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  • Deep in the impenetrable Yucatan jungle near Playa Del Carmen, Mexico along the Riviera Maya coast is a hidden water-filled cave system. Rio Secreto is an incredible labyrinth of underground natural passageways which were just discovered in the last ten years.

    Rio Secreto's water is quite warm for an underwater system, with a year round temperature close to 70 F degrees. Thousands of calcified stalactites and stalagmites can be seen in soaring caverns which are quiet with solitude.

    Not too long ago my family and I visited this secret river. We float in the silence listening to drips of water that sift down from the surface and explore the extensive limestone caves. This water filtration process is a natural one that has happened for millions of years and is best learned while fully immersed – mind, body, and spirit – in the darkness.

    Crystal clear fresh water runs through the cave which has been filtered down from ground level. It does not smell like mold or dirt or chemicals, it smells clean. No slime or fungus or greenery of any kind grows in these caves because there is absolutely no light. We saw a family of tiny bats high up in one cavern, there were also many small catfish who are quite unafraid of humans, so they swim right up to our feet to say hello.

    While I expected the caves to be the color of stone, I was quite surprised at the rainbow of variegated colors which covered the walls and ceilings of the caves. Mineral drips of varying sorts create different shades on the walls. Roots from trees and plants above ground can be seen forcing their way into the cenote system, breaking limestone and dipping their roots twenty feet down into the water so they are able to sip while plants in the jungle around them might be suffering a drought up on ground level.

    I carefully touch one of these roots. They are so thin, so delicate; it astounds me that the power of a single plant can rip apart rock to take that drink of life sustaining water. Sparkling crystals, soaring caves, and ceilings filled with thousands of tiny formations were only the beginning of our journey.

    This secret spelunking adventure captured our hearts and taught us that the water and chemicals we spill on the ground level drips down to this underground water table no matter where we live on earth.

    How do you choose to fill the underground water table where you live?
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