What will be the largest aquatic enclosure in Latin America began construction in February 2019, with an investment of 1,545 million pesos
Mazatlán, Sinaloa.- It will be until September of next year when the new Mazatlán Aquarium, dedicated to the Sea of Cortez, opens its doors to the public, informed Guillermo Zerecero Velo, director of the project.
What will be the largest aquatic enclosure in Latin America began construction in February 2019, with an investment of 1,545 million pesos, of which 600 million are with public resources and the rest with resources from private initiative.
It consists of 17 thousand square meters of construction, distributed in 19 exhibition rooms with 4.5 million liters of water that will house more than 25 thousand species, has capacity for 6 thousand people and it is expected that from the second year of operations it will be visited by a million people annually.
“It will have a learning space, a space for approaching science, a space for educational exhibitions that will allow people to understand and respect life in all its manifestations and admire what Mazatlán has,” he reported.
Zerecero Velo mentioned that some research and conservation programs managed by the current Aquarium, such as the conservation of the Sea Turtle, as well as personnel, are going to be transferred to the new enclosure.
“We are going to have between one thousand and one thousand 500 children for free, it is a program that we are designing with the schools, we are going to go for the children in the Aquarium trucks, we are going to bring them here, we take them to the auditorium, we give them an explanation with an educational and scientific approach at the school level, we give them a tour, a lunch, a souvenir and we return them to their schools, “he explained.
All this social part, he added, is going to be very important and they will also have contributions from organizations that serve vulnerable groups.
The project is already 62% complete and by September 2020 it will be able to open its doors to the public; the cost will range between 190 pesos and 210 pesos.
“The opening to the public is estimated in the second half of September 2022, the building is estimated to be finished in May, but there will be three months of tests to guarantee the experience of the visitors,” he mentioned.
Currently, the project employs 450 people on the construction site and when it becomes a reality, between 140 and 160 people will be working in the operation area.
It was necessary to clarify that although most of the investment is private with a 30-year concession, as it is built on land owned by Mazatlán, the Aquarium is also owned by the municipality. Without mentioning numbers, the project director indicated that the city will be receiving a certain percentage of the box office.
“From the beginning that we signed the agreements, we established a box office percentage that goes to the city of Mazatlán, we have other very diverse contributions that are much larger, not only in economic value but also in social impact,” he said.