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Mancora: Place of paradise or chaos?

Agnes Rivera

Lack of urban planning and a boom in tourism have led this Piura city out of control.

Mancora: Place of paradise or chaos?

(Photo: El Comercio)

The sun still shines on Piura’s popular beach town Mancora, though it may be hard to see through the clutter of umbrellas that fill the sandy shores.

Once sparsely populated with surfers, the past decade has seen the northern town evolve into a resort hot spot, with a boom in “urban demographic, the unbridled construction of cement truncheons, the appearance of street vendors and the laziness of authorities who have avoided abiding the laws,” according to El Comercio.

Ralph Zapata, a Piura correspondent for the national paper, writes of the town’s chaotic downward spiral, a devolution from tranquil, white sand beaches to a packed parade of partiers, pets, ATVs and informal vendors. An 18-hour bus ride from Lima, the town has seen a sporadic growth of restaurants, bars and clubs to entertain seasonal tourists.

“We don’t have an urban development plan,” the district mayor, Florencio Olibos admitted. He also commented on the lack of budget or personnel to keep things orderly.

Just last week, photos of a trashed beach in Mancora went viral, causing indignation for the apparent lack of culture and respect.

The mayor mentioned that he is coordinating plans to save the beach from further destruction, including fines for those who litter, and installing large trash bins close to the beach. Although the fight won’t be easy, Olibos assures his town that “we will recuperate the beach.”

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