Excerpts from Jim Conrad's
Naturalist Newsletter

from the October 22, 2007 Newsletter issued from Yerba Buena Clinic just outside Pueblo Nuevo Solistahuacan, Chiapas, MÉXICO
about 1740 meters in elevation, ± LAT. 17° 11' 27"N, LONG. -92° 53' 35"W

Last week I mentioned a document I'd seen describing me as the director of a local ecotourism project, and that one of my tasks was to develop interest in the Soconusco Cave Complex "with more than 50 kilometers of caves, including three of the ten deepest vertical caves in Mexico."

I'd never heard of the Soconusco Cave Complex but Mark Minton of the Association of Mexican Cave Studies sure had. It seems that my document was off the mark. Mark writes:

"_None_ of the ten deepest caves in Mexico are in the state of Chiapas. The deepest in Chiapas is indeed Soconusco, but it is number 32 on the list. That's also not true for just the deepest PITS, either, because only number 10 of the top ten is there, which is the 283-m-deep entrance pit of Sótano del Arroyo Grande, although numbers 11 and 12 are also in that area. And Sistema Soconusco - Aire Fresco is only 28 km long, followed by Cueva del Arroyo Grande at 10 km. Maybe if you added up all of the caves in the area you'd get over 50 km. It is indeed a spectacular area for the density of deep pits, but they are not record setting, even in Mexico."

Thanks for the correction Mark, and I'll have to be a bit more wary of that document declaring me a director.

For a full review of Mexico's deep and long caves go to http://www.amcs-pubs.org/longanddeep.html.