El Proyecto de Buceo Espeleologico México y América Central was founded in 1982. The purpose of the project was and is the advancement of knowledge of water filled caves and related features in Mexico and Central America. Exploration includes mapping and surveying as well as a study of the geology, biology, and hydrology of each system. Founded by Jim Bowden, the Proyecto is a dynamic, full time, and privately funded effort. Multiple expeditions are lead into Mexico and Central America each year. In April of 1990, exploration was begun in five unique cenotes, fresh water vertical caves, located on the Rancho Azufrosa near Tampico. Among these is Zacatón, which at greater than 1000 feet [305 meters] of depth, is the world's deepest known water filled pit. More than 800 dives have been made in the cenotes, with 130 in excess of 300 feet [91 meters] of depth, and seven dives in excess of 500 feet [152 meters]. A new women's world depth record of 554 feet [169 meters] was established in 1993 by team member, Dr. Ann Kristovich. In April, 1994, team leader Jim Bowden dove to a new men's world depth record, 925+ feet [282+ meters], in his pursuit of the bottom of Zacatón. The goal to explore the cave in its entire dimension and to attain the bottom at greater than 1000 feet [305 meters] remains. Its achievement will continue to incorporate advanced and diverse underwater technologies including the creation and utilization of customized dive tables, computer technology, side scanning sonar, rebreather applications, and studies in hyperbaric medicine and physiology.
Zacatón and its adjacent cenotes are deep, highly mineralized, geothermal springs. They are of interest geologically, biologically, and hydrologically. As a certain source of water for perhaps thousands of years, the potential for archeological significance is great. Proyecto plans extending into 1999-2000 will also include the exploration, surveying and mapping of many of Mexico's deep resurgences, including the Rio Sabinas, the Sistemas Huastecas, the Nacimiento del Huichihuayan, the Nacimiento Santa Clara, the Rio Frio, and others.
Our project is unique in its intensity of effort, compiling data and contributing information to the areas of advanced gas management and to the development and testing of new equipment. The utilization of diverse technologies and equipment is complete from the conception on the drawing board to application in the field, in an environment which is never wholly predictable. Our team is small, efficient, and exceptionally trained.
Throughout history, man has journeyed into the unknown, discovering new continents, exploring the oceans, attaining the summits of the tallest peaks. In our time, little remains which has not been walked over, photographed, or scanned with sonar. In the subterranean world, we can find a place where no one has gone before us. To learn where the labyrinthine cave goes, man must go.
We are requesting your support and assistance in the accomplishment of our goals. Our work is internationally known and has been covered by national publications, magazines, newspapers, and film, here in the United States, as well as in Mexico, France, Great Britain, Italy, Japan and Asia. National Geographic, the British Broadcasting Corporation, NBC, and the Discovery Channel, have all expressed interest in covering our project.
We will provide you with high quality photographs which feature your product in use in the field, and submit to you a report summarizing our activities and the performance of your product. In all our publications, when editorial discretion permits, and in all of our speaking engagements, a list of sponsors and supporters is included.
We would be happy to supply you with any additional information you desire. Thank you for considering us for support. A summary of the Proyecto, its members, and its work is presented in this site.