Presenting Nora Murillo Tomorrow Night

A Benefit for Campamento Tortuguero Ayotlcalli

Come join us for our second benefit concert of the season.  For this event, we will have the wonderful Nora Murillo performing in a beautiful setting.  You will be swept away by her range and control as well as the clear beauty and passion of her voice.

When:  Tuesday, 15 January 2019 at 5:45pm

Where:  Marea Beachfront Villas, Playa Blanca

We still have tickets available and purchasing is so simple.

You can contact Laurel Patrick laurel@elrefugiodepotosi.org / (755-557-2840) to purchase locally for MX$500, or purchase them online for US$27.50.




 

 

 

 


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Meet Raul Ramirez

Raul Ramirez is a volunteer with Campamento Tortuguero Ayotlcalli, participating in night patrols, sometimes giving our educational presentation before releases, and, most importantly, working at our summer camp, Los Guerreros del Arcoiris (Warriors of the Rainbow) to educate our local children. Raul’s primary job in our area is working with the Whales of Guerrero project which also entails a large educational component so he has become very influential figure with the children in our local communities.

Raul grew up in the industrial city of Salamanca, Guanajuato (approximate population 270,000), home of the largest Pemex refinery in Mexico. When he was young, Raul dreamed of joining the Navy and becoming a pilot but the need for prescription glasses changed those plans before he had the chance. In hindsight, he says that’s probably a good thing as he probably wouldn’t have been a good fit in the highly disciplined and regimented life of the military.

Following high school, Raul applied for entrance to Universidad del Mar (University of the Sea) in Oaxaca where he hoped to study Marine Biology. Before he was even sure he had been accepted, he moved there to prepare for his university studies. Fortunately he was accepted and later completed all of the course work for his degree.

After completing his university studies, Raul helped found an NGO in Oaxaca, with some former classmates and a professor, that focused on the study of the local dolphin population. While he really enjoyed that work, he wanted an opportunity to mix scientific study with an educational element in his work.

Raul learned of the Whales of Guerrero project that studies humpback whales in the waters off of Playa Larga, Playa Blanca, and Barra de Potosí and moved north. He is now in his second season with Whales of Guerrero and also with us at Ayotlcalli.

Beyond teaching the children in our communities through his work with Ayotlcalli’s camp and Whales of Guerrero’s educational outreach, Raul is a model to the young people by the way he lives and honors the environment. Raul is known for carrying an old wine bottle covered in burlap as his water bottle in favor of single use bottle or even a manufactured reusable bottle. He’s also known for doing his own dishes if he visits a friend’s home to make sure the absolute minimum amount of water is used. He’s an inspiration to the kids and really lives a life of total environmental consciousness.

When he was asked what his favorite thing was about working at Ayotlcalli’s summer camp, Raul said it was watching Damaris with the kids. He said that watching her made him a better teacher.

Because of all of these personal attributes and his important role in our summer camp, Damaris invited Raul to join her at the 2019 International Sea Turtle symposium next month in Charleston, South Carolina, USA. Raul will have an opportunity to network with other marine life professionals and to expand his knowledge of the sea turtle world.

Raul is a special person, helping to mold future leaders, and we’re excited that he has this unique opportunity. But, of course, it costs money. If you able, we’re asking for contributions to help defray some of the expense of his trip. Our goal is to raise US$500 by the start of the symposium on February 2. If you can help us get Raul to South Carolina, please donate online at any amount you are able.


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Ayotlcalli to Present at the Symposium of International Sea Turtle Society

We are excited and proud to share the news that Campamento Tortuguero Ayotlcalli will be making an oral presentation at the Annual Symposium of International Sea Turtle Society (ISTS) in Charleston, SC!  We submitted an abstract in the Education, Outreach, and Advocacy category and were selected to present at symposium in early February.  In fact, this is the third time Ayotlcalli has been selected to present at the conference with past presentations in Lima, Peru in 2016 and Las Vegas, NV USA in 2017.

In our last blog post, we wrote about our summer camp program which seeks to educate children in our local communities about the importance of good environmental stewardship, science, nutrition, and other topics that prepare them to be future leaders.

At the upcoming symposium, Damaris’ presentation is about our Rainbow Warriors (Los Guerreros del Arcoiris) program.  In the introduction of the presentation abstract submitted to ISTS, Damaris writes:

Our mission has been to educate the population in regards to the protection and conservation of three species of marine turtles that nest in this beautiful area; Olive Ridley (Golfina), Black Sea Turtle (Prieta), and Leatherback (Laúd).

After spending much time and effort trying to raise awareness with adults (locals and visitors), we have realized that in the long term, children are the key to making the required changes that will reverse the imminent extinction of these marine turtles.

Raul Ramirez

Damaris’ husband Gene and Raul Ramirez will be traveling with Damaris to South Carolina.  Raul completed his studies in marine biology at Universidad del Mar (University of the Sea) in Oaxaca before moving to this area to work with the Whales of Guerrero project.  A significant part of his work with that project involves educating the children of Barra de Potosí which led him to become involved with Ayotlcalli’s camp and to volunteer with us throughout the season.  We are excited that Raul will have the opportunity to accompany Damaris to the symposium where he will network and attend workshops that will help expand his knowledge.

The Mission of the International Sea Turtle Society is to promote understanding, appreciation, and value of sea turtles and their habitats through the exchange and sharing of information, techniques, ideas, and inspiration that will promote actions from local to global levels, for the advancement of sea turtle biology and conservation.

ISTS convenes a uniquely important annual symposium that brings people together from all around the world (more than 1,000 people from approximately 80 countries), all dedicated to the research and conservation of sea turtles. Since 1981 this community of sea turtle biologists, conservationists, educators and advocates has gathered to share knowledge, build capacity, network and collaborate and ultimately, to leverage conservation.

The background of participants has also diversified to incorporate government officials, students, the general public, activists, and advocacy groups, biologists, researchers, veterinarians, policy-makers, and more, to form an ever-increasing number of people with a variety of ideas and the common goal of ensuring the survival of these endangered animals.

Symposium goers have been able to promote their research network with others working in their field, and train future sea turtle biologists and conservationists. In the past decade. the Symposium focus has broadened to include social science, education, and grassroots conservation efforts.

To make a donation towards funding the cost our attending the conference, please click the Donate button at the bottom of this post on the website.


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Los Guerreros del Arcoiris

Pollution rates are rising and the climate is changing, drastically, altering the world we live in.  The environmental crisis we face makes it critically important for our children to learn about nature and how we can make changes in our lives can make a difference in protecting and saving it.  It’s not too late.  Yet.

We believe that by giving our youth the opportunity to learn about how our communities and nature can live in balance will make them more environmentally conscious and aware of how the decisions they make will impact nature.  If they are not informed and educated about how man’s behavior affects the environment, how will they protect it in the future?

Beyond raising their environmental awareness, we believe the young people in our communities will become more civically engaged with their local communities as they get older.  That engagement will enable them to work to improve the sustainability of their communities, using what they have learned about the environment.

We, at Campamento Tortuguero Ayotlcalli, believe so strongly in the importance of educating the children in our communities that we conduct a two week summer camp each year that focuses on these core beliefs.  Our camp teaches about local nature including our birds, fish, whales, and – of course – sea turtles!  We go beyond those themes to also educate the kids about the importance of nutrition and how the choices they make in what they consume affects their health and the environment.  We have activities to get the kids exercising and working to clean up the beaches.  There are art activities and scientific experiments.  For some of these activities we partner with local organizations like our friends at Whales of Guerrero who focus on our humpback whale population, and also educating the children in our community.

When camp concludes and the children return to their communities, they are truly Los Guerreros del Arcoiris…Warriors of the Rainbow.  Bringing their new found knowledge and enthusiasm to their homes and communities.  Making a difference.  Becoming the leaders of the future.

In later posts, we will be sharing more information about the camp and opportunities to help financially.  You can also check our website for details.

 

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Please Adopt My Nest

Hello Everyone!

I am a Laúd (Leatherback) mama turtle, which means I am at least (about) 18 years old but age doesn’t matter unless you are cheese or wine so, like many of us women, I’m not going to share mine!

I love coming back to Playa Blanca – the beach where I was born – to lay my eggs so that my hatchlings can be born in the same gorgeous place where I first emerged from the sand ‘some’ years ago.  In fact, I just returned on Friday night to bury a new nest with 90 of my precious future babies.

Wow, Playa Blanca sure has changed a lot (thanks to you humans!) since the day I first crawled my way out of my cozy nest but I am lucky that the kind people at Ayotlcalli are here to help make sure my babies are safe in this dangerous new world.

But they need your help.  Won’t you please consider adopting my babies or the nest of one of my sister Golfina’s or Prieta’s, who are great too.  Of course I think I’m the greatest, and I know I’m the biggest! There are only a precious few of us Laúds left, so I think this is a special opportunity for some generous and lucky people.

Now, I know I was camera shy on Friday night so you won’t see any photos of me, but if you adopt my nest you will see lots of photos of the volunteers who found my tracks, and the relocation of my eggs from the nest I carefully dug.  In about 60 days or so, the fine volunteers at Ayotlcalli will share pictures with you of my babies making their way to the ocean for the very first time.  You’ll even receive a certificate honoring you as the adopter of my nest.

You and I will be so proud that day for our teamwork in ensuring our babies’ safety and survival so that our girls can also return to Playa Blanca when they are my age!

Please go online to Adopt Me today.  My tortuguitas are depending on you.

$50 – Adopt a Nest (Leatherback)

 


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Thank You and Happy New Year!!

All of us at Campamento Tortuguero Ayotlcalli would like to thank you, our supporters, for being there for us in 2018 and standing by our side as we dive into the New Year.

We have a lot of exciting things happening as we begin 2019 and we humbly ask for the continued enthusiasm and generosity of the Ayotlcalli supporter community.  In the coming year, we hope to expand our corral capacity, continue and expand our educational programs, attend one or more international symposiums to continue to improve our knowledge and practices, purchase at least one additional ATV for patrols, and more.  And, while less glamorous, we of course need to continue covering our day-to-day expenses.

We would like to pay special recognition to those of you that signed up for our new Member program for 2019 by making a One-Time Donation or becoming Sustaining Members.   Our Adopt-A-Nest program has been particularly popular and we encourage anyone that is interested to sign-up to adopt one of our nests before the season begins to wind down in the next month or two.


2019 Members

Tom Main
Martha DahDah for Isabella & Adrianna
Linda Lytle for Olivia
Sharon Kustritz
Carmen Hysong for Jaxton’s Turtle Mission
Paul Jenny
Patty Sullivan & Mitchell Thorp
Suzie Raistrickt
Jude Coughlin-Misurelli


Thank you, thank you, thank you for a great 2018 and the opportunity to look forward to an exciting New Year with optimism.

The Ayotlcalli Team

Did you know that for as
little as $5 per month,
you can become a
Sustaining Member,
helping to continue
the mission of Ayotlcalli.
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Scouts Return for a Visit

Earlier this month, a Scout group from Morelia, Michoacán returned to the Camp after last visiting two years ago.  The scouts spent a couple of days and nights camping, cooking, going on foot patrols, and experiencing Ayotlcalli life.

This particular Scout group was the first one founded in Morelia in 1948 and is celebrating 70 years of existence this year.

We enjoyed hosting Scout Grupo-2 of Morelia and wish them all the best in the New Year.

Did you know that for as
little as $5 per month,
you can become a
Sustaining Member,
helping to continue
the mission of Ayotlcalli.
Become a Member Today

Presenting Nora Murillo

A Benefit for Campamento Tortuguero Ayotlcalli

Greetings everyone and Happy New Year!

Now that the holidays and the gatherings that go with them are over, are you looking for something fun and exciting to do?  We have the answer!

Come join us for our second benefit concert of the season.  For this event, we will have the wonderful Nora Murillo performing in a beautiful setting.  You will be swept away by her range and control as well as the clear beauty and passion of her voice.

When:  Tuesday, 15 January 2019 at 5:45pm

Where:  Marea Beachfront Villas, Playa Blanca

There is a limited supply, so get your tickets now!  Purchasing tickets is so simple.

You can contact Laurel Patrick laurel@elrefugiodepotosi.org / (755-557-2840) to purchase locally for MX$500, or purchase them online for US$27.50.




 

 

 

 


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Meet Felipe De Jesus

Felipe is our one and only full-time employee. He is 22 years old and has been working or volunteering at Campamento Tortuguero Ayotlcalli for 7 years. Yes, that means he started volunteering at the very young age of 14!

Growing up in the nearby community of El Coacoyul, Felipe always knew about the sea turtles nesting in the area but it wasn’t until his aunt, who was volunteering at the camp at the time, invited him along that he got hooked. He has been with Damaris and the Camp ever since with growing responsibilities along the way. Currently, he lives onsite in our volunteer cabin and works full time doing so many of things that are needed day-to-day .

Whether he is patrolling at night, reburying the nests, managing the corral and nest locations, cleaning out nests after hatchlings have all emerged, working with our guests at the hatchling releases, or just generally working around camp, we can count on a smile.

Felipe has gained so much knowledge about the turtles over the years that the volunteer team can always rely on him for a guidance, training, and keeping things on the right track.

In addition to his interest and work with sea turtles, Felipe is going to school to learn English. The schedule of three hours each day in addition to his Camp responsibilities keeps him busy.

If you love the turtle release pictures on the Camp’s Facebook page, chances are Felipe was the one who caught that magical moment.  After the turtles are released and they’re making their way towards the water, Felipe is always on the lookout for a good shot of a hatchling, the sunset, or our guests.

When asked to tell us something we didn’t know about him, he told us his childhood nickname is ‘Polvora’ (loosely translated as firecracker, thunderbolt, or gunpowder). He earned this due to his interest in boxing, which his father did as a hobby.

The Camp is really fortunate to have such a dedicated person as one of the leaders of the team.

Did you know that for as
little as $5 per month,
you can become a
Sustaining Member,
helping to continue
the mission of Ayotlcalli.
Become a Member Today

Adopt-A-Nest

Did you know you can adopt a nest and give it as a gift to that special person in your life?

When you adopt a nest, we will email you a personalized certificate recognizing the name of the adopter along with the unique nest number.

The adopter will receive email updates from us with pictures of the nest when rescued, then inside of our corral and finally, of a release including hatchlings from their nest.  We will let you know how many eggs were collected, who the volunteers were that relocated the nest, and more.

What a unique and wonderful gift to give someone that really cares about our mother earth!  Please support the work that we do.

Wishing you a wonderful Holiday Season and peaceful and prosperous New Year.

The Ayotlcalli Team.


$25 – Adopt a Nest (Golfina & Prieta)

 

 

$50 – Adopt a Nest (Leatherback)

 

 

Did you know that for as
little as $5 per month,
you can become a
Sustaining Member,
helping to continue
the mission of Ayotlcalli.
Become a Member Today