January 25, 2022 4:03 pm

The diver who fights for the cenotes in Mexico

“I keep very present the first moment that I felt the pressure of the sea, the hug, the turn to look up and see that body of water above me and the feeling of peace that emerged within me.”

This is how Camila Jaber remembers her first lung dive in the sea. The 25-year-old Mexican has joined her passion for sadness and the environment As a life form.

In 2020, this young woman from Quintana Roo achieved the national record in freediving without fins with a mark of 58 meters. Drawing inspiration from his experience as an athlete, he creates works of art that raise awareness about the problems of the oceans and freshwater ecosystems.

“I am Cenote.

I am light and dark.

My waters are adorned with curtains of sun rays and are transformed into magic.

I am alive”

In ´Soy Cenote ‘, a video that has earned him the first prize in the contest CreateCOP26Jaber dances, with the dexterity of a mermaid, in the depths of one of the aquifers of the Yucatan Peninsula.

“I am Cenote.

I am contaminated.

I am part of a complex but vulnerable system.

Sewage and fertilizers seep through the ground all the way to me.

I need your help as much as you need mine. “

The narrative continues as Jaber shrinks into a fetal position and sinks without resistance.

The cenotes are a delicate ecosystem that connects the groundwater of the Yucatan Peninsula with the ocean. Linked to each other through thousands of flooded underground passages, the cenotes are windows to the Great Mayan Aquifer, the main source of life in the area. They are threatened by mass tourism, uncontrolled urban development, pesticides and fertilizers.

The Great Mayan Aquifer

In April 2020, Jaber became an ambassador for the Great Mayan Aquifer Project. “By immersing myself in the cenotes I have been able to see the deterioration they have suffered, from the quality of the water due to wastewater that reaches these bodies of water, to garbage “, he explains on the project’s website.

The video ‘Soy Cenote’ makes a call on the tourism industry to recognize its destructive contribution to the water crisis and climate change, they explain from Art Partner, organizers of the contest together with the office for Latin America of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

I am more than honored to have been chosen from hundreds of nominations from 54 different countries! Jaber said in a message on his Instagram account in which he congratulated fellow Mexican Samuel Antonio Pineda Manzana, who was a finalist.

The Engineering in Innovation and Development student wants to work “on the lack of access to vital public services in isolated communities, since access to water is the most important thing so that they can be partially self-sustainable, as well as developing educational projects that promote independence from rural communities based on their production, ”he says in one of their web pages.

Art to raise awareness about climate change

CreateCOP26 received hundreds of submissions from 54 countries on six continents. Eight juries selected the winner and nine finalists.

He also mexican Samuel Antonio Pineda Manzana, 24, achieved one of the second places with the work “First at home, then in the world.” The short aims to encourage viewers to adopt habits that are more respectful of the environment, reflecting daily actions.

Art Partner

Textile piece from the project ‘From the groundup’, by the British Oscar Crabb.

Hikima Mahamuda, of Ghana, created a rain garment constructed from crushed water bottles; Breech Asher Harani from the Philippines illustrates the impact of the most destructive typhoons in a conceptual short film. Mingsheng Ni from China used biological fabrics to create a dress as proof that the waste can be a viable material, while Mehrdad Vahed Yousefabad from Iran presented a heartbreaking and haunting photo of Lake Urmia, the sixth largest salt lake. of the world that suffers continuous droughts

“Personally, I value originality to challenge reality. How strong are the messages about the climate emergency and what artistic resources are used to communicate that emergency that is going through all of humanity and, above all, I also value very much if the work of art has a place reserved for hope. I believe that, although we are experiencing a climate crisis, we still have time to correct what we have broken and that section of optimism I like to see contemplated in the works ”, highlighted Lidia Brito, jury and director of the UNESCO Regional Office for Sciences for Latin America and the Caribbean.

Amber Testino, one of the partners of Art Parnet and creator of the contest, assures that the objective is “Draw more attention to COP26, where world leaders will determine the future of our Earth.” At the same time they seek to support the next generation of creators, including those from underrepresented communities. “This year we have received an overwhelming response from a wide variety of applicants, geographically, demographically and culturally, reflecting the global and shared concerns of a young and creative generation,” he says.

COP26, the last chance on the planet

Carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere continue at record levels despite containment measures by COVID-19.

Unsplash/Johannes Plenio

Carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere continue at record levels despite containment measures by COVID-19.

The COP26, the United Nations Climate Change Conference, is held between October 31 and November 12 in Glasgow, UK.

“If you don’t act with determinationwe’re playing our last chanceliterally to change the course of things, “said the General secretary of the United Nations, António Guterres, in the days before the meeting.

For him Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a 1.5 ° C warming scenario, as set in the Paris Agreement, is the “only livable future for humanity.”

In order to limit warming, countries must halve greenhouse gas emissions over the next eight years.

This is a gigantic task that we can only carry out if the leaders who attend COP26 present truly ambitious goals, with concrete deadlines and plans to phase out carbon and transform their economies to achieve so-called net zero emissions.


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