Leona Vicario, México - El Eden Map
El Eden is located 30 miles to the NW of the City of Cancun and 15 miles to the north of the town of Leona Vicario, in the outstanding bioregion known as "Yalahau" (in Maya means "where the water is born") at the northeast tip of the Yucatan Peninsulan. The Cancun-Merida highway has to be taken to reach it. It has an extension of 2,000 ha and it is located at 21º 13’ N y 87º 11’ W at an altitude of 5 to l0 m above sea level. In addition to El Eden, this region includes the protected areas of Ria Lagartos, Isla Contoy and Yum Balam.
The central activity of the Reserve is the research programs in biodiversity conservation, ecological restoration and wildlife management. They are aimed at basic information needs of management and conservation of protected areas of the region.
The research facilities include a field station, a 12 m height observatory tower, three lab areas, a greenhouse and permanent areas for experimental ecology studies. There are also rustic trails and permanent plots for biodiversity monitoring in the main habitats of the reserve.
A full solar-panel system supplies the research station and dormitories with energy. Funds for the lab, the greenhouse and the solar-panel system were provided by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the National Science Foundation (NSF).
The central hut “La Sabana Research Station” was built to accommodate scientists and occasional visitors with the basic facilities such as kitchen, baths, dormitories, a meeting room and a radio communication system. Four rustic palapa-dormitories are available for visitors and workers.
Recently, a concrete hut with 2 dormitories and 2 labs was built. –Sponsored by the Procuraduría Federal de Protección al Ambiente (PROFEPA) (Office of the Judge Advocate General for Environmental Protection). The hut also serves as a hurricane shelter.