Why You Should be Betting on Green Energy in Your Home

For a few years now, Mexico has been betting on green energy and sustainable construction. In fact, it has become so trending, that developers in Tulum, Playa del Carmen and Merida are more and more careful about the impact their projects are creating. Today, anyone looking for a dream home in paradise, is looking to purchase a home with little impact on the beautiful environment. Communities such as Luum Zama in Tulum or Nah Ha in Playa del Carmen are preserving between 50 and 60% of the green areas. Moreover, designers such as Artigas Arquitectos – the brains behind Puerta Azul Tulum – are making sure their developments are self-maintaining and based off natural materials.

Green Energy for Mexico

Solar Panels

Now that both homeowners and developers are starting to think green is the perfect time to make your home as green as possible, as well. It has been reported that about 88 billion dollars will be invested in clean energy generation in Mexico over the next few years. Out of this, 68% will be invested in Yucatan for wind and solar energy. This reflects in all types of industries, of course, but homeowner can do their part, as well.

Installing green technology at home reduces the impact of your carbon foot print. It also helps the country become a quick zero net energy country. By adding solar panels to your home, you can help reduce energy consumption, eventually bringing it down to zero. Solar energy is one of the most important sources for clean generation…and it’s so easy to be a part of it. In fact, you can also use the sun as a water-heating system.

When you start seeing the reduced costs on your CFE bill, you will be happy you made the initial investment. But the main reason why you should be betting on green technologies for your home is the value it gives your home down the road. Today, a green home is worth a lot. Efforts are being made worldwide for people to start becoming as sustainable as possible. Even if it is as simple as recycling their garbage.

More Than Savings


But building green goes beyond just reducing your costs (which are significant, as you will see). It is also about having fresh air at home, keeping a good temperature (and avoiding mold from humidity) and enjoying accommodating homes.

The cost savings that installing green energy represents are significant. You can reduce your monthly electricity bill (for a couple) down by $200 USD by installing green energy. This represents $2,400 annually. As fuel prices continue to increase, so do electricity expenses. Getting ahead of the game is a great idea. When you consider the savings made to your home, you can see how the value of it increases. An eco-friendly home with solar panels, and water-saving or water-recycling systems are more attractive to future buyers (in case of selling or inheriting). Sustainable materials, low environmental impact and reduced energy costs are a big yes in many people’s home wish lists today.

The Riviera Maya is a Green Paradise

Expats Retire Mexico

You’re in the Riviera Maya. You are enjoying your retirement and low cost of living. But you still want to continue reducing expenses and impact on the environment. So, go green. Besides, green homes truly improve health. You’re living in the Riviera Maya for a reason. So, make the most of it by breathing non-polluted air at home. And if you’re just beginning your search for that perfect retirement-friendly home, while still looking to impact the environment positively, check out our listings and start thinking of how to improve them upon purchase.

And remember, at Top Mexico Real Estate…we make it happen!

Swimming with the Turtles in Akumal

Swimming with the turtles in Akumal is a once in a lifetime experience you cannot miss. For centuries or even millennia, turtles have nested in the rocky shores of Akumal where the eggs are left to hatch and re-start the cycle of life.

The presence of this magnificent creatures probably impressed the ancient Mayans, who called this area in the coast, Akumal; “The Place of the Turtle.”

There are seven known species of turtles in the world, and all of them are endangered species; three of them can be seen at the Akumal beaches and two of them nest on the beaches of Akumal.

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Swimming with the Turtles in Akumal: Species found in the area

LOGGERHEAD TURTLES (Caretta caretta):

Adults weigh from 100–200 kg and grow to 1.15 m in length; this species feed primarily on shellfish such as crabs and snails. Nesting season is between April and July, and females nest 3–7 times every season, with approximately 120 round, white eggs in each nest.

GREEN TURTLES (Chelonia mydas):

Adults weigh between 100–250 kg and grow to 1.2 m in length, this species feeds primarily on sea grass. Nesting season is between June and September, and female nests from 3–7 times a year and each nest contains 120–150 round, white eggs.

HAWKSBILL TURTLE (Eretmochelys imbricata):

Adult hawksbill sea turtles weigh around 80 kg and have been known to grow up to 1 m in length, and this turtle’s favorite treat is toxic jellyfish. Please note that this species doesn’t breed in this area, but some specimens can be seen swimming in Akumal.

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Swimming with the Turtles in Akumal: Participate in the conservation effort!

Since its foundation in 1993, Centro Ecológico Akumal (CEA) has had one mission:  protect nesting sea turtles. CEA runs several programs and preserve the natural environment on the Akumal coast.

Their program is operated through a government-authorized management plan for the protection, conservation, research and management of sea turtles on four local beaches. CEA staff and volunteers patrol the beaches nightly to identify and protect nesting females, their nests and hatchlings.

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Volunteers are always welcome, keep in mind this is a physical job that might take a toll on your body. Also the nesting and hatching of the turtles happen mostly during after dusk, so prepare yourself for some sleepless nights.

Volunteers must be willing to cover other educational and promotional positions, and speaking at least two languages is a requirement. Prior knowledge is not required, the volunteers have to have an enthusiastic and adventurous personality and be willing to adjust to a different environment and culture.

General Requirements for Volunteers:

  • Must be 21 years of age or older.
  • There is a selection process, not all applicants are accepted.
  • There is a 2 months minimal commitment to the program.
  • There is a monthly fee that helps cover for the program expenses. The cost is $200 USD (foreigners) or $100 USD (Mexicans). The payment is due one month before the start of the program.
  • A valid passport and visa or FM3 for the length of your stay is required.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure that you have all the recommended vaccinations.
  • You should have valid insurance for medical services.

Swimming with turtles in Akumal is a dream for many, but helping preserving the species and the environment is a life changing experience.

Here at Top Mexico Real Estate we pride ourselves on promoting local organizations working to preserve the beauty of the Mayan Riviera. Visit the Centro Ecologico Akumal (CEA) website at ceakumal.org to learn more about their programs or to make a donation.

We would like to thank Quetzal for sponsoring this blog. Quetzal is a new development in Bahia Principe. To learn more about Quetzal, please click here.

Xcaret Turtle Release and Conservation Program – A Community Effort with Outstanding Rewards!

The Riviera Maya is invested in nature and ecology!  Residents and local organizations work hard every day to help protect the natural environment and amazing wildlife surrounding us.  After all, conservation and care is contributes to preserving the beauty that we all love about the Riviera Maya.

One of the biggest efforts that takes place all throughout the Riviera Maya is the protection of the sea turtles.  This past Monday Xcaret Park held its first sea turtle release of the season sending off the baby turtles to arrive into their natural habitat in the beautiful Caribbean Sea.

We were very excited to be a part of this event which takes place at different points throughout the year! These beautiful marine turtles are truly exceptional creatures!

Who came to witness the Sea turtle release at Xcaret?

There was an incredible turn out of attendance to witness or volunteer for the Xcaret Sea turtle release. Xcaret encourages locals and nearby Playa del Carmen neighborhoods to get involved, volunteer, and help support these efforts of conserving sea life.

The children from the “Ninos del Mar” school were invited to watch the release and also learn about how being eco-conscious, recycling and conservation help to save the life of the sea turtles and all their natural surroundings.  Great lesson if you ask me!  If you see firsthand how your actions make an impression you are much more likely to remain conscious of it now and in the future.

Some Facts about the Sea turtle release and conservation in the Riviera Maya

Xcaret released two sea turtle species which arrived from Xcacel beach to Xcaret! The two particular species, the green turtle and loggerhead turtle, are two of the four specials that arrive to Quintana Roo each year.  There seven different species of sea turtles around the world and six of them make way to the coast of Mexico.

As part of the Marine Turtle Conservation Program in the Riviera Maya, turtles are rescued, rehabilitated and then released into their natural environment in the wide open sea.

The time of the release is carefully planned to take place in the late morning-mid day hours to make way for the turtles to have a safe return to the ocean.  Since the biggest sea predator for the turtles are sharks the operation is done way before dawn before the sharks feed in the evening.

What happens to the Sea turtles after they are released from Xcaret?

Unfortunately, despite incredible efforts made to protect these wonderful beings, only one out of every 1000 sea turtles will reach adulthood.  This is due to various reasons including sea predators or human interference.

But the good news is that these efforts do contribute to a beautiful life for the surviving turtles.  Since the turtles are tagged at release, the Xcaret released Sea turtles have been identified all over the Caribbean in places like Miami, The Bahamas and Cuba.  These amazing creatures make their way far beyond what we can imagine and live a beautiful life.

Interestingly enough the females which were released will find their way back home in 15 years when they are ready to nest.  Pretty cool huh?

Saving the turtles is a combined community effort in the Riviera Maya

I would like to stress a major point about the Xcaret Sea turtle release program.  This is a wide community effort.  Xcaret asks the entire community to get involved and become an active part of saving the wildlife and preserving natural life in the Riviera Maya.

In 2012 Xcaret was the first private park ever to be featured in National Geographic Magazine for their efforts in protecting, caring for and releasing the sea turtles giving an even bigger visibility!

If you are living in Playa del Carmen or are thinking about moving to the Playa del Carmen neighborhood discover all the ways you can get involved.  It truly doesn’t take much to save a life!

-By Bea Lozano