Sometimes our guests are surprised when I say, "No, no! Don't do that!" as they go to throw their water bottles or the paper Nelly wrapped our burritos into the garbage cans at the cenotes.
For thousands of years the Maya have treated their garbage much the same way. You throw it into the jungle.
Thing is, a thousand years ago when the garbage was fish bones and corn husks and banana peels... when that gets thrown into the jungle it just turns, pretty quickly, into more jungle.
Waxed sandwich paper, plastic water bottles, cellophane wrappers... not so much.
But theres a continuity of sensibility in the treatment of waste. Throw it into the jungle.
There are, in fact, several cenotes where the landowners' primary source of income is by offering their sites as landfill for less scrupuled garbage companies. Garbage is supposed to be brought to proper landfill centers... but it's far cheaper to just bring it to one of these properties where, occasionally, the landowners will just light it all on fire. Creating mountains of burning rubbish.
Some cenote owners, even in the more well-developed ones where there are swimmers and changing rooms and ziplines and whatnot... there is no way of knowing whether the landowners might just be doing that with the contents of their bins themselves.
So we always bring all our garbage back to XOC-Ha where it gets deposited with our neighborhood trash. Which is picked up by a company that assures us (and I hope they're telling the truth) that it is disposed of properly.
This is not, of course, to pick on the local population. At least not to single them out. The same sorts of things are happening every day in every country in every corner of the world.
It's just that not all parts of the world have the sort of karst geology that can be so quickly and heavily affected by leachate.
And this is to say nothing of the constant development and growth that creates such a strain on such a delicate system, creating so much human waste as to contaminate the water of the underground rivers of the Yucatan... to be washed offshore to damage the meso-american barrier reef.
Nor does it address the fact that so much of the water around here is testing positive for trace amounts of things like cocaine from all the fucking tuluminati raver fucks that have created a demand for the cartels set up shop in the area.
Nor, finally, does it address the fact that this fantastically imbecilic train project is the thing that's costing taxpayers tens of billions of pesos to build. Which it is, quite possibly, the single stupidest and most destructive public works project in the history of projects. When things like clean water, proper sewage, waste disposal, education... fuck, streetlights on 307... none of that has seen a centavo.
Ah well. The whole world is going to hell in a handbasket. The best we can hope for is that AI gains sentience and exterminates us all quickly and painlessly for our own good.
In the meantime: let's enjoy the cenotes while we can. And do our best to not contribute to the negative impact the 8 billion of us are wreaking havoc across the face of our little Spaceship Earth.
And bring your rubbish back to XOC-Ha instead of using the on-site garbage cans.