Updated: Aug 10, 2021
Recently, an international and local group has coalesced around a project called Regen Tulum that seeks to catalyze the “Regenaissance” starting in Tulum, the stunning ecological paradise on the Mayan Riviera, two hours south of Cancun. Regenaissance is a portmanteau of “regeneration” meaning the renewal or restoration of biological and cultural systems after injury or as a normal process and “renaissance” referring to the creative rebirth of European culture, art, politics and economies following the Middle Ages. Now, more than ever, today’s world is seeking to birth a culture of regeneration that leverages both ancient wisdom and appropriate technologies.
Tulum is one the world’s top ecotourism destinations, yet it is overloading its infrastructure at devastating cost to local ecosystems. In recent years, Tulum has experienced significant environmental degradation including wiping out the blue crabs that were plentiful only a dozen years ago. The blue crab situation provides a good metaphor for understanding the difference between sustainability and regeneration. Sustainability would seek to stop the destruction and protect existing species while writing off the blue crabs. Regeneration, however, would restore crucial natural habitat to support the revitalization of threatened species and even potentially the reintroduction of the blue crabs.
A now decorative vintage crab crossing sign from the Tulum beach road. Photo by Mich Cuervo.
It’s not that no one is trying to help Tulum; there are already many regenerative efforts here, but they are disconnected. As a result, more than 2 million tourists who flock to Tulum annually as well as locals — all of whom could be interested in supporting the regeneration of Tulum — have no clue how they can help. Or they just start a project that is duplicative with and/or uninformed by previous efforts. This state of affairs is a problem for the regeneration movement worldwide.
Tulum has the potential to become a model for regeneration but it needs a new dynamic that enables a local movement to develop and ultimately grow regenerative cultural and biological ecosystems. Regen Tulum is supporting regenerative projects in Tulum by connecting Tulum’s regenerative ecosystem with an information hub and network while building regenerative culture, knowledge, and financing mechanisms.
Regen Tulum is working on many timelines simultaneously that are all important for understanding the project.
Aligning with Prophecy
Of paramount importance are the timelines of two South American prophecies which foretold a great transformation in this era.
The Inca thought of time in 500-year cycles called a Pachacuti that toggle from periods of darkness to periods of light. The ninth Pachakuti 1492–1992 was a period of expoitation, cultural destruction, and genocide for indigenous peoples worldwide.
According to The Shamanic Odyssey: Homer, Tolkien, and the Visionary Experience, prophecy says the new Pachacuti has the possibility to transform humanity:
One marker of this opening of the tenth pachakuti is the emerging unification of indigenous peoples and traditions, North and South, as well as the ‘indigenizing’ of Westerners previously without a native consciousness of connection to the Earth and its larger, nonhuman community.
According to Incan Prophecy, the first humans on Earth were the people of the Condor. They were heart centered, spiritually advanced, and feminine energetically. They were deeply connected with nature in all aspects of their lives.
Later, another group developed and took a different path. The people of the Eagle were mind centered, technologically advanced, and masculine energetically. They sought to control and conquer nature.
In ancient times, it was prophesied that, during the ninth Pachakuti, the People of the Eagle would bring the People of the Condor to the brink of extinction, which coincides with the arrival of Europeans and their extractive industries as well as the exploitation, colonization and even eradication of indigenous peoples in the Americas. But the prophecy says in this tenth Pachacuti, if the eagle and the condor can fly in the same skies, it will bring the world into balance.
Tulum is transforming
Another timeline we are working on is the almost two decades of intensifying tourism that has transformed Tulum from a sleepy fishing village to one of the top tourist destinations in the world. Yet, Mexico’s trendy, ecological haven is growing faster than urban infrastructure can keep up and faces irreversible damage. Waste, water pollution, and massive seaweed blooms are major interconnected issues. Inadequate infrastructure, unsustainable development, violence, and corruption are exacerbating problems.
The most important timeline is what happens next. Will Tulum continue in the ecologically destructive footsteps of its older sibling cities, Cancun and Playa Del Carmen? Or will Tulum change course to become a model for regeneration or ecotourism locations and fast-growing cities?
Regen Tulum is an emergent community-led platform that regenerates Tulum by supporting a connected ecosystem of regenerative projects and people who want to save Tulum from ecological collapse. The platform will enable anyone to find pertinent information about regenerative projects and services in Tulum including volunteer opportunities, organic foods, and yoga studios. The platform also will enable the community to surface, examine, and vote to fund regenerative projects in Tulum. The platform is decentralized using blockchain technology so that the community (informed by science, knowledge, and wisdom) determines which projects will be financed.
The cornerstones of the Regen Tulum project are:
Regeneration directory — a directory of all things regeneration including regenerative projects, products, and services that anyone can add or edit. The directory includes volunteer opportunities, regenerative communities, as well as hotels, restaurants, and other businesses with regenerative practices. Information is validated before posting to the public directory.
Decentralized public works — public works are land improvements such as roads, schools, and reservoirs, carried out by the government for the community. But what happens if the local government is not equipped or inclined to fund regenerative projects? Regen Tulum aims to decentralize public works so that the community decides which projects are essential and get funded.
Digital nation — the next level of digital experience is purpose-driven online communities with their own dedicated layer over the web. This enables digizens to meet and interact directly or through specific content on any webpage. Not only that they earn tokens for the value their contributions create.
Community currency — community or local currencies have been around for a long time. They provide ways to keep capital circulating within the local community and to ascribe value to things that are not valued in the traditional economy. Now with blockchain technology, community currency can be decentralized, secure, and streamlined for use.
The Tide is Changing
Regen Tulum is just getting started. We see this as a generational effort integral to the unfolding of prophecy and making Tulum a model of restoration and regeneration.
At the moment, we are working with the community to map Tulum’s assets and regenerative projects, as well as building the requirements for the Regen Tulum platform. Please sign up for our newsletter at the Regen Tulum site.
Our first public meeting is this Wednesday, August 11, 2021 at 6PM (CST) at the coworking space Digital Jungle. The meeting will also be on Zoom with translation into Spanish for both remote and in-person Spanish speakers. At the meeting, we will announce a set of workgroups that are accepting new members locally and virtually. RSVP.
Using emerging digital nation tech, we aim to build the most cohesive, coherent, and collaborative digital community at scale, focused on regeneration and rich, restorative, and rewarding experiences. We plan to have weekly in person and/or Zoom events through the end of the year. Subsequent meetings will focus on one or more of the foundational aspects of Regen Tulum.