Physically, this is a strange island. It goes from sea level at the north end to these cliffs at the south end. The rise in elevation is so gradual, one hardly notices it. The south end used to be a windblown, desolate place. Nothing there but an old lighthouse and a path leading to the very tip of the island. There used to be a Mayan altar of some kind there but it was totally destroyed during Hurricane Gilbert in 1988. It has since been rebuilt. Not to honor the Mayans, but to entice the tourists to pay an entrance fee into the park that is now located there.
So here's a look at what Dean did to these cliffs. This picture is looking back north, towards my house. The break you see was not there before. The south end is slowly falling into the sea.
This next picture is looking south. You are looking at several things in this picture. The first is the eastern most point of Mexico. In fact, a big celebration was held here on Jan. 1, 2000 to welcome the first sunrise of the new millenium over Mexico. Secondly, see all those pieces of artwork? The island leased this end of the island to a Japanese firm to develop tourism. They have a 99 year lease. The first thing they did was build this wall so that they could charge an admission to get all the way out to the southern most point of the island. Then they commissioned artists from all over the Yucatan to make these art objects. We know one of the artists. They were told that their pieces would be placed on the island for all people to enjoy. Yeah, right. For a price. These pieces were donated by the way.
But the point of this picture really is to show you what Dean did to the wall. See part of it now lying at the base of the cliff?
Here's a better look.
This island has been here for centuries untold but it is slowy falling into the sea. Just down the road from me, on the way to downtown, big chunks of cliff have again fallen away. Where they are still there, they are greatly eroded and in danger of falling. Yet tourists drive their golf carts as close as they can to the edges of these cliffs. Not realizing, I'm sure, that where they are standing could give way any second. And nobody seems to care. I guess it is going to take a tourist death to get the authorities to put up warning signs.
So if you come to Isla, enjoy the beauty here but stay away from cliff edges!