lifestyle, travel This is Cozumel

The second in our series of "Did You Know?" articles about Cozumel.

While pearls have been cultured in many parts of the world, until recently, the Caribbean wasn't one of them.

Cozumel pearl farm
Cozumel pearl farm.

Difficulties with water temperature and oyster species have plagued many that tried, but now one Mexican family is finding success at the only operating pearl farm in the Caribbean. And it's in Cozumel.

After considerable environmental research along the coasts of Mexico and the Caribbean, the Caamaño family decided to base their pearl farm dream in the north of Cozumel.

First established in 2001, it got off to a shaky start as Hurricane Wilma destroyed everything just 2 years later.

Cozumel oyster farm
Located on a deserted white sand beach.

Undeterred, father and son, Francisco and Pancho, applied their knowledge as engineers to develop a new underwater system, which now anchors their precious oyster crops to the sea bed even in hurricane conditions.

Meanwhile, daughter Isabel, the biologist in the group, traveled across the world in her bid to learn more about the cultivation process from experts at pearl farms in the South Pacific.

Cozumel pearls
Visitors snorkel to see the pearl hatchery and cages.

Finally, after a lot of patience and investment, the family effort started to pay off and recently they have harvested the very first pearls from their chosen oyster species, Pinctada radiata.

Although they hope to have a strong commercial future, this is still a friendly family business that works hard to protect the environment they work in and they are commited to taking good care of their surroundings.

Caribbean pearl farm
The Caamaño family at their pearl farm.

Small tour groups are now received at the pearl farm's eco-friendly visitor center, where they collect rainwater for the bathrooms and use windpower to produce electricity.

Fascinated visitors learn about the long cultivation process as they are shown personally around the farm's lab and see some of the island's first farmed pearls, before having the chance to snorkel the oyster hatchery and cages personally.

Pearl farm in Cozumel
Guests have time to enjoy a stretch of the island's unhabitated coast line.

Afterwards, rich with their new knowledge, guests also have time to enjoy a largely unknown stretch of the island's unhabitated coast line with wonderful deserted white sand beaches. Not to mention a fabulous beach barbeque lunch.

The Caamaño family have shown great resilience and persistence to get where they are today. Now you can share in their pearly-white success too, as they invite you to come and visit them at the Caribbean's only pearl farm, right here in Cozumel.

Find information and make reservations for the pearl farm tour or see more photos in our Cozumel Pearl Farm tour album on Facebook.

Related News:

20% Off Cozumel Pearl Farm Tour Jun 19, 2012.

Did You Know? Harvey Oswald May Have Been in Cozumel May 11, 2012.