little actions


massive results

We promote the conservation of the environment in the state of Quintana Roo, and with your actions, to the rest of the world.

water as a vital resource


97.5% of the planets' water is salt water


70% of freshwater is frozen


30% of freshwater is deep underground

less than 1% of freshwater resides in lakes, rivers, natural water cisterns...


“Life started in the water 4.5 billion years ago evolving to what it is right now, and still water is essential for life to continue.”

  • In 2010, the UN recognized freshwater as an universal right, establishing the need of 50 to 100 liters of daily freshwater for basic activities

  • 2 out of 10 persons around the globe have no access to freshwater

  • 4 out of 10 persons around the world have no access to a simple letrine 

Water in quintana roo

  • The underground rivers are the only freshwater source in the state of Quintana Roo


  • Due to the soil type of the peninsula, water is fast absorbed into its underground rivers, thus resulting in not having lakes in the entire state

  • Cenotes and underground rivers from the Yucatan peninsula form the most important underground water system in the world

  • It helps keeping a natural balance in the environment

  • It hydrates and nourishes life above thanks to cenotes and threes which extract the water from the underground

  • Small towns and villages depend on the underground freshwater since no other source of water is available for them

Reefs in Quintana Roo

  • Coral reefs in Q.Roo have an extension of 600+ miles, starting in Yucatan until they get all the way down to Honduras

  • The underground water directly influences the corals and mangroves

  • Both are very important:

Environment - home to many species

Comercial - these areas generate jobs

  • Coral reefs and mangroves are the most efficient protection against huricanes and tropical storms


  • They provide oxygen and nourishment to the ecosystem

75% of coral reefs are endangered worldwide

  • Underground water connects different ecosystems, from forests to reefs

  • Pollution generated from cities and villages affect directly al the biodiversity and "natural services" we get from the environment

Todays' water


In Quintana Roo...

19% of freshwater is used for agriculture

16% for urban uses

65% for hotels and restaurant services

There is water flowing beneath us right now (if you are in Quintana roo), do you know what it carries?

  • Apart from nutrients, it carries trash and pollutants

  • Solid wastes develop a toxic black water-like substance which gets absorbed directly into the underground water system

  • Water from our toilets are highly pollutant, hay que estar conectado al drenaje y no vaciar líquidos contaminantes directo al suelo

50% of the people of Quintana Roo have water saving systems installed in their homes


50% consider that the government has the task of cleaning and taking care of the freshwater


60% of people of the state of Quintana roo will start taking care of the freshwater only once its scarce or too polluted

Protection & conservation
  • 7 out of 10 personas in Q.Roo consider water as a finite resource

  • Only 3 out of 10 personas know where the water from Q.Roo comes from

  • Younger generations have more awareness of the problems we are facing with freshwater


  • 7 out of 10 personas in Q.Roo consider water as a finite resource

  • Only 3 out of 10 personas know where the water from Q.Roo comes from

  • Younger generations have more awareness of the problems we are facing with freshwater

Problems of the aquifer


Main Threats

  1. The wrong disposal of domestic & services wastewater

  2. Poor management of solid waste

  3. Inadequate planning of urban development / poor aquifer recharge

  4. Inadequate planning of tourism development

  5. Inadequate practices of tourism

  6. Use of agro-chemicals in green areas and golf courses

  7. Loss of vegetation and habitat by agricultural activities

  8. Introduction of exotic species

  9. Inadequate practices of production of cement, stone aggregates and banks of materials (sascaberas)

  10. Inadequate groundwater extraction

We have found cars, washing machines, batteries, etc. as well as condoms and lots of plastic waste inside cenotes

Plastic waste generates highly polluting liquids (leachate) which toxic and dangerous to everyones health

Irrigation of golf courses and green areas with sewage and chemicals are a source of contamination of the underground water

little actions

Massive results


In your WC

  • Take short baths. Don't take a nap while taking a shower!

  • Fill a bucket with water while it reaches that nice hot showering temperature, then use it to water plants, or fill the toilet water tank.

  • Make sure your water waste is connected to your local drainage.

In the kitchen

  • Regulate the flow of the tap water, it's a very simple step that can save up to 50% of the water that we use in the sink.

  • Close the tap water flow while applying soap to dishes.

  • Reuse water from the kitchen: boiling water of vegetables and eggs can be used for irrigation of the plants, this way, we will be providing them with nutrients

When washing clothes n stuff

  • When washing clothes with the washing machine load it with the maximum amount of clothing capacity, and use single rinse cycles.

  • Sort clothes only by dark and clear colors, you'll use less water.

  • Wash your car, your garage using a bucket or water saving products for your hose.

In the garden

  • Water your garden between 8:00 pm and 7:00 am, when the Sun is not strong, so water won't evaporate.

  • For large surfaces, it is preferable to use an automated irrigation system.

At the end of the day, we conserve only what we love, we only love what we understand, and we only understand what we are taught...

-Baba Dioum

Take action!

Download our guide to preserve the water in Quintana Roo (Spanish only*)


Anchialine Fauna of the Yucatan Peninsula
Texas A&M University
Consultado el 04 de noviembre de 2013

Batllori Sampedro, E., Febles Patrón, J.L., 2002. El Agua Subterránea en el Desarrollo Regional de la Península de Yucatán. Avance y Perspectiva. 21: 67-77.

Beddows P.A., Smart P.L., Whitaker F., Smith S. 2005. ¿A dónde van las aguas residuales? El acuífero cárstico de la Municipalidad de Solidaridad, Quintana Roo, México. Medio Ambiente Turismo Sustentabilidad. 1(1): 121 – 128.

Carabias, J. y R. Landa. 2005. Agua, medio ambiente y sociedad. Hacia la gestión integral de los recursos hídricos en México. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, El Colegio de México y Fundación Gonzalo Río Arronte. Distrito Federal, México.

Estadísticas del Agua en México. CONAGUA. 2011.
Consultado el 08 de septiembre de 2013 EAM2011.PDF

Hacia una Buena Gobernanza para la Gestión Integrada de los Recursos Hídricos. Foro mundial del agua 2012. UNESCO.
Consultado el 23 de octubre de 2013 RECURSOS_HIDRICOS.pdf

Metcalfe, C.D, Beddows, P.A., Gold-Bouchot, G., Metcalfe, T.L., Li, H., Van Lavieren, H. 2011. Contaminants in the coastal karst aquifer system along the Caribbean coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. Environmental Pollution. 159: 991 – 997.


Plan de Estudios Licenciatura en Primaria.
Dirección General de Educación Superior para Profesionales de la Educación, DGESPE. Secretaría de Educación Pública.
Consultado el 10 de octubre de 2013 orientaciones_curriculares


Plan de Estudios 2011 Educación Básica. Secretaría de Educación Pública. Consultado el 10 de octubre de 2013

Rebolledo Vieyra, M., 2008. Agua, Rocas y Siglos. En Medina Chemor, A. Ed. En Cenotes: Huellas de agua y luz en la selva. Fundación Oasis, A.C., Pixel Press. Cancún, Quintana Roo, México. Pp. 20 – 37.

Torres Talamante, O., 1993. Riviera Maya: Reserva del acuífero. Espacio Profundo. 93: 34–37.

Valtierra Hernández, A. 2013. Percepción sobre el conocimiento, uso y cuidado del agua en Quintana Roo. Programa de Conservación y Manejo Integral del Agua en Quintana Roo. Amigos de Sian Ka’an y Fundación Gonzalo Rio Arronte. Cancún, Quintana Roo, México. 63 pgs.