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Hola Volunteers, Supporters and Friends ~

On March 18th, I made the long journey north to Nogales, Arizona, and a salvage yard that would be the final resting place of my old Ford truck. Except for the very basics, nothing worked on it, although, to show it’s vinegar the transmission started to jam-up as we neared the border. In less then two days I was home in Idyllwild, California, where I was met by a storm that dumped 8” of snow in a 24° blizzard.

The first forty-five days of my work/vacation was spent getting my house ready to rent and cataract surgery. After repairs to the electrical and plumbing systems, a paint job, new carpets and curtains, the house is ready to rent, but no renter, sob!! The cataract surgery went very well with near 20/20 vision in both eyes. I can’t believe it. I was nearly blind.

The last fifteen days of the trip was spent visiting friends and family in addition to purchasing supplies for México. The journey took me from Idyllwild to San Diego, then Fairfax, back to Idyllwild, then Tucson and back to San Pancho. Aside from a wonderful visit with Carol Harootunian, Yana, Daniel and Almadin in Fairfax, the visit also had mission. For years Carol had stressed the point that my old 92 Ford truck was too unstable and hazardous to be driven. It had been Carol’s plan to give me her Toyota pickup but a mechanic’s check found that it had too many problems. So a joint search of the web found a used 2000 Honda CR-V just seven miles away at a dealership. Two days later, Carol purchased the Honda in my name, a gift that I will forever be thankful for and a vehicle that may save my life in time. (See image below)

Volunteer-wise, in the past ten days, four volunteers have dropped out, but except for the loss of help within the first two weeks of June, the losses will not affect our work providing we do not receive more losses. Our twenty-seven volunteer come from Australia, Canada, Chile, Germany, United Kingdom and the USA, while eighteen or 66% are former volunteers

Due to widespread termite damage the entire box nursery had to be disassembled. An inspection of the wood showed damage to over 60% of the structure, a structure that should have collapsed under its own weight long ago. Repair will be far more costly and take longer than first thought. When it's rebuilt it will run parallel to the wall, be ten feet longer and contain ninety additional boxes. Every single piece within the nursery will have to be painted (light tan) to keep termites out of the wood, and all thirteen columns will rest on cinder blocks treated with a termite repellent. (See image below) If anyone in San Pancho has a Miter Saw they can loan the program for a short time, give me a call.

At the same time the box nursery is being rebuilt during the day, the beach needs to be covered and nests collected during the night. But for now the buggy is too unreliable to be trusted on the beach without a fair amount of repairs. The beach nursery can receive nests, but to keep tourist out we needs to replace 32 steel fencepost. Without volunteers until mid-June, this is not going to be an easy task.

Weather-wise, we’ve received 4.7 inches of rain this year, and our temperatures and humidity has been within the comfortable range if you keep in mined that “only a mad dog and a tourist would venture out in the noonday sun.”

Town-wise, the construction around the Plaza del Sol, Calle México, and Calle Cuba is moving along at a slow pace considering the lightning pace in the beginning. The construction of the Pemex gas station has come to a complete stop except for watering the grass, although the Sayulita station is about to open. There was another construction crew patching holes in the cobblestone streets, but it too has been put on hold.

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


2000 Honda CR-V, a gift from Carol Harootunian


Some of the lumber that could not be salvaged

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