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Newsletter No. 90 - November, 2008
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Hola Volunteers, Friends, and Supporters ~ 

Perhaps what was an obscure dream seventeen years ago is a reality today, 1,000 nests recorded as of November 4th and over 1,038 nests by the end of November.  Of the 1,038 nests, 664 were placed in our box nursery at my house, 200 were placed on Playa Questo, Los Chololo and Las Bancas in safe locations and 70 nests were taken illegally.  The last 104 nests were placed in our beach nursery. This number includes all nests found since November 11th, more or less about 28 nests.  By the end of November there were 108 nests in the box nursery and 42 nests in the beach nursery.
 
Thanks to the outstanding work of over 47 volunteers, collectively, we were able accomplish one heck of a difficult task saving over 980 nests and releasing over 75,000 hatchlings.  Without your tireless help we could not have achieved this goal. I’ve enjoyed working with everyone and hope that you enjoyed your stay in San Pancho, please come again.
 
The first 15 copies of the “2009 Homeowners Directory” are published.  I have an idea how to get the directory in the hands of those who would like a copy.  Each year I spend hundreds of hours driving around in search of homeowners that seem to be someplace else other than behind the door I am knocking on.  I am not lazy but, if possible, please drop by my house between 12 noon and midnight any day and pick up a copy.
 
On Saturday, November 29th, the group attended a dinner at a very nice hilltop restaurant with sweeping views of the coast from Rincon de Guayabitos north to La Peñita and beyond.  This major event brought together the presidents and officers of most of the environmental groups in the state of Nayarit.  In attendance was the governor of Nayarit, and the delegations from Semarnat, Conanp, Profepa (Mexico's top environmental agencies).  The master of ceremonies was Delores Lolita Ayala, a well known and much loved Mexican journalist/newscaster/celebrity who has championed numerous environmental causes.  On behalf of the Grupo Ecológico de la Costa Verde, I was happy to accept the award for our contribution over the past sixteen years.
 
In case anyone is interested, the buggy is doing very well despite earlier problems that almost destroyed it this summer. Since its near collapse in July/September, there has been few other problems excluding the replacement of warn parts to avoid future breakdowns.
 
The marine turtle encampment, the nursery and my house, now includes a recently completed duplex (see photo below) which will accommodate up to ten volunteers during the nesting season.  Generally, by the end of November, the last of the volunteers has returned home or gone on to other adventures, and the apartments are rented to others for the winter. The volunteer housing fits the program's needs perfectly. Besides the fact that the duplex is conveniently located next to the nursery, it's under our control year-round which simplifies managing the paying of utilities, cleaning, maintenance and assigning rooms.
 
We are planning a yard sale and need your unwanted and/or discarded items!  Bring or send anything you'd like to donate to the nursery.  If we’re not here at the time, please leave the items on the white tables inside the gates.  It’s going to be great fun for all.  This old-fashioned yard sale will be held at the nursery on January 3rd, 4th and 5th.  It’s a great way to recycle your unwanted items while raising money to help cover our expenses during the coming season.
 
The history behind the “San Francisco Homeowners Directory”: This publication was inaugurated in November 1998 as a way to raise funds for the marine turtle program.  The guiding principle behind this directory is simple. Everybody in the community is included within the white and yellow pages, if they wish, without charge.  This year's publication also includes a 2009 calendar, seven maps of the community and jungle residents, and dialing information. The heart of this publication is found within the 14 pages dedicated to our Sponsors, over 180 generous homeowners who annually contribute to our marine turtle program.
 
Weather-wise, there has been very little rain to speak of in November, with mostly fair, and cloudless days.  By the end of November, daytime temperatures were in the mid 80°s while nights were down to the low 60°s. The river is still forcing its way through the lagoon to the sea.  For the time being, the hills around San Pancho remain green, but the grass and small annual plants are beginning to show stress due to lack of water.

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

      Volunteer House       Indina Rock Art

      Image #1 - Generally between July to the end of November, this house will accommodate up to ten volunteers.

      Image #2 - Before the award dinner we headed for El Naranjo, a major marine turtle beach and nursery just north of La Peñita       where over one hundred children had been camping out and learning about turtles and their nesting habits, The afternoon's activities ......included speeches by the various officials and then a huge turtle release in which each child was allowed to hold and then release a ......hatchling.

 


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