First is was shock/disbelief, then anger/disturbance and now sadness/helplessness...
The aura, the magic landscape and the bay view of magical La Manzanilla has now changed dramatically, literally overnight. The big OXXO came in, after permission from La Huerta, right at the main intersection in town, to be open 24/7 with its huge lit up signs, and its 4 football stadium type flood lights on ALL night long, taking away the star gazing at night, the tranquility of the town and its magic. It is now gone. In a little sleepy town with 2000 inhabitants, to have a 24/7 convenience store with intense flood lights on all night, is uncalled for, causing significant light pollution and a waste of money and the Earth’s limited resources.
IF it was something important like a lighthouse, emergency room or a historically significant landmark/statue making such a major mark in La Manzanilla - that would be a different story - but that a commercial convenience store chain can mark La Manzanilla this way, even purely esthetically, is beyond words and belief. The huge OXXO sign is even much taller than the church in town.
For those who are not here to see this atrocity we are including some photos that are ok but simply can not capture the huge and offensive OXXO signs and the intensity of the new blinding OXXO lights. So please instead of waiting until you come back down, take our word for it, and please help La Manzanilla to do something about it now.
Guillermo and I and some close neighbors have already written to OXXO and an executive from OXXO called Guillermo the very next day, and they discussed the matter at length. He asked for photos so we have sent them to him, but no word back yet. Guillermo has also written to La Huerta Municipality with photos as evidence.
We need to encourage La Huerta to install regular safety street lights at the main intersection, in lieu of the super flood lights that are in place now at the top of the OXXO store - lights that are simply not designed for street lighting.
Even Wikipedia on OXXO (a company privately owned by a family in Monterrey and none of their stores are franchises) shows photos of various OXXO stores in Mexico and none of them has flood lights on their roofs and most of them have modest signs.
After all OXXO company’s values are Integrity, Simplicity, Modesty and Respect to the People...
RAMSAR convention, which has the La Manzanilla Mangrove as a designated RAMSAR site, has a declaration on Light Pollution at their sites since 2007 and we are concerned to that the significant light pollution will disturb the circadian rhythm of the inhabitants of the mangrove, as well as the locals of our town. I am planning to contact RAMSAR if OXXO doesn’t take down these 4 lights and lower the light intensity of the 2 main OXXO signs and/or close at midnight /shut off lights at midnight. Even turtles are affected by light pollution, according to RAMSAR.
We think it is only the Westerners here that can try to change the atrocity that happened here. We would appreciate if OXXO removes the flood lights and change their commercial signs into modest and less offensive signs. The new malacon with its golden arch, right next door, is now dwarfed by this monstrous sign.
We are including photos of the tastefully integrated OXXO store in Comala, as a comparison, proving that OXXO does not make all their stores identical.
One can speculate that OXXO made their store like this, in order to attract the highway drivers to come to their store, hence the huge and tall sign and its flood lights, shining up the whole mountains, the town and the beach. At the cost of the locals and the animals of the mangrove. Tons of insects swarm around the flood lights all night, causing diminution of food for the animals of the mangrove.
Yes, our town is changing rapidly so it is so important that we use our education and knowledge about civility to try to make any changes here gentle and beneficial to the town and its inhabitants.
The last city planning for La Manzanilla was written in 1995, after the earthquake, and most things on that plan have not been implemented or adhered to. It ought to be revised and updated, so La Manzanilla can review, disapprove or approve major changes in the future, in order to maintain its beauty and magic.
PLEASE, we strongly encourage you to write to OXXO and ask for removal of the flood lights, close at midnight and taking down the offensive OXXO sign that has ruined and violated La Manzanilla. Or write to them what you think and what is important to you. For example, one person we spoke to is also concerned about the parking area of the OXXO - the customers have to reverse into the busy María Asunción, right by the busy intersection, probably causing accidents there.
To write to OXXO, go to OXXO.com site under Contacto and when asked for Calle y numero, Colonia and Entre calles enter the following:
Calle y Número: Lázaro Cárdenas y Mara Asuncion (no number yet)
Colonia: Condocida (known)
Entre calles: María Asunción y la Playa
Or to call:
01-81-83 20 20 20 (no charge)
MORE TEXT below these photos - more photos coming. Adding photos is definitely a learning curve!
And/or if you prefer to also write to La Huerta:
Attn: Señor Adan Israel Mendoza Rodriguez, Presidente Municipal de la Huerta
I wrote my letter in English, using Word and then used a free of charge, very easy and user friendly Doc Translator (onlinedoctranslator.com) for translation into Spanish. Takes less than a minute to translate. Then I copied and pasted into the comment box on the OXXO Contacto site. For Mac/IPad users - write in the Pages app, then export into a Word document and save to your files, for upload on the Doc Translator site. Very easy!
It would be interesting to hear what New York Times reporter Sebastian Modak would say now, after visiting La Manzanilla before and after the OXXO domination. (He wrote an article in New York Times on Costa Alegre on July 16, 2019).
Thank you for listening to us and please help! Now!
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