The statewide population is expanding at a rapid rate due to the construction of hotels and the demand for workers. Many migrants come from Yucatán, Campeche, Tabasco, and Veracruz. The state is frequently hit by severe hurricanes due to its exposed location, the most recent and severe being Hurricane Dean in 2007, which made landfall with sustained winds of 280 km/h (170 mph), with gusts up to 320 km/h (200 mph).
The area that makes up modern Quintana Roo was long part of Yucatán, sharing its history. With the Caste War of Yucatán, which started in the 1840s, all non-natives were driven from the region. The independent Maya nation of Chan Santa Cruz was based on what is now the town of Felipe Carrillo Puerto. For decades it maintained considerable independence, having separate trade and treaty relationships with British Honduras, now Belize.
Quintana Roo was made a territory of Mexico by decree of President Porfirio Díaz on November 24, 1902. It was named after an early patriot of the Mexican Republic, Andrés Quintana Roo. The Mexican army succeeded in defeating most of the Maya population of the region during the 1910s. In 1915 the area was again declared to be legally part of the state of Yucatán.
Quintana Roo was granted statehood within the United Mexican States on October 8, 1974. It is the Mexican Republic's youngest state.
The city of Cancún is a major tourist resort in Quintana Roo
According to the Köppen climate classification, much of the state has a tropical wet and dry climate (Aw) while the island of Cozumel has a tropical monsoon climate (Am). The mean annual temperature is 26 °C (78.8 °F). The hottest months are April and August where the average high is 33 °C (91.4 °F) while January is coldest month with an average low of 17 °C (62.6 °F). Extreme temperatures can range from low of 10 °C (50.0 °F) in the coldest months to 36 °C (96.8 °F) in the hottest months. Quintana Roo averages 1,300 mm (51 in) of precipitation per year, which falls throughout the year, though June to October are the wetter months.Hurricanes can occasionally hit the coastal areas during the hurricane season, particularly from September to November.
Quintana Roo's tourist boom began in the 1970s.Tourism resulted in the development of coastal hotels and resorts, in addition to ecotourism inland and in coastal regions, which have increased the development of the region as well as the gross domestic product. Quintana Roo ranks sixth among Mexican states according to the United Nations Human Development index (HDI).
The Yucatán Peninsula is one of the most forested areas of the world in terms of biotic mass per hectare. However, anthropological, biological and governmental experts have determined that Quintana Roo is 'facing a faunal crisis'. Many medium to large game animals are disappearing due to hunting and habitat loss. While its population is relatively small, Quintana Roo is experiencing both a population influx and an increase in tourism. This only increases the pressure on the plants and animals native to the area.
Also affected by the loss of habitat due to both agriculture and development, birds are one of the region's most varied animal assets. Hundreds of species reside in Quintana Roo permanently, with hundreds of others either wintering there or using it as a stopover on the long journey into South America. As a result, many birders come to the area annually in search of the rare and unexpected.
Many blame the environmental damage in Quintana Roo on either the regional government or outside investors. However, resorts and hotels in Quintana Roo have created jobs and increased economic activity, which in turn has resulted in growth.
Projections for the tourism economy of Quintana Roo were exceedingly optimistic. It houses multiple tourist attractions from the Maya ruins to the lush forests and beautiful beaches. However, the long-term effects were not foreseen. The effect on the local environment was not properly considered. Economic stresses of development and population were virtually ignored. The effect on the native population was not properly considered. The 'economicmarginalization' of the Maya has had drastic effects on their sense of place and identity.
On February 1, 2015, Quintana Roo officially adopted a new time zone, Southeastern, which is five hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC-05:00). Quintana Roo does not observe daylight saving time, so Southeastern Time is constant throughout the year (that is, it does not shift forward in the spring and back in the fall). Southeastern Time (ST) is the same as Eastern Standard Time (EST) and Central Daylight Time (CDT). This means that in the winter, Quintana Roo has the same time as regions observing EST, such as the eastern U.S., eastern Canada, Cuba, and Jamaica; and in the summer, Quintana Roo has the same time as regions observing CDT, such as central Mexico.
Quintana Roo changed to Southeastern Time for economic reasons, including:
Allowing tourists in areas such as Cancun, Cozumel, and Playa del Carmen to spend more time and money at beaches, restaurants, historic sites, and other venues.
Reducing electricity usage by hotels, restaurants, and other facilities.
Before Quintana Roo adopted the Southeastern time zone (officially referred to as zona sureste in Mexico), it had been part of the Central time zone (zona centro).
Dumond, Don E.1985 The Talking Crosses of Yucatán: A New Look at their History. Ethnohistory 32(4):291-308.
Freidel, David., Schele, Linda., et al. 1993 Maya Cosmos: Three thousand years on the Shaman's Path. New York: W. Morrow
Harrison, Peter D. 1985 Some Aspects of Preconquest Settlement in Southern Quintana Roo, Mexico. Lowland Maya Settlement Patterns edited by Wendy Ashmore Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, A School of American Research Book.
Villa Rojas, Alfonso. 1945 The Maya of East Central Quintana Roo: The Pagan-Christian Religious Complex. Washington, D.C.: Carnegie Institution.
Anderson, E. N. and Felix Medina Tzuc. Animals and the Maya in Southeast Mexico. University of Arizona Press. Tucson, Arizona. 2005.
Brannon, Jeffery T. and Gilbert M. Joseph. Eds. 1991 Land, labor & capital in modern Yucatán: essays in regional history and political economy. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press.
Barton Bray, David, Marcelo Carreon, Leticia Merino, and Victoria Santos. "On the Road to Sustainable Forestry: The Maya of Quintana Roo are Striving to Combine Economic Efficiency, Ecological Sustainability, and a Democratic Society." Cultural Survival Quarterly 17.1, 38-41. 1993.
Dumond, Don E. 1997 The Machete and the Cross. Campesino Rebellion in Yucatán. Lincoln and London: University of Nebraska Press.
Encyclopædia Britannica 2008. Quintana Roo. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. Accessed 2008-02-21.
Forero, Oscar A. and Michael R. Redclift. "The Role of the Mexican State in the Development of Chicle Extraction in Yucatán, and the Continuing Importance of Coyotaje." Journal of Latin American Studies 38.1, 65-93. 2006.
Gabbert, Wolfgang. Becoming Maya--Ethnicity and Social Inequality in Yucatán Since 1500. University of Arizona Press. Tucson, Arizona. 2004.
Hervik, Peter. Mayan People Within and Beyond Boundaries--Social Categories and Lived Identity in Yucatán. Harwood Academic Publishers. Amsterdam, The Netherlands. 1999.
Jones, Grant D. Maya Resistance to Spanish Rule--Time and History on a Colonial Frontier. University of New Mexico Press. Albuquerque, New Mexico. 1989.
Juarez, Ana M. 2002. "Ecological Degradation, Global Tourism, and Inequality: Maya Interpretations of the Changing Environment in Quintana Roo, Mexico". Human Organization 61.2, 113-124.
Morely, Sylvanus Griswold. The Ancient Maya. Stanford University Press. Stanford, California. 1947.
Morely, Sylvanus Griswold and George W. Brainerd. The Ancient Maya, 3rd ed. Stanford University Press. Stanford, California. 1956.
Pi-Sunyer, Oriol and R. Brooke Thomas. 1997. Tourism, Environmentalism, and Cultural Survival in Quintana Roo. "In" Life and Death Matters: Human Rights at the End of the Millennium. Barbara R. Johnston, ed. p. 187-212. Walnut Creek, California. Altamira Press.
Roys, Ralph L. The Political Geography of the Yucatán Maya. Carnegie Institution of Washington Publication 613. Washington, D. C. 1957.
Rugeley, Terry. 2004 "Yaxcabá and the caste war of Yucatán: An Archaeological Perspective" In Alexander, Rani T. ed. Yaxcabá and the caste war of Yucatán Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press
Schlesinger, Victoria. Animals and Plants of the Ancient Maya: A Guide. University of Texas Press. Austin, Texas. 2001.
Sharer, Robert J. The Ancient Maya, 4th ed. Stanford University Press. Stanford, California. 1983.
Villa Rojas, Alfonso. The Maya of East Central Quintana Roo. Carnegie Institute of Washington Publication 559. Washington, D. C. 1945.
Young, Peter A, ed. Secrets of the Maya. Hatherleigh Press. Long Island City, New York. 2003