Imagine an island that once echoed with the cries of human suffering, a place where deprivation and lack of freedom were the order of the day. Now picture this: the very same island becoming an emblem of hope, learning, and most importantly, sustainability. No, this is not the plot of a new utopian novel; it's the story of Islas Marías, an archipelago off the coast of Mexico that has undergone a transformation so significant, it seems almost miraculous.
The genesis of this transformation can be traced back to February 2019 when President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (often referred to as AMLO) decreed the closure of the Islas Marías Federal Penitentiary Center. The place that had for years been a symbol of “repression, violation of human dignity, human rights abuses, and misuse of authority” would be repurposed. With the incarcerated population moved to mainland facilities, Islas Marías is rising like a phoenix, reborn as an Educational and Cultural Center that prepares the nation’s youth in sustainable environmental practices.