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Zofemat reports improved condition of Punta Esmeralda cenote but says not everyone respects closed sign

Playa del Carmen, Q. R. — After several weeks of non-use, Playa del Carmen’s cenote at Punta Esmeralda continues to show recovery. Lourdes Varguez Ocampo, director of the Solidaridad Federal Maritime Zone (Zofemat) reported that while there is a noticeable recovery, not everyone is respecting the closed sign.

She says many people still enter the cenote even though it remains closed while others simply refuse to collect their own waste.

“Last Saturday, even when the cenote is closed, on the shore of the cenote we took out a disposable diaper (…) there are some visitors who still refuse to collect their waste and are not concerned with preserving the environment,” she said.

Since April 1 when the cenote was shut to the public, the water has cleared up considerably and both flora and fauna have begun to return. City officials monitoring the progress of the cenote have noted the return of greenery and also birds.

“The fauna in the cenote no longer existed. It was in an extremely delicate state with a lot of water loss, with a white cream, which was synonymous with contamination,” she explained.

Varguez says the the cenote will reopen but only during holiday seasons since the objective of officials is to ensure the aquifer basin is functioning correctly. When it was first shut, Zofemat officials reported removing diapers and feminine products from inside the cenote. They also removed other forms of garbage that included banana peels and plastic bags, all items that block the natural filtration system.