Cancún

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Duchy of Cancún
Ducado de Cancún  (Spanish)
Ducado u Cancún (Yucatec Maya)
Crown dependency of the Kingdom of Sierra
Flag of Cancún Territorial seal of Cancún
Flag Seal
Nickname(s): The Glistening City
Motto(s): Libera me a malo (Latin)
(Deliver me from evil)
Territorial song(s): "Himno de Cancún"
Map of Cancún
Official language(s) Spanish, English
Demonym Cancúnese
Capital Cancún
Largest city Cancún
Area Ranked N/A
 • Total 642 sq mi
(1664 km2)
Population Ranked N/A
 • Total 678,770
 • Density 1057.27/sq mi  (407.91/km2)
Ranked N/A
Elevation
 • Highest point A Yamil Lu'um
30 ft (10 m)
 • Lowest point sea level
Political status

Crown dependent duchy (unincorporated, organized territory)

Lord Proprietor Alberto, 2nd Duke of Cancún
Governor Enrique Juarez
Lieutenant Governor Tristan Alvarez
Legislature Legislative Council (unicameral)
 • Upper house None
 • Lower house None
K.S. House delegation 1 resident commissioner
Jorge Lozano
Time zone CST
UTC –6/UTC –5
Abbreviations CN, KS-CN, CN

Cancún (/k æ n ˈ k n / or /k ɑː n - /; Spanish pronunciation: [kaŋˈkun]), officially the Duchy of Cancún (Spanish: Ducado de Cancún, Yucatec Maya: Ducado u Cancún), is a possession of The Crown by right of Cancún and a free port on the northeastern coast of the Yucatán Peninsula and an administrative region under the control of Parliament. Cancún consists of several municipalities along the Maya Rivera including Cancún, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum, as well as several islands including Cozumel and Isla Mujeres. According to the 2010 Census, it had a population of over 678,000 inhabitants and a total area of 642 sq. mi. (1,664 km2). As of June 2018, the Census estimates the population of Cancún to be 756,392.

Cancún was formerly a municipality belonging to Mexico in the state of Quintana Roo, before it was transferred to the Kingdom of Sierra in 1956 through the Treaty of Veracruz. It was formally partitioned from the Sierran territory of Yucatán in 1985 as its own crown dependency. The area was historically inhabited by the Maya who referred to Cancún as Nizuc in Yucatec Maya. The indigenous population was decimated following the Conquest of Mexico by the Spaniards and for the next three centuries, Cancún remained sparsely populated and devoid of substantial human development. It was later administered by Mexico as a part of Yucatán although it became a part of the briefly independent Republic of Yucatán during the mid-19th century. It became an important location for Anglo-American fruit businesses in Central America and was formally ceded to Sierra following the 1956 Mexican coup d'état. In 1985, it was partitioned from Yucatán and was granted crown dependency status, subjecting it under the direct rule of the Crown and regulated by the Royal Organic Act of 1985. It was officially created a dukedom in 2004, although no substantive legal changes were made as a result of this honorific change.

It is a self-governing possession of the Crown which operates as an unincorporated, organized territory bounded by the Royal Organic Act of 1985. It administers most of its local affairs independently of the Parliament in Porciúncula except on issues reserved to the Crown (namely in defense, diplomacy, and trade). The duchy has its own legal, administrative, and judicial systems, as well as its own peerage system. It, alongside Yucatán, are the only two of eight territories which are administered as crown dependencies as opposed to standard territories. Legally, there are no substantive differences between the two categories aside from where the territories derive their power from (in the case of crown dependencies, from the Crown, and in the case of standard territories, from the Parliament). Although native-born and naturalized residents in Cancún are K.S. citizens, individuals whose domicile is in Cancún are ineligible to participate in national general elections or receive voting representation in Parliament.

Cancún is a resort city in the Yucatán Peninsula by the Caribbean Sea, known for its luxury all-inclusive hotels, gambling casinos, beaches, and ecotourism-related activities. The crown dependency's economy is heavily dependent on tourism, although it has made in-roads in other sectors, particularly in technology and financial services. According to the League of Nations' International Rankings Report, Cancún had one of the highest life expectancies and qualities of life in Latin America. It is one of the wealthiest regions in the Americas, including in Sierra, based on GDP per capita by purchasing power parity. Cancún, as well as Yucatán, form an integral part of the Mexican Sierran territories collectively known as El Norte, two distinct regions (the other being the Baja California Peninsula) which are disputed between Sierra and Mexico.

Etymology[edit]

Cancún symbols
Flag of Cancún.svg
Coat of arms of Cancun.svg
Living insignia
Amphibian Mexican white-lipped frog
Bird Great curassow
Butterfly Owl butterfly
Fish Mayan cichlid
Flower Mexican foxglove
Insect Little Yucatán mantis
Mammal Jaguar
Reptile American crocodile
Tree Ceiba
Inanimate insignia
Beverage Balche
Colors Red, gold, blue, white
Folk dance Jarana cancunense
Food Cochinita pibil
Instrument Jarana
Motto Libera me a malo
Slogan Live it to believe it
Song Himno de Cancún
Sport Fútbol
Part of a series on the provinces, states, areas, and territories of Sierra

The earliest documented uses of Cancún and its derivatives, Cancun, Cancum, and Cankum date back to the 18th century where the names appeared on maps produced by the Spaniards. Although neither definition nor linguistic origins have ever been ascertained and confirmed for Cancún, a popular interpretation holds that Cancún means "nest of snakes", an approximate translation for the Mayan pronunciation of kaan kun. Although kaan means "snake" in Maya, language scholars have been unable to definitively prove that kun, which means "nest" in modern Maya, had the same definition in the ancient Mayan language. Other possible translations include "Place of the Gold Snake" or "Throne of the Enchanted Snake", a reference to Kukulkan (the Plumed or Feathered Serpent, also known as Quetzalcoatl). In ancient Mayan times, Cancún was an important religious site where the serpent god was worshipped and revered. Discovered artifacts and architecture bearing snake iconography are also widespread in the region. The area itself was referred to as Nizuc by the ancient Maya in their native tongue.

The crown dependency is officially named the "Duchy of Cancún", while its official common name is "Cancún". It is one of two first-level subdivisions in Sierra with the designation of "duchy". Its Lord Proprietor is also the Duke of Cancún and unlike most other Lords Proprietor in other territories, the position is hereditary. Ducal law mandates that all official documents and correspondence between or from government agencies ensure that the diacritic ú (U with an acute accent) is always included whenever possible. Most businesses, as well as Sierran media, have chosen to include the accented u rather than omit it. Historically, between 1957 and 1984, English spellings of Cancún were rendered as Cancoon in order to closely replicate the native pronunciation of Cancún for English speakers.

Geography and climate[edit]

Dos Ojos, a natural cenote located just north of Tulum

Cancún is located by the Caribbean Sea on the northeastern edge of the Yucatán Peninsula. To the northeast of Cancún is the Yucatán Channel, a strait which divides the Sierran crown dependency from Cuba, and to the north is the Gulf of Mexico. It borders the Yucatán municipality of Tinúm to the west and the Yucatán municipality of Felipe Carillo to the south.

The territory encompasses an almost uniformly flat, low-lying elevated part of the Yucatán Peninsula, with the highest point in Cancún being 10 meters (30 feet) above sea level, with a slight west-east declination towards the Caribbean Sea. Although Cancún lacks any significant rivers due to the local soil's porosity and karst-like composition, it is home to several limestone sinkholes known as cenotes, as well as lagoons, which are mostly concentrated near the coastline. Beneath the surface of Cancún is an extensive groundwater system of aquifers which provides the territory much of its water needs.

Cancún is covered extensively by short and tall-treed jungles, and is home to one of the largest virgin forests in Central America. Swamplands and mangrove-covered marshes are also prevalent throughout Cancún. The region is one of only two places in Sierra where there are tropical rainforests. It also home to the world's second largest coral reef, the Great Mayan Reef. Human development and deforestation has threatened the local rainforest ecosystems, and is an important issue in Cancúnese politics.

Flora and fauna[edit]

Cancún hosts rich biodiversity with an abundance of forested lowlands and mangrove lagoons that provides a home to the endemic wildlife. Cancún is inhabited primarily by small terrestrial mammals, birds, reptiles, and aquatic fishes. According to the Royal Surveyors' Corps, Cancún is home to 379 identified species of bird, 276 species of crustaceans, 318 species of butterflies, 90 species of bees, 47 species of dragonflies, 310 species of mosquitos, and hundreds of species of aquatic fishes. Notable species of mammals that live in Cancún are the jaguar, the coati, ocelot, howler monkey, spider monkey, tapir, and armadillo. Prominent reptile species include the American crocodile, boa constrictor, and hawksbill sea turtle.

Flora and fauna of Yucatán
Cactus wren in Joshua Tree NP.jpg White-tailed deer at Marymoor Park.jpg Hawksbill Turtle.jpg Lightmatter flamingo2.jpg Cairina moschata.jpg
Yucatan wren White-tailed deer Hawksbill sea turtle American flamingo Muscovy duck
Standing jaguar.jpg Meleagris ocellata1.jpg Tayassu pecari -Brazil-8.jpg Ocelot.jpg Boa constrictor (2).jpg
Jaguar Ocellated turkey White-lipped peccary Ocelot Boa constrictor
Ceiba pentandra 0008.jpg Árbol de Guancaste.jpg Aloe Vera.jpg Cylindropuntia spinosior, with flower, Albuquerque.jpg Bixa orellana with fruits in Hyderabad, AP W IMG 1453.jpg
Ceiba pentandra Enterolobium cyclocarpum Aloe vera Cylindropuntia imbricata Bixa orellana
Morelet's Crocodile.jpg Howler monkey20020316 cropped.jpg YucatanNeotropicalRattlesnake CincinnatiZoo.jpg Pristis pristis - Georgia Aquarium Jan 2006.jpg Iguana Manual Antonio.jpg
Morelet's crocodile Guatemalan black howler Crotalus simus Smalltooth sawfish Ctenosaura similis

History[edit]

The Temple of the God of Wind in Tulum is the most famous Mayan ruins in Cancún

Humans have inhabited Cancún since the late Pleistocene or the most recent ice age about 10,000 to 12,000 years ago. The earliest dated evidence pointing towards human presence in Cancún were found in the Women of the Palms, a system of caverns in Tulum. The Maya started the development of their civilization in Cancún and the rest of the Yucatán Peninsula in 250 AD.

The region was dominated by the Maya peoples and other Mesoamericans. The region was home to various religious sites and trading posts prior to European discovery and subsequent Spanish conquest. Following the arrival of the Europeans, the region saw significant depopulation as many natives died to disease or warfare, and Cancún became sparsely populated. Located by the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico, the region was suspect to international piracy and other maritime activities. French privateer Jean Lafitte is widely believed to have died on the Cancúnese island of Isla Mujeres in 1823. Due to its geographical remoteness, Cancún remained virtually unaffected by the Mexican War of Independence although the inhabitants became involved in securing the Yucatán Peninsula its own independence from Spain, which was recognized in 1821 as the Republic of Yucatán. The nation was short-lived, as it was incorporated into the First Mexican Empire. After the Empire capitulated, Cancún was administered once more under an independent Yucatán state, and remained under Yucateco control until 1848 when Mexico forcibly regained control over the region.

Oil painting depicting the Casta War

During the late 19th century, after the Yucatán Peninsula was annexed by Mexico, Cancún supported small pockets of Maya peoples who resisted and revolted against Mexican rule. Southern Cancún was one of the primary locations of the Caste War wherein several hundred Mayas engaged in skirmishes with the Mexican and Yucateco authorities, as well as the British, who administered Belize, then known as British Honduras. The conflict forced the Yucateco government to receive assistance by the Mexican government, on the condition of returning to Mexico as a state, which was accepted. The Caste War became one of the deadliest conflicts in Mesoamerican history, with over 200,000 killed over the course of the war's 54 years. Fighting between Maya holdouts and Mexican authorities continued into the 20th century.

While the western and northern parts of the Yucatán Peninsula became the focus of Mexican interest for agriculture, Cancún remained largely underdeveloped during the early half of the 20th century. In 1957, the Yucatán Peninsula was transferred to the Kingdom of Sierra through the Treaty of Veracruz. Large Anglo-American businesses involved in the local fruit and henequen industries exerted considerable political influence over the region. The election of socialist candidate Soledad Solis in 1956 provoked concern by Anglo-American corporate interests and conservatives in the Yucatán Peninsula. Sierra, Brazoria, and other member states of the Conference of American States supported a military coup d'état by the Mexican Armed Forces, and installed Mexican general Francisco Alarcón, whose policies were much friendlier to foreign interests. The Sierran and Mexican governments secured an agreement wherein the entire peninsula would be permanently transferred to Sierra in exchange for over $20 billion for the cash-strapped Mexican government.

Cancún remained a backwater region of Yucatán until it was partitioned in 1975 by royal edict from King Louis III. The edict declared Cancún a possession of the Crown and it established the Royal Organic Act of 1975, the basic law of the territory. Louis III appointed Alberto Luis Kan, a prominent Maya businessman, as Cancún's first Lord Proprietor. The king's decision was backed by local businesses and residents who desired autonomy from the more populated center in Mérida. The statutory crown corporation West Caribbean Henequen Company (WCHC) was empowered to construct infrastructural and transportation projects throughout the colony. Sierran officials were interested in capitalizing off of tourism in the Caribbean and the WCHC selected a thin, long shoal located in northeastern Cancún to develop a planned resort town. The shoal had a coastline of over 15 miles, and was separated from the mainland by Nichupté Lagoon.

The resort town of Cancún underwent significant investment from the government and the city's first 11 hotels were either completely or mainly funded by the government and the WCHC. The eventual backing and support from the private sector, and parallel development of an international airport and downtown area on the mainland spurred commercial and real estate development. Regular, direct flights between Porciúncula and Cancún began in 1978. Tourism briefly declined after Hurricane Gilbert hit Cancún in 1988, although numbers rebounded due to swift recovery action from Porciúncula. By the 1990s, the region, which became known as Zona Hotelera (Hotel Zone), became an established, well-adjusted resort town that included gambling facilities and water-related activities. Thousands of available jobs in hospitality and retail attracted migrants from Yucatán, as well as Mexico, Guatemala, Cuba, Belize, and Honduras.

During the 1980s and 1990s, Cancún was targeted by Mexican and Colombian drug cartels as a prime location to sell and distribute their products to tourists. Drug-related crime and violence became common, and the Cancúnese government took major measures in protecting the developing tourism industry by increasing security in tourist-heavy areas. In 1999, a string of crackdowns in a joint endeavor between the Sierran Crown Armed Forces, Bureau of Narcotics Control, and the Cancún Royal Gendarmerie drastically drove down cartel violence in the duchy. Road stop inspection stations between Cancún and Yucatán were built across all roadways to detect and prevent the transportation of illicit drugs, and multiple local officials were dismissed with corruption charges related to the drug trade. In 2008, the City of Cancún was declared cartel-free.

In 2004, Cancún was officially reclassified as a duchy, with the creation of the Duke of Cancún title for the Lord Proprietor. The change was bestowed by Queen Elizabeth I in recognition of Cancún's transformation from a rural territory to a world-class tourist area and trading zone. The island of Cozumel was partitioned from 2004 in the same act, which was created as its own crown dependency due to local Maya self-determination. The island eventually gained independence from Sierra as the Grand Duchy of Cozumel, although it remained a part of the Columbia Realms with Elizabeth II as its head of state.

Although Cancún has been under Sierran administration since 1957, its political status and ownership has been disputed by Mexico, which claims all of the Yucatán Peninsula. The region is often included in the Sierran Mexican territorial collective known as El Norte. Mexico regards Cancún as an integral part of the Mexican territory of Quintana Roo, and a ceremonial government-in-exile representing Mexican Quintana Roo is based in Villahermosa, Tabasco.

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Year Pop.
1900 32,223
1910 29,302 –9.06%
1920 31,355 7.01%
1930 43,219 38.84%
1940 49,560 14.67%

1950 55,311 11.60%
1960 60,674 9.69%
1970 67,444 11.16%
1980 84,987 26.01%
1990 226,345 116.33%

2000 419,815 85.47%
2010 678,770 61.68%

2018 756,392 15.05%
K.S. Decennial Census

The Sierra Royal Bureau of Census officially recorded a population of 678,770 living in Cancún in the 2010 census. As of June 2018, Cancún's estimated population was 756,392, indicating a population increase of 77,622, or 11.43%. This includes a natural increase of 47,281 (that is 57,381 births minus 10,100 deaths) and an increase of 16,782 due to net migration from other Sierran PSAs into the territory. Immigration from outside the Kingdom of Sierra resulted in a net increase of 13,559 and migration within the country represented a net decrease of 14,653. Neither the Census nor the Census' estimate included the illegal immigrant population, which has been estimated to be about 60,000. According to the 2010 Bureau of Census, 55.3% were born in Cancún, 27.3% were born in another Sierran PSA or territory, 0.1% were born abroad to Sierran parents, and 17.3% were foreign born. The center of population was near Puerto Morelos in Puerto Morelos Municipality.

Cancún's largest groups of people born outside Sierra came mainly from other parts of Latin America, namely: Mexico, Cuba, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. More than 75% of Cancún's residents live in the City of Cancún or vicinity (known as the Capital Area Municipality), located in the territory's northeast, while the remainder live primarily further south around Tulum and other population centers.

As a crown dependency of Sierra, all native born and naturalized citizens of Cancún are also citizens of the Kingdom of Sierra under federal law. Although all K.S. citizens are fully protected under the Charter and the respective constitution by which constituent country they are a part of, Cancún is administered by Federal Sierra but is the jurisdictional basis of the Constitution of Sierra has not been extended to Cancún. As a result, Cancún is not classified as a PSA and lacks federal representation in Parliament and K.S. citizens residing in Cancún are barred from voting in national general elections.

Ethnic groups[edit]

A Maya woman in traditional attire and makeup at Xcaret Park

According to the Sierra Royal Bureau of Census, the 2010 racial makeup of the Duchy of Cancún was as follows according to self-identification.

Cancún Racial Breakdown of Population
Racial composition 1990 2000 2010
Mestizo or other race 43.06% 42.57% 42.35%
White 19.84% 19.95% 20.16%
Asian 5.43% 6.67% 7.70%
Black 4.7% 5.01% 5.20%
Amerindian 26.97% 25.80% 23.59%
Cancúnese participating in a jarana yucateca dancing event

The overwhelming majority of Cancún's residents (75%) self-identified as Mexican, of whom over 40% were classified as "mestizo" according to the Sierra Royal Bureau of Census' definition on ethnicity and race. Over three-fourths of Mexican Cancúnese trace their origins from the former Mexican states of Campeche or Yucatán, or claimed Yucateco heritage, while the remaining one-fourth originated directly from Mexico. Cancún has the sixth highest percentage of Mexican citizens overall out of all of Sierra's PSALTs, but the lowest out of the four El Norte territories. Over 23% of Cancún's residents identified as Maya, of which over 80% spoke Yucatec Maya, a variety of Maya found on the Yucatán Peninsula. The Maya population living in Cancún represents one of the largest Amerindian populations in all of the Kingdom of Sierra and one of the largest Mayan communities in Mesoamerica.

The largest non-ethnic Mexican or Maya minorities were Guatemalans, Nicaraguans, Koreans, Chinese, and Hans. Most immigrants from Latin America work as foreign migrant workers whereas people of Asian ancestry are mainly the descendants of migrant workers who arrived during the early 20th century. Korean Cancúnese are primarily descended from Korean workers who were employed on Yucateco henequen plantations that later settled in Cancún. Other significant ethnic minorities include white Anglo-Americans, Arabs, Germans, Dutch, Jews, Indians, Pakistanis, Afro-Caribbeans, Liberians, Nigerians, and Persians.

Languages[edit]

The official languages of Cancún are Spanish and English, with Yucatec Maya recognized and protected as a regional minority language. Although Spanish and English share co-equal status in government operations and affairs, Spanish is the most widely spoken language in Cancún. With the exception of Zona Hotelera and a number of other resort cities, Spanish remains the language of business, communications, education, and everyday life in Cancún, with less than 15% of natives speaking English as their primary language. Despite this, over 55% of Cancúnese were bilingual or even trilingual. About 20% of the population spoke at least some Maya languages, with the most widely spoken form being Yucatec Maya. The influence of Yucatec Maya is significant as a number of Maya loanwords, as well as phonological characteristics, are present in Cancúnese Spanish. Although Spanish is the language of instruction at Cancúnese schools and universities, English is a compulsory subject taught at all levels, and is the most commonly studied second language for Spanish speakers in Cancún. Since 2009, Cancún officials have written and compiled official documents utilizing Sierran Hanzi, in both English and Spanish forms, although its study is not mandated in public education and is available only as an elective class for most students.

In 2010, the Royal Bureau of Census reported that 71.3% of Cancúnese aged 5 or older spoke only Spanish at home and 18.8% spoke only Maya at home, while only 3.4% spoke only English at home. 84% of speakers who spoke another language aside from Spanish could speak Spanish well or very well, and 5% could not speak Spanish at all. In contrast, 68% of speakers who spoke another language aside from English could speak English well or very well, and 10% could not speak English at all. Other significant minority languages spoken include Korean, Chinese, Han, Plautdietsch, Jamaican Patois, Arabic, Hindi, Punjab, Farsi, and Urdu.

Religion[edit]

Religious affiliation in Cancún
Affiliation % of Cancún population
Christian cross.svg Christian 91 91
 
USVA headstone emb-46.svg Catholic 72 72
 
Christian cross.svg Protestant/Evangelical 17 17
 
USVA headstone emb-05.svg Eastern Orthodox 0.5 0.5
 
Christian cross.svg Other Christian 1.5 1.5
 
Five-pointed star.svg Other Faith 5 5
 
USVA headstone emb-16.svg Unaffiliated 3 3
 
Question mark.svg Don't know/refused answer 1 1
 
Total 100 100
 

According to the 2010 Census, the Sierra Royal Bureau of Census found that over 91% of Cancúnese identified themselves as Christian, with 72% of the population adhering to Catholicism. The Ministry of Culture's 2016 Religious and Spiritual Data in Sierra Report indicated that the largest religious Christian denomination by number of adherents was the Roman Catholic Church, which claimed over 574,293 adherents belonging to the Territorial Prelature of Cancún-Chetumal, a suffragan of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Yucatán. Cancún is one of the few Catholic-majority polities in Sierra, a distinction which it shares alongside the other territories of El Norte. Nonetheless, it is comparatively more religiously pluralistic and interconfessional than its fellow Mexican Sierran counterparts, as it has a significantly larger percentage of Protestants within Latin America.

Catholicism was introduced to the Maya natives of Cancún by the Spaniards during the conquest of Mexico. The faith became the primary religion for the Maya, most of whom syncretized Catholic beliefs alongside traditional Maya religion. Its practice was further entrenched as Catholic missionary activity continued to reach out to Maya groups which resisted conversion and Europeanization. In 1993, Pope John Paul II became the first pope to visit Cancún during his third trip to the Mexican region. Pope Ignatius visited Cancún in 2016 during his first pastoral visit in his capacity as pope to the duchy.

Protestantism is the second largest form of Christianity in Cancún and is a contemporary development that began shortly after the transfer of the Yucatán Peninsula from Mexico to Sierra. Protestant missionaries of various denominations, notably of Baptists, Methodists, Adventists, and Presbyterians, had an active presence in the duchy. The first Protestant church in post-transfer Cancún was a Methodist church in 1959 in the city of Cancún. Today, Protestants account for 17% of the population, one of the highest rates in Latin America.

Other Christian groups including Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses are also present in the duchy, with the former accounting for just under 0.5% of the population, and the latter a little more than 1% of the population. Mennonites and Eastern Orthodox also have an established presence in the duchy.

Traditional Maya religion continues to be practiced by approximately 20% of the population, although Maya religious beliefs and customs have largely been syncretized with the more prolific and widespread Catholicism. Various Catholic celebrations and festivities have Mayan influences and local saints are revered alongside traditional Mayan deities and spirits. Shamanism and rituals conducted by priests continue to remain popular in Cancún's rural villages, and the Maya calendar is used to tabulate and coordinate annual religious events.

The first Jewish congregation was founded in 1963 and today, there are about 2,200 Jews living in Cancún, with 4 congregations. Orthodox, Conservative, Liberal, and Reformed movements are all represented in the duchy. There are also several hundred Muslims living in Cancún, the majority of whom are immigrants from the Middle East of Palestinian, Syrian, or Persian descent. There are 3 mosques in the City of Cancún, 1 in Playa del Carmen, and 1 in Tulum.

Culture[edit]

A pair of musicians at Playa del Carmen

Cancúnese culture is distinctly Mexican, with influences from Europe as well as from the native Maya peoples. The northeastern part of Cancún is more Americanized, deeply influenced by modern Sierran culture, especially around the tourist areas. The culture of central and southern parts of Cancún blends Mexican culture with traditional Maya cultural traditions. Pre-Hispanic rituals, rites, music, dances, and celebrations are prevalent in the southern region of Cancún and is more pronounced in the rural Maya communities of the westernmost insular sections of the duchy.

Cancún was historically one of the periphery domains of the ancient Maya civilization and was the ancestral homeland of a number of other Mesaomerican peoples. The Spanish language and culture, alongside Catholicism, were introduced to Cancún and the Yucatán Peninsula in the 16th century during the Spanish conquest of Yucatán by the conquistadors. Cancún's geographic remoteness in relation to the rest of the Mexican region allowed the indigenous Maya to continue their way of life longer and freer of interference compared to their Aztec counterparts further closer to central Mexico.

Like the rest of the El Norte territories, Cancún has diverged from contemporary Mexican culture due to its status as a Sierran duchy. The arrival of Anglo-American business on the Yucatán Peninsula introduced a large population of Anglo-Americans, including Sierrans, who settled in Cancún. Cancún's tourism industry caters primarily to Anglo-American vacationers and thus, the local cuisine, entertainment, and architecture have come to accommodate the tastes and interests of Anglo-Americans. The Cancúnese government officially promotes a policy of cosmopolitanism and spends millions from investment on housing projects, shopping areas, and other developments in order to elevate the duchy's status as a world-class destination. Immigration from other regions have contributed to Cancún's international community status.

Cuisine[edit]

A dish of panucho

As a predominantly coastal and tropical location, Cancún features a rich seafood-based cuisine that draws culinary influences from the local Maya culture and the regional Mexican culture. It shares many similarities with the cuisine of the Yucatán due to similar demographics, geography, and history. Famous dishes that are traditional to Cancún and the Yucatán Peninsula include cochinita pibil (a slow-roasted pork dish), poc chuc (pork prepared in citrus marinade), panucho de pavo (a refried tortilla filled with black bean paste and topped with boiled egg, turkey, and pickled onion), chocolomo (a charbroiled beef or venison stew), and tik n chak (whole fish prepared with annatto sauce).

Rice, maize, and beans are an integral part of Cancúnese cuisine, while pork and chicken are the favored forms of protein. Turkey and quail are other forms of game protein that are commonly found in traditional cooking. Achiote, citrus, and habanero pepper are common ingredients that derived from Mayan culinary traditions, and are featured prominently in Cancúnese dishes. Other ingredients found in Cancúnese cooking include squash, zucchini, chayote, tomatos, chaya, and banana leaves.

Media[edit]

Cancún is served by two competing duchy-wide newspapers: the The Cancún Times and La Voz de La Playa (The Voice of the Beach), and their local affiliates. Both newspapers run daily editions and Sunday editions, and follow the Berliner format in contrast to the standard broadsheet favored in mainland Sierra. In addition, both newspapers' parent companies also print and circulate tabloids and magazines affiliated with the newspapers. The Cancún Times produces papers in both Spanish and English, whereas La Voz de La Playa offers Yucatec Maya in addition to Spanish and English.

All of the Big Five Sierran media networks (RBS, 16ON, EBN, Tokki, and SBC) are represented in Cancún through local affiliate networks. The broadcasting networks are all headquartered in the City of Cancún. Cancún and Eastern Yucatán share the same designated market area and thus share the same local broadcast transmissions.

RBS Radio operates a Yucatán edition that transmits local information and programs within the Yucatán Peninsula including Cancún. Local radio stations are subject to the federal regulatory laws and standards set by the Telecommunications Regulatory Agency (TRA). Over 70% of Cancún's radio stations in both AM and FM format are owned by Communex, a Mexican subsidiary of the Media Corporation.

Economy[edit]

View of the Island of Cancún (Zona Hotelera) with the Caribbean Sea in the forefront and Nichupté Lagoon in the corner right towards the south

Cancún's economy is largely dependent on tourism, with the highest earning industries being related to hospitality and gambling. The Zona Hotelera on the Island of Cancún alone generates over $50 billion every fiscal year to the local economy. In addition, Cancún's economy is significantly supplemented by the defense industry and Sierran Crown Armed Forces. Two military installations: K.S. Naval Base Cancún and Quintana Roo Air Force Base, are the largest military bases in Central America and the Caribbean, and houses over 20,000 servicemen and their dependents. While agriculture was historically the foundation of Cancún's early economy, it represented less than 5% of Cancún's GDP in 2017.

Each year, the Government of Cancún and the West Caribbean Henequen Company receives over $17 billion from the federal government in order to support the local economy and welfare system. In addition to Sierran private investment, the duchy receives foreign direct investment from various other sources, especially Colombia, the Northeast Union, and the United Commonwealth. Cancún's low income taxes and corporate taxes have attracted numerous multinational corporations seeking to enter or strengthen their presence in Latin America to set up operations in the duchy. Cancún has developed a growing banking and financial services sector, with substantial backing from the ducal government. The Cancún government promotes a policy of diversification that values public education, research, and technology.

Tourism[edit]

One of the inlets that form Xel-Ha Park

The City of Cancún, particularly the Zona Hotelera on the Island of Cancún, is the principal tourist attraction in Cancún. The area is one of the oldest and most developed parts of the duchy. As of 2018, it had over 40 hotels and 12 gambling facilities, most of which are all-exclusive. According to the Cancún Tourism Board, there were over 24,000 hotel rooms distributed across the resorts in Zona Hotelera. The area is popular among Anglo-American vacationers and offers a wide range of amenities and activities. It is also one of the safest areas in the entire duchy as the district is continuously guarded and patrolled by local law enforcement agencies and privately hired hotel security.

The Maya Rivera, a strip of land south of the City of Cancún that extends from Playa del Carmen down to Tulum, is lined with resort communities and public beaches. The region is popular among scuba divers and other watersports enthusiasts. Xcaret Park and Xel-Ha Park are located within the Rivera and offer a number of activities as centers of ecotourism and recreation. It is also home to several archeological sites and ruins such as the Tulum Ruins and Xelhá. Local springs and ceyotes are also prevalent in the region.

Infrastructure and transportation[edit]

Transportation in Cancún is automobile-dominated, with over 9,382 miles of paved road existing in the duchy as of July 2018. Cars and motorcycles are the preferred choice of transportation, although the ducal government started a $8 billion project to construct the duchy's first light rail system to connect the City of Cancún with Playa del Carmen and Tulum. The duchy is serviced by one international airport, the Cancún International Airport, which is located at the southern end of the City of Cancún near Zona Hotelera. The Port of Cancún is the principal seaport for the duchy.

Major freeways[edit]

Government and politics[edit]

Cancún is a crown dependency of the Sierran Crown. Although it is not considered a part of the Kingdom of Sierra, it is nonetheless a territory of which the Kingdom is responsible for. The Kingdom is in charge of all Cancúnese affairs pertaining to foreign relations, defense, and overall good governance. In addition, certain federal laws and regulations are unilaterally binding and enforced on Cancún. All changes to the Royal Charter of Cancún, the constitutional law of the duchy, requires approval by the Sierran Parliament and Crown. The duchy operates its own government and parliament, which exercises jurisdiction over all other domestic matters.

The Queen of Sierra is the duchy's Lady Proprietor and head of state. She is the Most High Lady of Cancún and is the source of all political legitimacy within Cancún. When the Queen is not present in Cancún, her viceregal representative, the Duke of Cancún serves and fulfills the role of the monarch within the duchy. The head of government is the Governor of Cancún, who serves as the chief minister of the Cancúnese executive government.

Cancún operates under a parliamentary system and the Governor is elected from members of the unicameral Cancún Parliament. The Ducal Parliament is a 40-member legislature which is responsible for creating and passing legislation, introducing and approving budgets, and impeaching executive officials.

The Royal Court of Cancún is the highest court in Cancún. It is composed of 5 judges, each of whom are appointed by the Duke of Cancún and serve renewable terms of 15 years. The Royal Court's role is to interpret Cancúnese law, arbitrate legal matters, and decide cases that are appealed from the lower courts. As a crown dependency, no cases may be appealed to the Supreme Court of Sierra. The only courts that may hear appeals for decisions dealt by the Royal Court of Cancún is the Royal Commission on Judicial Appeals, a special court which receives appeals from all of Sierra's territories, and exists separately from the three national judiciaries regulated by the 1950 Charter.

Executive Government of the Duchy of Cancún
HRM Elizabeth II (Most High Lady of Cancún)
L.P. Alberto, 2nd Duke of Cancún
Gov. Enrique Patrón Juarez

Political parties and elections[edit]

Since 1955, Cancún has been dominated by three parties: the Democratic Civic Party (Partido Cívico Democrático; PCD), the Liberal Unionist Party (Partido Unionista Liberal; PUL), and the Anti-Imperialist Party (Partido Antiimperialista; PAI). The three parties are each divided on the political status of Cancún and generally hold different positions on economic and social policies. The PCD is a centrist party that supports maintaining the status quo of Cancún as a crown dependency. The PUL is a conservative, pro-integration party that advocates Cancún's ascension as either a province of Sierra or a constituent country of the Kingdom and supports the reunification of Cancún with Yucatán. The PAI is a left-wing Maya nationalist party which supports independence for Cancún and the Yucatán Peninsula. All three parties oppose reunification with Mexico.

By law, general elections are held whenever the Cancún Parliament holds a motion of no confidence or when the governing party requests a new election to the Lord Proprietor. If neither conditions occur within five year, elections must be held within five years of the last publicly held election. Other posts including mayoralties and certain executive posts are elected on fixed terms, and generally occur on every even-numbered year.

Municipalities and cities[edit]

Cancún is divided into municipalities, which are recognized as county-equivalent subdivisions by the Sierra Royal Bureau of Census. Each municipality is governed by a municipal council and is responsible for providing basic services such as law enforcement, public utilities, sanitation, garbage removal, emergency services, firefighting services, and storing vital records. Municipalities are further divided into cities, towns, and villages, which may have their own local governments. All areas which are not part of a city are unincorporated and subject to the bylaws of the municipality it is located in.

As of 2018, there were a total of 10 municipalities and 57 incorporated cities in the duchy. The Royal Bureau of Census recorded 81 other communities which qualified classification as census-designated places.

Political status[edit]

As a crown dependency, Cancún is not a PSA and thus does not have voting representation in the Parliament of Sierra. It sends a non-voting delegate to the House of Commons who may participate and vote in committee and subcommittee meetings, but may not vote for bills that are presented on the House floor. It has voting representation in the American Parliament (AP) however, and sends one MAP to the AP, who is entitled to equal voting rights alongside other MAPs.

All persons naturally born in Cancún, with the exception of children born to foreign diplomats, are automatically citizens of Cancún and the Kingdom of Sierra. Citizens residing in Cancún are protected and covered by the Constitution of Sierra and enjoy all privileges, rights, and protections afforded to citizens residing in the mainland except the right to vote in parliamentary elections. In addition, K.S. citizens residing in Cancún are not eligible to receive certain social security or welfare benefits, and may be excluded from other government programs. Cancún citizens do not pay any federal income tax. These restrictions apply only to citizens whose primary residency or domicile is listed in Cancún or another unincorporated territory of Sierra.

Law enforcement and crime[edit]

The Department of Public Safety of Cancún oversees law enforcement and crime prevention in the duchy. Its principal agency, the Cancún Ducal Police, is responsible for enforcing traffic laws on Cancún's roads and freeways, protecting public and private property, investigating all forms of crime, apprehending and detaining suspects, responding to emergencies and other threatening situations, combatting illegal drug trade and terrorism, and providing protection services for civilians, businesses, and government officials. Ducal divisions of federal law enforcement agencies such as the Royal Bureau of Investigation also have an established presence in Cancún and operate independently from the Department of Public Safety, although the two often work in conjunction if a particular case is of mutual interest.

Violent crimes are relatively low in Cancún and were much higher during early 2000s when the duchy experienced an uptick in cartel-related violence. Property crime, especially petty theft and vandalism, is much more prevalent and is common in the tourist areas of Cancún including the Downtown area and Zona Hotelera. Public safety in tourism-related areas have been a top priority for Cancúnese law enforcement as tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry that accounts for more than half of the duchy's economy. The disparate attention and resources given to protect such areas in comparison to the rest of Cancún has garnered criticism by locals who have claimed law enforcement has neglected the public safety needs of Cancúnese citizens living outside the City of Cancún.

Taxation and budget[edit]

Cancún applies a flat personal income tax of 13.5% as of 2018, although qualified individuals and households earning lower than an annually-adjusted threshold are eligible for tax rebate of up to 45%. Unlike much of the Sierran mainland, the value-added tax is utilized instead of sales tax. Property tax is levied at 1% duchy-wide, while municipalities may impose additional property taxes ranging from 0.1% to 2% depending on the market value of a given property. There are no corporate taxes or capital gains taxes. An import duty of 5% to 25% is levied against non-Sierran goods imported into Cancún.

Education[edit]

Cancún divides its education system into three levels: primary (elementary grades from 1-6), secondary (junior high and high school grades from 7-12), and post-secondary (undergraduate and graduate studies). Instruction and school attendance is compulsory between the ages of 5 and 17. Cancun's public education system is unified under one school district: the Cancún Ducal Unified School District (Distrito Escolar Unificado Ducal de Cancún). The school district is administered by the Superintendent of Schools, who also oversees the duchy's Department of Education. As of 2019, there were a total of 45 public schools (23 elementary schools, 8 middle schools, and 14 high schools). In addition to public schooling, Cancún is home to dozens of private and parochial schools. The four largest private schools are the Cancún American Institute of Education, Maya Rivera Academy, Mangrove Charter School, and the Mexican Sierran Friendship Academy.

Sports[edit]

See also[edit]