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Monthly Archives: March 2010

Is it ‘Poblado’ or ‘Pueblo’? It’s a tale of transformation

Posted 3/25/2010 by Juanito

Here’s a question for those who live in the resort community of Puerto Aventuras: What should we rightfully call the community across the highway? Most call it… the “Poblado”. Some refer to it as… “Puerto Aventuras Norte” (North). Others simply say… “across the highway”. But, in recent years, the poblado has changed immensely. It has its own government, police department, schools, shops, cable TV system, and boasts explosive growth in the construction of new homes. In other words, it’s a community greatly transformed since its creation in the 1980’s and many of its current residents would like it to be recognized by a name rather than labeled as “the poblado.” And, it seems the Mexico Department of Transportation agrees, because according to recently added highway signs, our former “poblado” has been elevated to “pueblo” status.

So, let’s test your Spanish. What is the difference between a poblado, a pueblo and a ciudad? A “Poblado” is defined as…“a small community established to support a larger complex.” And, in fact, that description fits the town located just across the highway from the resort community of Puerto Aventuras. When Mexican Architect Roman Rivera Torres had the vision in the mid 1980’s to create a private residential resort community along the coastline of the Riviera Maya, permission was granted on the condition that a poblado would also be created across the highway so as to provide sufficient services and living space to accommodate the high number of people who were expected to migrate here for employment. As you travel through Mexico and Central America it’s common to pass small villages, typically inhabited by natives that are marked only by a sign asking that you please drive cautiously when approaching the “Poblado”.

Look around next time you see one and invariably you’ll find some other venture, typically a large industrial complex, farming operation or tourism site near by. This is different from a “Pueblo”, which refers to a small town, with a municipal government and a long history of tradition. Poblado’s have been constructed more recently and inhabitants we’re drawn by employment opportunity. Now, we come to the word “ciudad”, which is an entirely different elephant. By that, I mean, we are talking big! The difference between a “pueblo” and a “ciudad” is all about size. Cancun is a ciudad! End of lesson.

Speaking from the Complejo Turistico Puerto Aventuras side, (although I would have chosen Puerto Aventuras Marina as the name), I congratulate my brethren across the highway for achieving Pueblo Puerto Aventuras status. An honor well deserved!

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