Ask a Mexican
At the beginning of this month, Playa “El Saltito” in La Paz was freed by the authorities, after years of private access. El Saltito is one of the most beautiful beaches in Baja, often referred to as “bioluminescence paradise”, and this particular private access was not only illegal according to a few laws, but it is said that the access had a charge.
What do you think? Should all beach access be public? Is it okay for the private sector to benefit from this?
Isaura Martinez, 29, office manager.
I think all of our beaches should be public because it is a federal zone, and it belongs to all Mexicans. Good for the government to be intolerant of these situations, and they should have fined the individual who was benefiting from charging. There’s a lot that can be fixed in our territory and a lot of problems caused by the ambition of individuals, so I think we are taking great steps towards a greater goal.
Miguel Chávez, 41, gardener.
I think it’s good that the access was destroyed but we should also look at setting up surveillance, trashcans and restrooms. Keeping our beaches clean and free is something we all are responsible for, and maybe the charge was to keep them that way. Nowadays people are more conscious about polluting and such, but still not enough. Most of the public beaches are full of garbage, and cigarette butts and people go into the ocean to relieve themselves.
Leonor Medina, 36, receptionist.
The access that was liberated was not the only access to that beach, and I think the person who was responsible for setting it up became the owner of the land way back when the government gave free land to locals, so I don’t think they were totally wrong if it kept the beach cleaner and in better shape for everyone. I know beaches are federal land, but we are not used to keeping them clean.
Daniel Ramos, 30, programmer.
Federal land is for everyone and I think it took the authorities long enough to remove the private access. It’s not the only one. There are so many in the Baja that it seems like the laws are a joke. In some places they will never be removed, or they have made the “public access” so annoying, no one wants to go anymore. I understand we need to take care of the beaches, but that is up to each one of us. It’s awful to have to walk a mile to get to a beach when some years ago you could park right up.
Ramón Villa, 44, maintenance.
The laws are a joke, and they are only enforced towards the poor. There are many beach accesses that are private, but since hotels hold them, no one does anything. I think that if it was a local person who had owned the land for years, he or she should be able to make private access to keep the beach from overcrowding and being dirty. We also have certifications that help with that, and we should try to have more certified beaches for everyone.
Fernanda Razo, 20, student.
Public access to all beaches is in the law and I am happy that it is being enforced. It should be on every single beach. I also believe we should have costly fines and punishments for individuals who think they can outsmart the system.