Allied in the early 1950s, a group of Mexican divers (CEDAM — Conservation, Exploration, Diving, Archaeology, and Museums) from nearby Quintana Roo  salvaged several old vessels along Belize’s reef. The booty from these old ships wasn’t gold, but items such as equipment, kitchen implements, tools, arms, beads, and an occasional coin, all contributing to our understanding of another era.
The first ship discovered and explored was Mantanceros. It was named for Punta Mantanceros, the point off the Quintana Roo beach close to where it’s believed the ship went down. On February 22, 1742, the Spanish ship ended up in a skirmish with a British ship.
The British ship was part of the Admiral’s fleet that ducked into the protection of Belize and engaged in blockading any ships along the coast. The Spanish galleon was loaded with 270 tons of mixed cargo bound for New World ports.
Many years after CEDAM salvaged the ship, information about it was discovered in the Archives of the Indies in Seville, Spain. The real name of the ill-fated ship was Nuestra Señora de los Milagros (“Our Lady of the Miracles”). Again, no gold, but many fascinating artifacts from 18th-century Spain.
Another doomed ship was La Nicolasa, believed to be the flagship of the fleet of Montejo, who was one of the conquerors of the Maya. And at Chinchorro Banks , a favorite dive spot just off the southern Mexican shore at Xcalak , a 40-cannon mystery wreck has for years defied efforts to make a definitive identification.