The City of Benito Juarez conducted in 2019 a cleaning operation in 11 cenotes within the urban area of Cancun, in order to recover these spaces, but locals have turned the place into a dumpster once again.
Martha Abundes, responsible for the clean-up project, said that after returning to verify the conditions of these bodies of water, they found tht people is throwing garbage and waste in these sites, in a totally irresponsible way.
The official explained that one of the challenges of the project has been to link the community with these spaces, in order to make the civil society responsible of maintaining the place clean.
“We need to achieve the social participation in these environmental matters, it is very difficult, but we will not stop making the effort,” she said.
All types of objects and waste have been found inside the cenotes during the cleaning days, including tires, household items, electric appliances, mattresses and plastic in general.
In a cenote located in Cancun’s Region 101 they even threw a crocodile that lived for several years in the contaminated water and in the garbage, until it was rescued in one of the cleaning days, and taken to a another natural habitat.
The biologist said that last year more than eight tons of garbage were collected from the so called “urban cenotes”. And people keep throwing garbage into the cenotes indiscriminately.
“We already had some achievements, we are trying to involve not only the local residents, but also civil society organizations. We are also conducting environmental education talks, to let people know the importance of water, and make them aware of the valuable heritage those cenotes are to the people of Cancun, ” she added.
Another problem of the so-called “urban cenotes” is that they are not properly and continuously taken care of, the growth of invasive vegetation, makes the leaves fall and decompose inside the body of water, modifying the water quality, and filling up the cenotes with sediment.
By the end of 2020 the Benito Juarez City Council aims to clean another 11 “urban cenotes”, and keep those that were intervened last year, in good condition.The Yucatan Times
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