Ciudad Campeche, Campeche — The capital’s Historic Center, with its colonial homes, public artwork and various restaurants and shops, has had a rough 10 years.
While still a viable tourist attraction, Campeche’s Centro Historico has suffered the ravages of modernity and a seemingly unending economic crisis, leaving some properties vacant and stores struggling to remain open.
In the first frame of the city, it is hard not to notice the large number of “Se Vende” signs, indicating houses for sale, as well as commercial premises for rent as well as uninhabited properties left to decay.
Campeche’s Centro isn’t particularly large, but it’s always been known to be colorful, clean and pretty. Inside the walls, built hundreds of years ago to protect it from pirates, six streets criss-cross with eight more. At least 71 houses are for rent or sale within.
Becoming a UNESCO World Heritage Site 20 years ago restricts homeowners’ abilities to rehab them as they wish, reports Tribuna Campeche, indicating a negative impact on property values.
Business life is no better. Merchants report a decrease in sales exceeding 50%, and they blame it on visitors’ declining purchasing power as well as the Centro’s limited parking.
Rosa Fuentes Chablé, a grocer on Calle 12, said that the situation has worsened in the last 10 years, and ticks off numerous reasons.
“We were greatly affected by the departure of schools,” said Fuentes Chable, siting a secondary school, as well as trade schools that taught hospitality and culinary skills. “Then came the departure of federal agencies, business organizations and even headquarters of political parties, but what is killing us is lack of parking, it is impossible for people to park their cars.”
Business owners also face rising taxes and energy costs.
Last year was bad, this year is worse, said Laura Patron Hernandez, who owns a frame shop called Marcos Laris.
“Campeche is the state with the worst economy in the country, because it has no industry,” said Patron Hernandez, “and if you add to this that people do not have money, we are really desperate.”
Source: Tribuna Campeche