Tag Archives: Environment

Climate Change Affecting Oceans

Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 4.46.58 PMBy Jan Chaiken and Marcia Chaiken

In May 2015, Huatulco experienced a mar de fondo, a regularly spaced sequence of extremely high waves. Although it may appear to witnesses to be similar to a tsunami, a mar de fondo is not caused by seismic activity but rather by a large storm at some distance from the beach where the waves are landing. A delight to surfers, the large waves can, however, destroy boats and piers in marinas and inundate the lower floor of buildings close to the coastline. Along the Oaxaca coast, the mar de fondo made some highways impassible, and some hotel lobbies and schools were flooded. Continue reading Climate Change Affecting Oceans


Ocean Music

By Leigh Morrow

The first time I saw any of the five bodies of water that call themselves an Ocean, I was mesmerized

For years, I had sat summer evenings on the back steps of my home in the landlocked Canadian Prairies, a shell bought at a garage sale cradled to my ear, imagining what an Ocean could possibly sound like.

I had visualized sailing a ship across any of them, but especially the Pacific, and landing in exotic sounding places like Bora Bora and Tahiti, where I would live on the beach and collect glass, polished smooth by the waves, to wear around my neck. I imagined I was Black and balanced baskets high on my head filled with sweet fruit like papayas and fragrant mangoes. Continue reading Ocean Music

False Killer Whales

Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 4.47.37 PMBy Julie Etra

This species, whose scientific name is Pseudorca crassidens (pseudo = false, orca = Latin for cetacean, e.g. marine mammals: whales and dolphins; crassidens = ‘thick-tooth’) is actually a member of the dolphin family, and is the only member of its genus. It was first described in 1846 and is the fourth largest dolphin in the world. The species is fairly widespread in its distribution; they have been observed in shallow water including the Mediterranean and Red Seas but are more common in the deeper tropical to temperate waters of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. They are considered uncommon but there are no global population estimates. The United State (U.S.) National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) concluded that false killer whales were the least common of the 18 species of toothed whales and dolphins found in Hawaiian waters. Although not hunted commercially, they can be caught as bycatch and through other fishery interactions, such as the Hawaii longline fishery and bottomfish fishery off the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. They are hunted in Indonesia, Japan, and the West Indies. In the US this species is listed as Endangered under the Endangered Species Act. Continue reading False Killer Whales

Hurricanes—Not Just for Meteorologists

By Deborah Van Hoewyk

Silly me. I used to think that there were hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean, cyclones in the Pacific, typhoons usually aimed themselves at Japan, and then there were the monsoons, which had a lot of rain and were hot and steamy, and they all stuck to their geography like glue.   Living in the northeastern U.S., kids found those Atlantic hurricanes exciting—when a hurricane actually made it all the way to Maine, my father would drive us around on my brother’s paper route in case there were any downed electric lines we wanted to play with. Continue reading Hurricanes—Not Just for Meteorologists

Environmental Update

Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 1.01.00 PMBy Julie Etra

The Committee for Clean Beaches (Comité de Playas Limpias) held a meeting in late November 2014 to address the environmental problems resulting from the wastewater treatment plants. This issue was first brought to the attention of the local authorities five years ago. The current facilities are not working efficiently, nor are they adequate to handle the current and future population; they not only create disagreeable odors, but also produce excessive levels of sulfur. The Committee recommends they be re-located farther from the population center as it gives this tourist destination a bad image. Continue reading Environmental Update

Cosmopolitan Calle Chacah: Home to La Crucecita’s Underground Art Scene

Not to mention the film scene, the music scene, the environmental scene . . .

Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 11.28.43 AMBy Deborah Van Hoewyk

It’s Friday morning, December 12, the Day of the Virgin of Guadelupe. A heavy iron bell at the church of Nuestra Senora clangs once. Silence, then a clamour of clangs, calling people in for services. At Casa Tilcoatle, which houses the Tilcoatle Collective (Colectivo Tilcoatle), a few blocks away at Calle Chacah 410, a different belief is calling, a holistic commitment to art, culture, and education as the means to “provoke reflection on our society and the environment.” (The name comes from the Nahuatl words til “black” and coatl “snake,” and is thought to indicate either the black king snake or the indigo snake, non-venemous native snakes of the Colubrid family.) Continue reading Cosmopolitan Calle Chacah: Home to La Crucecita’s Underground Art Scene

Living Green in an Eco Paradise

Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 9.37.15 AMBy Kary Vannice

What’s new in Huatulco? A movement.

A movement toward a cleaner, healthier life for Huautlco, its residents and the planet.

Thirty years ago, Huatulco was founded with a vision toward a better way to bring tourism to Mexico. Designed to be a “green resort” it was meant to give visitors the feel of connecting with nature and relaxing in the Pacific. A clear juxtaposition to the likes of Cancun, Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas. A place to enjoy, not only the beach, but also the surrounding beauty of the Sierra Madre mountains and national park. Continue reading Living Green in an Eco Paradise

Cross-Border Collaboration Aids Efforts in Coastal Oaxaca to Sterilize Street Animals, Enhance Pet Care

Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 9.18.55 AMBy Deborah Van Hoewyk

It’s a commonplace that Mexico is overrun with stray and starving dogs and cats—while no reliable sources have ventured to guess at how many, an animal rescue organization in the Yucatan has used tourism research to estimate that over 4,000,000 Americans won’t visit Mexico because they’re appalled at the situation. Continue reading Cross-Border Collaboration Aids Efforts in Coastal Oaxaca to Sterilize Street Animals, Enhance Pet Care

Beyond the Beach: Hagia Sofia

Screen Shot 2016-04-17 at 8.43.00 AMBy Brooke Gazer

The organic gardens of Hagia Sofia offer a remarkable contrast to Huatulco’s sun and sand environment. Located about ½ hr. from the airport and well into the mountains, the temperature can be considerably cooler and with the help of irrigation it is green year round. This sustainable agro-ecological development has some 30,000 plants and trees in addition to hosting a broad range of butterflies, birds and other wildlife.   Continue reading Beyond the Beach: Hagia Sofia