Beautiful morning in Isla Mujeres. You’re on a boat, the wind comes on your face and at the temperature is perfect. Hard to imagine a better day for diving.
The intense colour of the Caribbean Sea is a beautiful explosion of light . Amazing tones fill your eyes while you prepare your stuff. The driver turns the engine off. Beginners and experts will blend in a small and compact group. Everyone’s ready to jump out of the boat.
Splash! Your body gently sinks and you start breathing through your mouth. Some fishes come to nose around while you take a few seconds to get used to a relative lack of gravity. Everybody follows the leader to an unknown place, 30 feet under the sea.
Suddenly, you discover a peaceful crowd. They’re not divers, almost everyone is standing on the seabed. A woman and her child, an old man touches his hat, as a polite way to say “hello”, another one is typewriting in a very old machine. No one realizes that you –and your divers group- have arrived. If you carry on diving, you'll discover an old VW beetle parked under the sea.
British sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor conceived a strange and revolutionary idea. For decades, old ships have been sunk to produce long term coral reefs. Of course, there’s beauty in discovering an old ship while you dive, but, why not sculptures?
DeCaires produced 400 anthropomorphic sculptures, made with eco-friendly material which will turn into a reef in years to come. Today, this underwater park is the main attraction for amateur and professional divers and even for snorkel fans who prefer to admire this beauty from a safe place breathing fresh air.
The sculptures are also to ring the bell about risks of Caribbean ecosystem overexploitation. Tourism must keep being a “green industry” for inhabitants on the coast and under the sea.