Photograph by Blane Perun

Cozumel

Cozumel is an island just off the coast of Mexico that was an important Maya stronghold, with origins reaching to the first centuries AD.

It was discovered by the Spanish in 1518. In 1520, the local population was infected with smallpox by the Spanish conquerors, leading to the death of the majority of the locals. It was a popular target for buccaneers, too, and that’s why the island was forcibly repopulated in the 1650’s to stop the pirate attacks, but the population was later evacuated.

It remained mostly uninhabited until 184,7 when Mayan rebels settled on the island. Cozumel now has a population of over 100,000 and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the area.

Blane Perun

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Whale in Ocean