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Hola Volunteers, Supporters and Friends ~

By the end of October we had recorded over 706 nests (only 72.5% of what we had recorded last year) of which 446 were placed in the box nursery, of that number, 260 nests have hatched at an excellent 91%.  Of the 211 nests placed in the beach nursery 104 have hatched producing 51%, (Perhaps due to heavy rains and unusually cold night temps on the beach.)  19 nests were left in the beach, 26 taken by poachers, and 4 nests were washed out.

Unlike the past thirteen months, we finally have enough volunteers to comfortably do the job.  By the end of October we have nine volunteers, although throughout October we had fourteen in all.  In order that they arrived:  Curt, Joslin and kids from the US, Andres from México, Matilda and Rebecca from Sweden, Alan and Nicole from the UK,  Agata from Poland, Mark and Jessica and Les and Leora from the US.  (See photos below.)

Aside from several hours of heavy rains during the opening night of the town celebration, the fiesta finished without any additional snags, although on the first night many vehicles were trapped in town due to flooding.  This year’s fiesta was to me a personal disappointment.  The parades were small, basically a float, band and a handful of people carrying candles.  As for the fiesta itself, there was little special entertainment or fireworks.  Apart from the second night that fathered enjoyable mariachi music, the remaining nights offered deafening banda music.  The sound was so distorted that the tuba was the only instrument that could make its way through a stack of thirty large loud speakers.  To add insult to injury, as soon as the bands stopped around four in the morning, the sound of earsplitting rockets broke the tranquil night’s air for at least two hours. 

Weather-wise, October’s weather was extremely mild as compared to September’s torrential rains.  Daytime temperatures were generally in the high to mid 80’s, while nights were unusually cold during the last week of October, they were generally in the mid to low 70°.  The humidity has dropped from 80/70% to a comfortable 50 to 30%, while skies were mostly clear throughout the month. Apart from a spat of rain during the first days of the month, October was unusually dry. Total rainfall to date for the year was 55.5 inches.

Flood waters from the lagoon snaked their way northward cutting a 12 foot vertical bank across the beach in front of town so be careful if you decide to take a walk in the dark in the area of La  Perla/Las Palmas, its enough to cause an injury.  The beaches, for the most part, are still covered with literally tons of uprooted trees and floating debris, although there have been some attempts to clean and burn some of it.  With the help of over a hundred volunteers, Entre Amigos, on the 23rd, sponsored a clean up that removed about thirty large bags of trash, mostly plastic from the local beach.  (See photo below.)

The river forge has been replaced with a compacted soil bridge, and a new pedestrian crossing was assembled just below this temporary soil bridge.  Construction of the new bridge seems to be moving along at a faster than expected pace. The highway side embankment is finished and the town side is well on its way. (See images below.)  Construction of the new Pemex station began in mid-October, and it seems that Sayulita and San Pancho are in a race to get their gas station up and running first, to what end, I have know idea.

For years I’ve used the road in front of my house as a barometer to measure current tourist and winter resident activities, such as the passing of water trucks and passenger cars.  To date there seems to be no increase in activity over last year, which is today about 22% of what we experienced in 2000.  When rounding up the usual suspects you can point a finger at the economy and drug violence as the culprit that caused the drop.  It took eight years to get us into this mess, and it will be a long time before we see tourism as we did in 2000.  That’s a shame as the weather here is beautiful, and no violence reported along the coast from San Blas to Puerto Vallarta.

Frank D. Smith
Grupo Ecológico de la Costa Verde, A.C.
Tel. 311-258-4100

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       Mid~October volunteer party with friends.                                    Highway side new bridge embankment.

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       Newly constructed pedestrian crossing                                       Twelve foot vertical bank in front of town.

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