Where Ecotourism May Save A Jungle

Pigs amble along steep streets in San Andres, on the edge of Central America's largest remaining tropical forest, the Maya Biosphere Reserve. In sweltering heat, the animals collapse in doorways or burrow into ditches. Small girls walk past them, toting bowls of corn kernels to be mashed into dough for tortillas. Women wade waist-deep in Lake Itza Peten to rub clothing clean on submerged rocks. But signs of modern development are intruding on this rustic scene: Water pipes are being installed. Cable TV blares out. A few modern appliances, such as washing machines and VCRs, are visible.

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