Environmentalists warn of the risk of the Maya Train passing over underground rivers

(Photo: Pedro Ortega)

The modification of Section 5 traces the route to the jungle area that threatens the cenotes, they point out.

(QUINTANA ROO – CREER).- The modification of Section 5 of the Mayan Train sent its route to the jungle area and is precisely what threatens the underground rivers, so that the Regional Committee for Cave Diving, Ecology and Regulation (CREER) together with the Association of Service Providers Aquatics of the Rivera Maya and the Divers del Caribe Union y ‘Buceo de Cenotes y Mar de Tulum’, state that the recently proposed line has to be changed to avoid greater effects on the cenotes, caves, lagoons and wetlands in the segment from Playa del Carmen to Tulum.

Luis Leal, a member of Buceo de Cenotes y Mar de Tulum (Bucema), explained that the route had already been decided on the federal highway, and they changed it back to the jungle, where there will be a very strong impact, not just environmental but economic to the most important attractions of the state, which are the cenotes. He explained that in this area there is the largest concentration of known caves in the world and many still to be explored.

He pointed out that simply in the Tulum area there are more than 600 kilometers of mapped underground rivers, but it has been proven that this extension is multiplied by three according to geomagnetic studies carried out with overflights.

He pointed out that the new layout of the Maya Train has to be reconsidered so as not to affect nature, science and the main tourist attractions of the region in such a significant way.

“The damage is easily predictable. Everyone already knows it. The effects will cause terrible media blows. A large number of people around the world are already aware of what is at stake and at risk. There are viable alternatives. We need to be allowed to participate in the necessary and urgent new decisions, ” she added.

In a statement from the NGOs that preserve these natural resources, they indicated that the so-called “diving industry” is only the tip of the iceberg and a visible part of the advertising and images around the world: “we are also talking about archeology visits, snorkeling , walks, horseback riding, ATVs, bicycles, zip lines, simple dips, temazcales, Maya ceremonies for tourists, weddings of all kinds, massages, yoga, canoeing, speleological walks, fauna observations, photography of all kinds, making documentaries, videos, cinema, scientific and educational visits, retreats, therapies, art and many other activities”.

They specified that in a single zone of cenotes there are more than a thousand daily visitors on any day of the winter season and they warned that although the Yucatan Peninsula seems the same in its geography, the coastal zone of northern Quintana Roo has different underground characteristics. 

There are “ancient geological phenomena (the so-called Holbox fracture) combined with the presence of low-lying karstic zones that facilitated the development of complex submerged cave systems. These so-called underground rivers are considerably more intricate and longer in the area from Playa del Carmen to Tulum. In this coastal strip alone there are more than 1,500 kilometers of explored submerged caves, with an expansion potential of perhaps 400 percent, by far the longest in the world. 

The Yucatan Times
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