When I planned my visit to Huatulco I had no idea that I’d have an opportunity to become a parrot feeder. But on Easter Sunday my granddaughter and I accompanied our friend Maggie to the Iguanario in Copalita, a village outside of Huatulco. Maggie and her husband moved from Alberta to Huatulco after they retired. She’s been feeding the parrots at the Iguanario several mornings a week for a while now. The Iguanario’s mission is the protection and breeding of iguanas but when a poacher was apprehended in mid-March with 500 baby parrots the Iguanario agreed to care for them until they were mature enough to release back into the wild. Continue reading Messed Up in a Good Cause!
Chaos Theory states that something as small as the flutter of a butterfly’s wings can cause a hurricane on the other side of the world. Could that really be possible? Can something so seemingly insignificant, the flap of a butterfly’s wing, actually create devastation and destruction on a massive scale? Perhaps a better question would be what effect would the absence of butterfly wings have on our environment? Continue reading The Monarch Butterfly
I didn’t see a firefly until I was 31 years old. Of course, like any child who had seen them in the movies or depicted in animation, I was captivated by the idea. A bug that lights up! Magic! Continue reading Bioluminescent Bucket List
Most people arrive in Huatulco by air and some by bus or car. A select few choose a slower, less direct approach, walking “El Camino Copalita” (The Copalita Trail). Long hiking trails have gained popularity around the world and two in particular have been the subject of bestselling books. The one in our region is new, virtually unknown and somewhat different from those that are longer and more established. Continue reading Take a Walk on the Wild Side
Mexico, with its 761,600 square miles, extremely varied climate conditions, and complex topography that provides varied habitats, is in the top dozen of the world’s most “megadiverse” countries, with one count putting it sixth and another third. Mexico is first for herpetofauna (717 reptiles and 290 amphibians); second, third, or fourth for mammal species (502), depending on who’s counting; 15th for bird species (290, 1,150 subspecies), and it has just oodles of fresh- and salt-water fish species, never mind the insects and invertebrates. In all, Mexico is home to about 12% of all animal species on earth. Continue reading Mexico—Amazing Biodiversity. Protection? Not So Much.
The jaguarundi (Puma yagouaroundi) is a small jaguar that generally ranges from northern Mexico to southern Argentina. There have been confirmed sightings from as far north as New Mexico, Texas, and Arizona, with unconfirmed sightings in southern Florida (one road-killed kitten carcass). And yes, they occur along the Oaxacan coast where they are also rare; our neighbors spotted one in Conejos a few years ago, albeit briefly, as they are fast and are considered threatened in Mexico. Although diurnal (active during the day), they are still difficult to observe or study. Continue reading Jaguarundi
Huatulco has the distinction of being home to the only archeological site open to the public on the entire Pacific coast of Mexico. Although it is impossible to determine who originally developed this 3000-year-old-complex, we know that over the centuries it became home to many different people, including Mixtecs and Zapotecs. For some reason not clearly understood, each group who resided here eventually died out or deserted it, leaving nature to reclaim it. Continue reading More Than Antiquity
By Brooke Gazer
Recently a proposal has been put forward to develop a commercial aqua center in Chahue which would allow tourists to swim with dolphins. For many people this is a lifelong dream and the newly proposed attraction could bring high end tourists who are willing to pay for the privilege. But is this something Huatulco wants to be a part of? If the general public understood what it truly means to imprison dolphins, I believe that most would shy away from this attraction. Continue reading To Swim or Not to Swim… With the Dolphins
By Deborah Van Hoewyk
Word has it that the folks who fish the waters off Puerto Ángel really know how to find fish—tuna, red snapper, bonito, saltfish, and shark, along with lobsters, octopus, and conch. The fishermen go offshore, out to open ocean, over a shallow area with a well developed, multi-layered coral reef. Hmm. How did a reef get out there? Continue reading Fishing Above the Volcano: The Seismic Coast of Oaxaca
By Jan Chaiken and Marcia Chaiken
Can you imagine that at one time Rio Chahué flowed vigorously and majestically down from the mountains north of Crucecita to Chahué Beach and from there to the Pacific Ocean? Although now there is a bridge labelled “Rio Chahue” on the highway from the airport to Salina Cruz, at this season of the year the bridge crosses over a dry river bed. South of the highway, and all the way through town, the river bed is now a mundane concrete channel, dividing roads such as Tamiagua and Guelaguetza into two one-way corridors on either side of the concrete watercourse. The channelled Rio Chahué passes by the Marina Park Plaza Condo Hotel and then flows under a handsome bridge where it reaches its ignominious end at a dam. Continue reading Bottoms Up in Marina Chahué