Tolantongo Thermal Resort Cooperative: What Is the Difference?
By Jock Ferguson
The Center for Global Justice returns to the wonderful Grutas de Tolantongo thermal resort, ecological site, and cooperative Tuesday, November 17, to Friday, November 20.
Tue, Nov 17-Fri, Nov 20
An unpretentious thermal resort in a breathtaking canyon around four hours drive from San Miguel, the Cooperativa Ejidal Grutas de Tolantongo offers walking trails through ecosystems ranging from tropical to desert, a grotto warmed by volcanism, pools of all sizes and kinds, and a zip line for fast descent to the river.
Visitors are welcomed not by employees but worker-owners of one of Mexico’s vanguard worker cooperatives. The result is a safe, clean, and democratic operation with a human touch. Tolantongo is noted for its advanced practice of annual job switching: this year’s ticket-taker can be next year’s general manager.
Tolantongo’s website (www.grutastolantongo.com.mx) gives a feel for the steep, kilometer-deep box canyon. At its closed end is a tennis-court sized grotto from which flows a mineral-blue warm river. You can sit in the cave and get showered by the warm water flowing down, or in armchairs downstream formed by centuries of flow.
Participants in Center trips stay in the appropriately named Hotel Paraiso, the highest of three hotel-restaurants at Tolantongo with 174 rooms. It is the smallest and features natural infinity hot tubs that cling to the canyonside in the shade of ironwood trees. Departure from the Center will be at 9am sharp on Tuesday, November 17.
While Tolantongo attracts up to 6,000 people on weekends, many of whom camp by the riverside, it is “undiscovered” by the Cancun crowd. Global Justice has for years visited mid-week, accumulating knowledge of the co-op and of both sides of the warm riverbed with their varieties of plants, cactus, fruit trees, and species of birds.
Documentarist and Center board member Atahualpa Caldera has made Cooperativa Ejidal Grutas de Tolantongo an evocation of Tolantongo’s unique combination of natural beauty and deeply human production methods. It will premier soon!
Cost of the guided trip, 3,500 pesos per person, is discounted for drivers who take passengers. This charge includes daily entrance fees, hotel, and all meals. If commercial transportation is needed, add approximately 700 pesos more person. Please register as soon as possible: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 415 150 0025. Cash payment in full is due before Saturday, November 14, at the Center office at Calzada de la Luz 42, open Monday-Friday, 5-9pm.