Mazunte- where bohemian types thump on drums that echo in the streets and ricochet off the ocean’s beating waves. The beaches are small and cozy but only a select few sections that are hugged by protective rock walls welcome a swim. The fringe of palapa roofs hangs over the two main streets. The town in entirely walkable. The vibe is chill, man. Snack on delicious bites from the sea, sip a cold beer, smoke a bowl and run topless out into the sea.
Beneath its peace and love vibes lies Mazunte’s interesting recent history. At the turn of the 20th century, Mazunte was barely inhabited. There was simply nothing there and no roads connecting it. Mazunte does, however, have a large population of sea turtles and these are the beaches where they lay their eggs every season.
In the 1970’s sea turtle meat and eggs became wildly sought after. Soon, Mazunte housed a full-fledged slaughterhouse. The economy soared, roads were built, and the once peaceful, natural habitat of these amazing creatures had succumbed to human greed and exploitation. As education on the topic spread and word of the harm being done reached concerning levels Mexico swiftly banned turtle poaching. Like with everything in life, there were dire consequences to that action as well. Families that had built their lives on the new and thriving economy were suddenly without. But then sometimes, just sometimes, the bright side of humanity prevails and instead of turtle populations continuing to dwindle and the livelihoods of those in the community threatened, the people came together to turn Mazunte into an important hub for turtle conservation. Now it’s economy thrives on ecotourism.
In 1993, Anita Brodrick, CEO, and creator of the Body Shop, a popular brand name soap and cosmetics producer, visited Mazunte after learning of the efforts in ecotourism. She was inspired to contribute and made a lasting impression on the people and economy too. She sent a team to teach the locals how to make and sell all natural, organic, locally sourced, sustainable cosmetics and make a profit.
The addition of thoughtful, eco-conscience cosmetics alongside the new-found friendliness to turtles has set the stage to make Mazunte the perfect place for a center for yoga and those seeking relaxing, cheerful, and kind energy. It’s still small and quaint with transient types hanging out for a month or longer and like a game of tag tapping the next one in as they ramble on. It’s the kind of place that can suck you in, you might get lost, forget about the rest of the world and all its woes.
Mazunte’s beaches are beautiful though and it’s a wonder how they hadn’t been discovered sooner. Small hotels and hostels and a handful of restaurants are about all you’ll find in this quiet corner of the earth. The seafood is abundant and delicious, cocktails are cold and refreshing, the energy is calm and slow. It’s beach life at its best.