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The Mayan world never stops to amaze researchers; the aquifer connects with a treasure composed of many cavities that has been formed over thousands of years.
Not all the kids that read Julio Verne stories become explorers and not all the explorers that are about to die decide to go on with their studies. Guillermo de Anda is a unique case. Like Nemo the ¨Veinte mil Leguas de viaje submarino¨ captain, he has been dedicating his life to discover the mysteries under the earth.
Since a young child he knew that he was made for the underwater archaeology, because it combines two of his passions in life: diving and history. He still remembers his first time having contact with a human skull: ¨It was like touching Civilization History¨. But the biggest moment of his life was when he was close to death in a flooded cave in Morelos state; him, his brother and two of his friends went there without the security equipment required.
“It was only by a miracle that i survived. We were using one flashlight for the three of us. I thought that i was never gonna get out of there, and when i did make it, instead of getting scared and giving up, i knew what i was made for. Diving is like flying: is Fantastic”, assures this man that has been exploring more than 350 caves. He works for National Geographic and nowadays is the director of the “Gran Acuífero Maya” project, a unique enterprise in the Latin American Archaeologist history, which studies the Península de Yucatán subsoil.
--What is special about this exploration that is been on since last year?
We have been studying the zone with different perspectives. It has been studied by Archaeologists, Biologists and Historians, but we never had a project that allowed us to understand complex peninsula subsoil.
We are in front of a real treasure: there is a huge amount of water and we have discovered a lot of cavities that has been formed over thousands of years. It is the most important underwater archaeological zone in America.
--Have you found toxic or carcinogenic elements in the underwater subsoil because of human activity?
Yes we have found toxic particles of human waste, however we don´t have the proof that they are carcinogenic. There are vulnerable cenotes, most of them in Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Tulum.
Pollution is caused because of the outdoor garbage cans, the water becomes acid and after this it will end up on the coast, mangroves and reefs. However we have been exploring cenotes away from the urban regions, which are in a really good shape. We have to stop the pollution now.
--How many people are involved on this Project?
We have 14 researchers, a lot of students, voluntaries and independent scientists. The project is going to grow. The initial plan was a five years project and now is going to be longer. The aquifer is huge, the job is colossal. This will depends on the financial help.