Those who live and work in the Valle de Guadalupe are fighting to protect their land, their way of life and the future.
On Oct. 9, more than 300 people connected to this wine region in Baja California marched in the streets to protest the building of a concert venue that would be able to hold 25,000 people.
The nonprofit Por un Valle de Verdad (For a Valley of Truth) organized the event.
While the region is a tourist destination mostly for Mexicans and those from the United States, the people who call it home don’t want it to be totally transformed into something that is not sustainable or that does not complement the rural nature of the land.
This was posted on the group’s Facebook page that day, “On the basis of public complaints, the federal authorities inspected and closed down a site where a forum for mass concerts is intended to be installed. It was also determined that the predio is located in a forest land that was affected by the removal of its natural vegetation (thicket or Chaparral) characteristic of semi-arid areas. According to INEGI, Chaparral’s vegetation covers part of the yard, and according to inspection, vegetation covers almost the entirety of the prediction. As a result, and because the inspector did not submit authorization for land use change in forest land, the federal authority closed the predio and secured the machinery.”
On Oct. 11, the group posted this on Facebook, “We demand that the Citizen’s Commission be established where villagers, academy and productive sectors of the Guadalupe Valley are represented to monitor the implementation of the regulation of the sectoral program.”
The valley is home to about 9,000 people. Some of the their complaints are not having the basic needs to deal with such a large venue—adequate roads, garbage, fire-police, medical care.
Then there are all the environmental concerns like the lack of water, the need to rezone land for the new use, destruction of land for construction, and the negative impacts concert after concert could have on the area.
This region just 90 minutes south of the U.S. border continues to grow in popularity. That is a reason to build the event center.
For those in the know, Mexico is already a player in the world of wine. Many of the wineries and wines will have people thinking they are in Napa or Sonoma counties in California, not in a Third World country. After all, bottles of Bruma can be found on the wine list at the French Laundry.