the peninsula has grown into a thriving city. The Riviera Maya, which stretches along the east coast of the peninsula between Cancún and Tulum, houses over 50,000 beds and is visited by millions of tourists every year. The best-known locations are the former fishing town of Playa del Carmen, the ecological parks Xcaret and Xel-Há and the Maya ruins of Tulum and Coba.

"During the past 150 years, the economy of the Yucat´an peninsula has been largely shaped by three factors: the Caste War, henequen production, and tourism. The Caste War of 1847 was an indigenous Maya rebellion against the social organization imposed by the Spanish. This rebellion de?ned the geography of the regional economy. After the Caste War the Maya controlled the southeastern part of the peninsula and the people of Spanish descent controlled the rest. Market-oriented activities were predominantly carried out in the northwestern region, while a traditional milpa system was the principal economic activity in the central and southern areas
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