Tag Archives: Environment

Blowin’ in the Wind

By Neal Erickson

The need for renewable energy sources has been high in the collective world consciousness for quite some time. According to some, as Bob Dylan wrote: “The answer is blowin’ in the Wind.”

As you drive toward Chiapas from Oaxaca on highway 190, you enter the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, and will pass through some of the biggest wind farms in Latin America. On both sides of the road, at times seeming to stretch out as far as the eye can see, are acres and acres of futuristic-looking electricity-generating windmills. The Isthmus is only approximately 200km wide at it’s narrowest, and separates the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean. Also at this point, the Sierra Madre Mountain range flattens out to a plateau before rising to the Sierras of Chiapas, creating a natural funnel for winds from the Gulf to pass through to the Pacific, and vice versa. Continue reading Blowin’ in the Wind

Sweeper Ants of the Selva Seca

By Julie Etra

I got introduced, so to speak, to hormigas barrenderas through my friends and neighbors Doreen and Larry. They had described a somewhat terrifying episode of a home invasion of these carnivorous ‘sweeper’ ants native to the Selva Seca or Selva Baja (dry tropical forest) found along the Oaxacan Riviera. They are a type of army ant and although there are over 400 species and sub species of ants found in the soils of Mexico this species is unique in its social make up and behavior. They are carnivorous predators and consume only live prey. Other common names are legionarias (soldiers) and marabunta (crowd).  Continue reading Sweeper Ants of the Selva Seca

Huatulco’s National Marine Park

By Brooke Gazer

A major attraction in this region is El Parque Nacional de Huatulco which encompasses 11,890 hectares (or for those of us who have forgotten our table of measures, 26,750 football fields). About half of the reserve is forest; the other half is under water. This is one of only 10 Marine Parks within Mexico and the only one located on the Pacific coast. Two marine parks are in the Sea of Cortez and the other seven are in the Gulf and Caribbean. The park was founded in 1998 in order to protect both marine and wild life and we hope that this means that most of this coastline, which includes five Bays and 17 beaches, will remain virgin in years to come. Continue reading Huatulco’s National Marine Park

Lagos de Montebello: A Beautiful Place to Chill

By Jan and Marcia Chaiken

The Oaxaca Coast can be steaming hot in June. When you’re pricing out the cost of towing an iceberg into your favorite bay, we have a simpler solution, head to the hills – literally – up to the national park Lagos de Montebello.

Located in eastern Chiapas almost on the Guatemala border, the park is one of the most beautiful places in Mexico. Established by the federal government in 1959, the 6,425 hectares of pine and rain forest located at an altitude of 5,000 feet provide refuge for a wide variety of flora and fauna, including 117 species of insects and 35 species of reptiles. Continue reading Lagos de Montebello: A Beautiful Place to Chill

Under the Sea

By Pat Hudson

If you have never been snorkelling, or even if you are very experienced at the sport, snorkelling is one of the most relaxing ways to explore the local reefs and observe the abundant marine life. While snorkelling, make sure you always keep at least 1 arms length off the coral – this is for your own safety. If you are shallower, you are in danger of being lifted up by a swell, and dropped rather hard onto the coral … not an experience to be repeated. Continue reading Under the Sea

9 Ways to Save the Ocean

1) Learn all you can. Did you know state and local governments issue seafood contamination warnings and beach closure warnings? Read labels and signs and ask questions. By learning why a beach was closed or why certain seafood is contaminated, you may also learn how to prevent it from happening again. Learn more about the ocean and conservation by reading, watching films, attending lectures, or visiting aquariums and museums. Continue reading 9 Ways to Save the Ocean

Waves and Tides

Jan Chaiken and Marcia Chaiken

So many ways to enjoy the ocean along the Oaxacan Riviera! Maybe you like to sit or lie on the sand and listen to the waves while you read or daydream. Maybe you enjoy snorkeling while bobbing up and down on the waves. Perhaps you go further out from shore in a boat, for fishing or diving or just cruising. In all of these activities you are affected by the waves and tides but may not give much thought to them – they are just a kind of gentle background to your activities. But if you have ever wondered where the waves come from, or why the tides occur when they do, read on… Continue reading Waves and Tides

Huatulco Green Expo 2012 Success!

Screen Shot 2015-11-05 at 6.03.02 PMBy Marion Barkhouse and Larry Woelfel

The first annual Green Expo held in Huatulco at Hotel Las Brisas was rated a success by exhibitors and visitors. There were 17 exhibitors signed up for the 3 day event, which occurred the last weekend in February. They included green building components, crafts, organic foods and household products created from sustainable materials and many organizations involved in keeping Huatulco on the path of sustainability. Continue reading Huatulco Green Expo 2012 Success!


Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 4.16.14 PMBy Julie Etra

We all love the vast expanses of grass and those showy African tulip planted and maintained by the legions of FONATUR workers; mowing, weeding and watering constantly. However, there are numerous native and adapted species that require much less work and maintenance and can be clustered to take less work and water during the dry season. The term to describe this is xeriscaping, which refers to landscaping or gardening in a manner that reduces water use. It is often critical in dry climates where water may be scarce, hence the term ‘xeric’, meaning dry. Xeriscaping does not mean zeroscaping. I like to think of it as clustering plants with similar watering requirements; the idea is to be efficient with water. It is fine to have some grass, just consider size and shape as strips are very inefficient and hard to manage. Also consider fruit trees, they make a great focal planting, and make sure you have male and female plants according to the morphology of the species. Continue reading Landscaping