Cultural tourism in modern times

Gabriel Fonseca

It’s a well-known fact that much of the world of tourism is motivated by learning about history, the people, available activities, traditions, and interesting customs. For these types of travelers, Los Cabos and Baja California Sur offers a cultural attraction that is unique in the world.

Another fact is that tourism will change radically for a time due to the 2020 pandemic. The first adjustments have already been made by market leaders who have implemented measures that best protect the health of their guests and employees.

On the other hand, if we understand that the value of cultural tourism is found in sharing human experiences with the inhabitants of each community, carried out in rural areas that have a different dynamic than tourist destinations, we will understand that for the moment it will not be appropriate to carry out these activities due to the risk for visitors and residents.

Meanwhile, an alternative that will undoubtedly turn visits to our southern California ranches, coasts, and towns into deeper experiences will be learning about the origin and culture of the places in our state.

I present four basic topics to investigate about the history and culture of Baja California Sur that will make your visit more interesting:

  • Millions of years ago the California Peninsula did not exist. The Mexican northwest was a single territory that underwent major geological changes such as subsidence, separation, emergence and adjustment, derived from tectonic movements in this part of the continent. The results were three main geographic transformations: The birth of the Gulf of California, the formation of the peninsula and the appearance of the southernmost territory (Los Cabos) emerging from the Pacific Ocean.

The Gulf of California is one of the youngest seas in the world. Abundant life exists in the waters and along the coasts and incredible, almost intact, places have conserved their extraordinary vegetation for thousands of years.

  • The movements that caused the separation of the peninsula from the continental mass formed a mountain range in the middle of the territory. Part of this mountain range is located between the municipalities of La Paz and Los Cabos. Known as the Sierra de la Laguna, this extraordinary habitat is full of wildlife and contains a unique deciduous rainforest.
  • Due to the fact that the territory of Los Cabos emerged from the seabed, the soils contain great mineral wealth. There are also places in our municipality with high quality microclimates and water that are suitable for organic agriculture. Currently, most fruits and vegetables are exported, such as basil, tomatoes and mango to more than 10 countries in the world, including the United States, England, Japan and the United Arab Emirates.
  • The peninsula was inhabited thousands of years ago by a generation of human beings who left us cave paintings that describe the worldview of their time. The way they were made, their color and their size in the style of great murals, make them unique throughout the planet.

One of the oldest forms of life documented in these cave paintings is marine fauna. Whales, fish and manta rays were recorded by the ancient inhabitants in these works of art. In Baja California Sur, there are high quality companies that offer expeditions that allow you to meet these ancient beings. Undoubtedly, it is a great opportunity to witness what was recorded a long time ago by our ancestors.

The rural area of ​​Southcalifornia was isolated for centuries. It was distant from the rest of the country for centuries, as well. The isolation resulted in communities and ranches retaining much of the original traditions and customs that dated from the time of colonization in the eighteenth century.

Some places have preserved that timeless essence. They are quiet places where people live simply and work hard. They depend on livestock and agriculture. Living with these people and knowing their way of life is a complete human experience. Common activities on the ranch like adding milk to coffee that came directly from a cow or goat are extraordinary for most people and a very important cultural legacy that can still be appreciated.

Baja California Sur has an extraordinary history and culture. Examining this information will help us understand the importance of its conservation and, of course, it will turn our visit into a learning experience full of interesting discoveries.

A very useful site with free downloadable books on South California history and culture is the official website of the B.C.S. Pablo L. Martínez in the books section. http://www.archivohistoricobcs.com.mx/CatalogoEditorial

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