Cenote Zacil Há de Cholul. Photo: Courtesy

Mérida, Yucatán — With the support of a corporate foundation and ecological activist Sergio Grosjean, dozens of people are helping clean the Zacil Há de Cholul cenote today.

Many legends revolve around the Zacil Há cenote, located in the heart of Cholul, a satellite community of Mérida. The municipal curator Jorge Kú Cimé said that once, a bull that fell into the water and did not come out, and people who fell in and emerged from another cenote.

Those stories are stuff of lore, but what is certain is that cenote today is badly contaminated. The cenote is not to be confused with a tourist attraction by the same name in Tulum.

After carrying out previous dives, Sergio Grosjean, the leader of the expedition who will be in charge of the sanitation effort, told Punto Medio that there is a large amount of sediment and rubbish, but it is a good sign that despite everything there, fish somehow still live there.

Grossjean said that deep down are lots of cans, bottles and plastics, which is striking because access to the well is supposed to be closed to the public.

The cleanup is a neighborhood initiative. A botanical garden and arboretum is planned on the site.

The cenote is only five or six meters long and two and-a-half wide, so only five or six divers will be swimming to the bottom to clear the sinkhole.

But about 70 people — mainly neighbors calling themselves “Soy uno más” (“I am one more”) — will help clean the surroundings.

It is expected to be a busy four hours, starting at 9 in the morning.

A foundation run by the Coca-Cola bottling company Bepensa funds Grosjean’s “expeditions” at this and many other cenotes.

Yucatán has about 2,800 cenotes, according to Expediciones Grosjean, with 40 in immediate need of intervention.

{ Related: Joining forces, 80 people clean up Xpakay cenote }

Source: Punto Medio, archives


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