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Newsletter No. 64 - November, 2005
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Hola Volunteers, Supporters and Friends ~

Dar Peters' unfortunate death on the morning of October 20th came as a horrible shock to all of us who knew him. Dar and Angela first arrived in San Pancho about thirty years ago. Dar's early attempts to make a living was met with unwarranted resistance from a local contractor Unable to start a business in town, they returned to California. When he failed to find satisfactory work in California, they returned to San Pancho determined to stay despite the opposition, and the rest is history. I will be forever thankful for the help I had received from Dar and Angela in those early days, and for those wonderful evenings spent at Los Arcos with fiends.

By the end of October, over 300 marine turtle nests had been placed in our nursery, producing or incubating more than 16,850 hatchlings. With luck, we hope to release over 29,000 hatchlings by the end of the season. To reach this goal, we will need bring in at least 30 more nests. Otherwise, the poachers have taken 27 nests and 20 others have be left on the beach in better locations, and the survivable rate stands at 88%. I am planning to take a vacation up to the States from April 7th to June 7th, at which time we will not be collecting nests, but will instead be placing them in safer locations.

SEMARNAT, "Secretary of the Environment and Natural Recourses", has agreed to give us two law enforcement officers for whatever time we will need them next season. The only request from them is that we house and feed them while they work here in San Pancho. Geno and Elvia have agreed to house them at no cost.

The end of October, Trond Rekvin-Norway, and Maria Lehtikunnas-Finland, had returned home, and Andres Rodriguez-San Pancho, traveled to Finland to join Riikka Immonen, who is expecting their first child in January. Anna Whitehead-USA, and Nick Sanders-UK, have elected to remain in San Pancho. Paul Tsaros-France (third year with the program) and Roxann M-Puerto Rico, will leave San Pancho in mid-December.

This November, Paul Tsaros, with the help of the other volunteers, Roxann, Nick and Anna, will conduct environmental classes and field activities for the children of both the local secondary and primary schools. Their plan is to spend one entire day with each grade. They plan to explain in detail the mission of our marine turtle project, our environmental concerns, and the importance of our community cleanup campaign. These activities will end with a game on the beach that explains the life cycle of the sea turtle and hazards that face marine turtles. They expect to be working with over 275 school children over eleven days. The cost of the classes well exceed $8,000 pesos, and we feel will be worth every peso invested.

As for the buggy, except for minor repairs, it has preformed very well. The largest repair this year has been the replacement of tires, replacing the entire brake system and steering ball-joints, which we do every year due to the sand, rain, mud and salt water contact.

Weatherwise its been a mixed bag. October started out hot and muggy, and ended up cool and pleasant. Within three days in early October, we received over 7.2 inches of rain, more moisture than we had received in all of September. Since then we've received no rainfall. We are, unfortunately, 10% below last year's rainfall record, which was considered to be well below normal.

Frank D. Smith
Grupo Ecológico de la Costa Verde, A.C.
México tel.(311) 258-4100
America Latina #102
San Francisco, Nayarit, México

Paul's classes

October volunteers at the Marietas Islands

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