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Hierve el Agua

Photo: Steve Bridger views the signage, Wayfinding (2003)

News from Oaxaca, Mexico. Spotlight on Hierve el Agua, temporarily and perhaps permanently closed to visitors

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Currently closed

Headlines
¡Adiós, Hierve El Agua!, ejidatarios cierran sus puertas al turismo
Hierve el Agua cierra sus puertas al turismo
México Anuncian “cierre definitivo” de Hierve el Agua al turismo
Ejidatarios de San Lorenzo Albarradas cierran accesos a Hierve el Agua
Cierra Hierve el Agua al turismo nacional y extranjero

Community Conflicts
Hierve el Agua has been open and closed a few times since 2004 due to financial disputes among San Bartolo, San Isidro Roagui, and San Lorenzo Albarradas. What’s the problem? Entrance fees had been collected by the San Lorrenzo Albarradas and the other communities are insisting on receiving benefits from the tourism that passes through their communities to the park. During calmer times, about 150 people per day visited the state park and the number climbed to more than 400 during holidays.

Background
Archaeological evidence suggests that about 2,400 years ago, nomadic people first used these springs. A network of canals fed through terraced crops over half a square kilometer. Wells were constructed about every three meters along the canals. Research dates the occupation of the site from 420 BC to 1500 AD. Travelers arrive to this state park for sheer spectacle. This petrified waterfall formed from the calcium carbonate and magnesium in the water. There are two such sites in the world, the second being in Turkey. Today the springs continue to produce up to two liters of water a second (much more in the summer than the dry winter months). Yet year-round the water flows through the ancient canal system.

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