The Playa Times: Where are you originally from and how did you find yourself in Cozumel?
Denisse: I’m from León, Guanajuato in the middle of Mexico. I came to Cozumel fours years ago seeking to work for a while and save money to do documentary photography, but once I saw Cozumel’s sea I decided to stay.
What has been your biggest accomplishment in this area?
I won third place in the fauna category in a national nature contest called Mosaico Natura in September 2017, organized by the Mexican government CONABIO and National Geographic. Because of this, my work was printed in National Geographic which was a dream come true. I have also organized nine poetry festivals on the island. Last year seven poets and I published a collection of poetry named Cursilínea (corny-line) about corny love. This year I published my own book, Hora Pico (rush hour) and I am very proud of that as well.
I have happily found that women here are more prone to collaborate together than in the city and that fills me with hope. More women here are willing to help each other than criticize or judge.”
What are your positive and negative experiences here as a woman in Cozumel?
Diving requires a physical strength that I don’t have. It is still a man’s world and you have to adapt and be very smart and draw a respectful line with your colleagues. You work twice as hard sometimes to prove you deserve the spot. It is very competitive, but you have to find your strengths and use them. I have happily found that women here are more prone to collaborate together than in the city and that fills me with hope. More women here are willing to help each other than criticize or judge. Men and women from the press have helped me a lot. It was women (men, as well) from the local radio Espacio Lector 107.7 fm and Playa Times that promoted me. Other female friends have helped me promote my poetry and my last boss in underwater photography is a great woman who has helped me in every way. I am proud and grateful.
What are your hopes for the future for women here on the Riviera Maya?
My hope is that women keep helping each other and making stronger bonds
How will you support International Women’s Day?
I will participate in Playa del Carmen’s Eighth International Art and Poetry Festival “Grito de Mujer” on March 17-18 reciting poems against gender violence.