Cenotes in Yucatán at risk due to lack of public policies for their care
The lack of public policies for the protection and protection of the cenotes, eyes of water where underground rivers flow into the Yucatan Peninsula, southeast of Mexico, has caused these places, considered sacred by the ancient Mayans, suffer from surprising contamination in recent years.
According to estimates, in the Mexican state of Yucatan one of the three states that make up the peninsula along with Quintana Roo and Campeche, there are between 7 thousand and 8 thousand of these formations, in which trash of all kinds has been found, which has caused that your freshwater registers high levels of contamination.
"The laws already have to be modified, they have to be more efficient, really fine whoever has to be fined," Sergio Grosjean, leader of the Grosjean Expedition, an environmental organization dedicated to cleaning, sanitation, and care of the cenotes.
For several years, the organization has asked the authorities for stricter laws and that people who pollute the cenotes are punished by fines. And although their work is complicated and sometimes difficult, they will continue with the rehabilitation of cenotes activity in which they face problems such as the lack of culture and public policies for their protection.
Grosjean said that recently they signed a collaboration with the Secretariat of Sustainable Development of Yucatan and other foundation to finalize the sanitation of 10 cenotes.
"We make collaboration agreements between associations, civil society, government, we make many efforts, but it is not enough".
From 100% of the water quality tests that the organization in charge has developed in the cenotes, 80% have shown contamination to a greater or lesser extent and that tells us that there is a serious problem.
In recent months and frequently both volunteers and the group of divers of the Expedition have extracted from the cenotes all kinds of garbage, from tires to plastic bottles and glass through mattresses, diapers and plastics, a problem that also affects the endemic species of the region.
More than 8 tons have been removed in recent months from the cenotes, which encouraged the population and tourists and visitors, national and foreign, to keep the cenotes clean. Although there are hundreds of cenotes that have been contaminated, there are also others that have preserved their beauty and are preferred by tourists for their fresh and crystal clear waters.
Besides its tourist attraction, the cenotes preserve historical and archaeological importance because they have even found vestiges of the ancient Mayas as cave paintings.
"Cenotes are not only bodies of water, but they are also important cultural and high sites for the ancient and current Mayans. In some cenotes, we have found important archaeological and paleontological evidence".
These caves were used by the Mayans and they have made important discoveries, such as cave paintings, fossils, and track record.
"We continue in exploration and making new findings," said Grosjean, who said that a few weeks ago they entered a cave where they found impressions of hands and a forearm on a rock.
In the Yucatan Peninsula, the cenotes are used by the inhabitants as a tourist attraction and hundreds of families in the police stations and municipalities of Yucatan subsist thanks to them.
By Mexicanist Source: EFE