MONUMENT TO JACQUES YVES – COUSTEAU

VIVAS VALDÉS, VEUDI (2023). NOTES AND RESEARCH – CHRONICLER AND HISTORIAN OF COZUMEL. INTERVIEW CONDUCTED BY THE DIRECTORATE OF TOURISM AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF THE MUNICIPALITY OF COZUMEL.

Sculpture by Oscar Ponzanelli dedicated to the oceanographer Jacques Yves – Cousteau, this is a brief review of his activity in the Cozumel pioneer in tourism.

It was the beginning of the development of the tourist activity in our island, when there were few traveling swallows who knew about the existence of this beautiful place with white sand beaches and turquoise blue sea, which rivaled the deep blue of the beautiful sky in this remote corner of the Mexican homeland.

When the improvised tourist services made efforts to attend with kindness, simplicity and respect to the few visitors who wanted to enjoy the beaches, swim in its limpid waters, enjoy a ride in those first services of the boatmen’s union in wooden hulled motorboats with a canvas tied to the boom, to offer a tiny shade or go fishing with the first new fishing rods.

These were the early days of a new activity that had a slow development, not even the sporadic visits of the Mexican idol Pedro Infante, managed to position Cozumel in the taste of tourists. In 1957 René Cardona filmed the movie “Un Mundo Nuevo” (A New World), in which he made known some of the attractions of beautiful Cozumel, which became the detonator of tourist activity.

Also in 1970 a new factor contributed to the tourist development of Cozumel with the presence of Jacques Yves Cousteau, who sponsored the development of autonomous diving, making known the underwater beauties of our reefs.

His tireless work was reflected in more than 50 books, a hundred documentaries that taught the world the secrets of underwater life, its value and importance and the need to preserve it. This dissemination included his visit to our island, of which he commented on the transparency of its waters and the beauty of its reefs. Through those documentaries, Cousteau became a world-famous character and consequently gave Cozumel the initial impulse to become an important diving site of worldwide fame.

His stay in the land of the swallows leaves unforgettable teachings, today the Cousteau route is still practiced, which consists of a week of dives visiting the reefs he dived and made famous, which has motivated Cozumel to remain among the top ten diving destinations in the world.

His television series “The Underwater World of Jaques Cousteau” popularized a new sporting activity which, due to its ecological characteristics, was a treatise on the protection of the underwater world, its beauty and, above all, its conservation. This documentary, adapted as a film directed by Louis Malle, won the 1956 Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival and the Academy Award in 1957. His documentary “Amazons” reached the record of being seen by 35 million people.

Yves Cousteau was not only a writer but also an inventor. In 1943, together with Emile Cagnan, he presented the ACQUA LUNG or aquatic lung, an autonomous diving scuba diving suit, its regulator and the adaptation of underwater cameras. In 1960 he presented his first model of submarine for research at great depths, thanks to these inventions he was able to write the literary success “The World of Silence” which later became a great success as a documentary.

On June 25, 1997, at the age of 87, this great man departed definitively into the world of silence. He was buried in his native village Saint-André-de-Cubzac, southwest France, where his phrase: “At sea there is no past, present or future, only peace”, is engraved for eternity.

Dirección de Turismo y Desarrollo Económico

Altos de Plaza del Sol
Col. Centro
Cozumel, QROO MX


Tel. +52 1 987 86 90 212 turismo@cozumel.gob.mx