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Newsletter No. 84 ~ April/May, 2008
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Hola Volunteers, Friends, and Supporters ~

Calendar of activities for the coming year and last season's progress:

  • Year-around:  Presentation at Gallo’s Pizza, Thursdays at 7:00pm winter, 8:00pm summer.
    • The new media projector has proven to be an outstanding tool.  Any digital image can be projected onto the screen, the projector is quick to set up and easy to operate.   We sold 230 T-shirts for a total of $34,500 pesos, Also sold 126 T-shirts.  Gallo’s has a new chef, an all new crew. Outstanding food and wine. 
  • October through April:  Support Oasis Gift Shop in the sale of our T-shirts
    • Last season Ramona’s gift shop (Oasis) sold over 210 T-shirts for $31,500 pesos
  • November: begin upgrading the “2009 San Pancho Homeowners Directory”
    • Remember, if you have any corrections or changes, please let me know.   This also included friends that have moved into San Pancho.
  • Mid-November through April:  Promote the sale of the 2008 Homeowners Directory
    • Last season we sold 162 copies of this publication for $91,400 pesos.  If interested we still have a half dozen small and regular size directories available.
  • December through July:  The enlistment of volunteers for the 2008 season.
    • To date we have enlisted 25 volunteers, from seven countries.  Eight are return volunteers from previous years.  Enlistment will end when the one joins us in November.  (See http://www.project-tortuga.org/selected.html)
  • January through March 2008:  Overhaul the dune buggy and repair the nursery
    • Work was accomplished months earlier than normal an attempt to beat the heat of June. (More on the buggy below) (Also see photos below)
  • June:  Get everything ready for the first nests
    • Install new doors, install shade over the work area, cover nursery with plastic, wash nest boxes, print form, purchase supplies, etc.
  • Mid-June to mid-February:  Public relations,
    • While conducting tours at the nursery we sold 126 T-shirts for $18.900 pesos
  • Mid-June to mid-February:  Marine turtle program.
  • Mid-August:  install a small fenced in nursery on the beach that will handle up to 400 nests
  • Note:  The cost of producing the directory was $ 7.606 pesos and the T-shirts was $28,210 pesos.

We have a standing warning/joke here; never boast about the positive running condition of the dune buggy, unless you're willing to deal with several major breakdowns within an hour. Although today it is a different store, the mechanics at Santana Volkswagen have amazed us with their outstanding automotive skills.  In less than a week, they turned our battered, broken dune buggy into a Mercedes-Benz of the dune buggy world.  The new front-end has separated the tire and fender by 5 extra inches and made driving so smooth that you cannot feel the cobblestones or topes.  The new pedal assembly which includes a roller-style gas pedal will significantly reduce cable breakage. Other details include a new paint job, new wiring, fenders, brakes and muffler repaired, etc.  So, I will now tempt fate by boasting that our dune buggy is in excellent condition, perhaps the best condition it has been for decades.

About ten years ago the group produced and sold several hundred canvas shopping bags to members of the community hoping to end, or at least cut down on the consumption of plastic shopping bags.  Today, other towns around the world have taken this old idea one step further by offering members of their community a nice shopping bag in trade for several hundred used plastic shopping bags.  Ok, let's take this idea one more step and offer a nice canvas bag containing a liter of biodegradable dish/laundry soap.   We'll fine tune this for next month.  

April heralds the beginning of warmer weather, as expected by locals who brace themselves for the sweltering summer and its rains, or the lack thereof, as may be the case.  The accumulative effect of five dryer than normal years has turned the jungle into a dry landscape. Not good when faced with three months of dry weather.  

The well-drilling rig on the other side of the main highway has finished its work after a lengthy shutdown ordered by government authorities.  The rig drilled through 55 feet of sand and loose rock, to stopped after drilling into 12 feet of solid rock.  Geologists working with the rig operator report that this well should produce from 110 to 325 gallons per minute.   

I don't understand the logic behind this new well, except that it could delay or altogether end the threat of water rationing this May through August.  However, it is a risky gamble to completely draw down an aquifer betting that the coming rainy season will recharge it. If you gamble wrong, you could be out of water sometime after that last rain.

In my home town of Idyllwild there had been decades of on-and-off water rationing.  The town took three major steps to correct the problem.  First, they limited the town to 200 water meters. If a meter was not needed, the owner could sell it to the higher bidder.  Then the town built seven enormous water tanks, filling them during the winter months to supply water during the dry summer months. Finally, all water meters were limited to a specified amount of usage during the dry months. Any user that went over that amount had to pay triple the normal amount on the overage.  These measures did not end water rationing completely but they did help to provide the water needed to fight wild fires.

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


 Mercedes-Benz of the dune buggy world  . ... .........................As solid as a rock, the nursery is 98% complete 



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