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Notes from the Field: Cindy Wilber in Yucatán

Chicxulub, Mexico

Hola Jasper Ridge and greetings from Puerto Chicxulub, Yucatán MX/ Hola Jasper Ridge y saludos desde Puerto Chicxulub,Yucatán, MX

My work here in Yucatán is in many ways the same as my work at Jasper Ridge although in a very different location. I spend my days working with Proyecto Itzaes (PI) and with CEAPY, two nonprofits I run here with a tremendous amount of overlap between the two programs and with Jasper Ridge and Stanford. When here in Yucatán I am also able to keep up with JRBP work via a fast internet connection, and yes, I marvel daily at how much that has changed over recent years!

Centro de Educación Ambiental de la Peninsula Yucateca ( CEAPY) is dedicated to conservation and the support of bio-cultural diversity through education, research and community. CEAPY supports our field station, Reserva San Nicolás including more than 500 plus hectare of very diverse habitat near Cenotillo, Yucatán. You can see some of our recent camera trap photos here and I am pasting in one just to get you started!

Camera trap photo of felid in Yucatan

Proyecto Itzaes is an educational non-profit that provides resources to Maya children and their families in poor, rural villages in Yucatán. The minimum wage in Yucatán is about $4 per DAY and many of the families we work with do not even make that much. PI programs supply books, hands-on learning, STEM for all ages and Maya cultural resources. We are just about to start our summer courses that will be filled from morning to night with teaching and learning! It is hard to even describe how many school supplies we go through on a daily basis, but imagine lots of glue and crayons as well as microscope workshops using foldscopes and so much more.

This coming weekend, July 7 and 8, I will be taking a group of PI asesores (graduates of PI programs who now teach and mentor younger students) to Reserva San Nicolás for a two day BioBlitz using i-Naturalist and Foldscopes! Stay tuned for an update next week on that!

Meanwhile, the beach is lovely, the gulf waters are clear and warm and the flamingos fly over every day. And lots of mangos!