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Previousleft arrow ................................ ......Newsletter No. 158 March, 2015 Nextright arrow


Hola Volunteers, Supporters and Readers ~

It was mid-September of 2007 when Joslin and Curt Bertrand and their daughters, Starlie and Summer, first joined our marine turtle program.   As full-time volunteers, Joslin and her daughters have remained with our program over the past seven years.

Over the last two years, Joslin had spent what little spare time she had studying for a Bachelor's degree in Environmental Studies.  Upon completion of her degree, she set in motion a plan to move back to the United States in early July in order to find work, and enroll Starlie and Summer in school.
It is not going to be an easy task to replace all their help, and devoted love of the turtles, especially Joslin's early morning coverage of the beach, her interpretive work with walk-in visitors and many other tasks that I and the other volunteers were not able to encompass.  The other void will be her loving care for sick and injured animals.  Something we will not entirely be able to replace.

By the end of March, the number of nests recorded totaled 1,244, although, if we could have included the nests that we were unable to collect on Playa Questo, that number could have risen to over 1,440 nests.  The number of hatchlings released this season will come to about 88,000.  At the end of March, only eight nests remained in the beach nursery.

Sometime around October or November, we will be releasing our 1,000,000th hatchling, from a total of 1,112 Leatherbacks, 41 Eastern Pacific Green, and 998,847 Olive Ridley.   One other milestone, today, out at sea, there are over 1,700 young Olive Ridley females that have yet to return to nest for their first time.  Hopefully when the youngest of these 1,700 hatchlings climbs ashore around 2027, the people here will have totally grasped the concept of preservation.

Back to the dune buggy: In mid-March, we purchased a used front axle and a host of other necessary parts including new shocks, steering worm gear and both tie rods including all eight new ball joints.  On March 29th, a welder began to reattach the used axle to the frame along with replacing five sections of rusted railing pipes, reinforcing many rusted connecting joints and holes, plus reinforcing all four fenders. The final welding could take up to three week to complete.  The total price for the front axle, welding, replacing the entire ignition system, complete paint job and several other minor repairs, came to about 15,445 pesos.  (See photos below)
March volunteers: Joslin, Summer, Starlie, Susanne, Manuel and Lisa.  Since Joslin is leaving during the first week of July we will need to enlist several more volunteers.  The chart below illustrates about 38 weeks of open rooms available for anyone that may be interested in joining us this summer (couples or individual.)  For a look at the lineup please go to Schedule


Weather-wise: Outstanding temperatures, generally in the high 70°s to mid 80°s, nighttime temps from the low 60°s to low 70°s.  Except for two days of heavy rains in early March (3.16 inches at my house) there were no unusual weather events in San Pancho.  By the end of March the outlet to the lagoon was closed to the sea, although the river has some water, unusual for April.  March rainfall came to 2.09 inches, 5.41 inches for the year.

On the 15th and 16th of March, we received 3.16 inches of heavy rain and some lightning, while on the 17th, the bridges over the Ameca River (the Jalisco-Nayarit state line) were closed because of heavy flooding and in some places the river was over a mile wide. (See photo below.)   So, is our climate here changing to the point where irregular weather patterns might become the norm; days of cloudy skies, heavy rain and floods throughout the tourist season?   Don’t think it can’t happen because it just did.

Town and country wise: Streets have new one-way signs and white arrows indicating direction have been painted on the road surface. Curbs have been painted white and bright yellow so it seems one-side parking will be enforced as no parking (at least for Semana Santa). Hopefully, these changes will reduce traffic congestion and, so far, it looks as if it has a good chance of working.
Lisa has an idea that may reduce traffic on Tercer Mundo by half.  (See the map below - it also shows the new one-way streets

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


Eaten by rust this fifteen year front axle was replaced with used axle on the right.


Note the bridges at the bottom right. The water level of the Ameca River has dropped and traffic is allowed to cross the bridge again.


There are only five one-way streets, Cuba and American Latina will go north, Asia goes south, Chile goes east and Tercer Mundo is one-way from Africa down to Cuba

It is interesting that San Pancho is the only town in this general area that has only one road leading into it, not good for a town that is growing, or for a population that may someday needs to move quickly.

Lisa’s road (in purple, new construction) goes from the end of Egipto past the south side of the hospital, around a hill to Birmania, then to the end of Birmania, straight across over Nueva Galicia and the river to highway 200 along a small wash.

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