Why we do this
The aquifer of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula plays a vital role as the source of life-giving water for the human population at the surface and for every ecosystem it interconnects from below. The aquifer is under threat from development.
Cenote Stilt, Sistema Ox Bel Ha
Two of the longest known caves on earth are located along the Caribbean coastline of Mexico. Both are completely underwater. Some of the most important archaeological discoveries of our time have been found within them, shedding light on our understanding of the ancient Maya civilization and the earliest human migrations into the Americas. The flooded caves bring life to
the entire region, transporting freshwater as they wind their way from the jungle interior to the Caribbean Sea. The area sustains a population of over 1.5 million residents, and is visited by over 10 million tourists each year. Out of sight and out of mind lies the aquifer, the common thread that binds the economic health and social welfare of the region together.
The aquifer is under threat from continued and unchecked development by the tourist industry.
The area’s future is threatened by the inadequacy of both sewage treatment and waste management facilities. Current practices for each of these are outdated, and poorly regulated. The resulting contamination threatens the survival of beaches, reefs, the jungle, and the water quality that every resident and visitor depends upon for a healthy life. Unless the population is
better educated about the importance and fragility of the aquifer, the future of this important natural, cultural and economic resource will continue to hang in the balance.