I have already mentioned several places (Fred's board/Baja With
Mike/Whale Watching 101, etc.) the story about Rubi from Laguna
San Ignacio who is busy in her sea turtle conservation program,
where she had been trained and then re-introduced into her small
rural community to help the local fishermen understand the need
for a "balancing act" between humans and other elements of
nature. But I haven't told other aspects of the story. On our
recent trip to Bahia de Los Angeles several events occurred that
are worth mentioning and are related to conservation.
On entering town our first evening there we stopped at Las
Hamacas for dinner before heading out to camp. Mary Ann and I
shared an order of pescado empanizado with each other and a
small conversation with several others. One friend told us that
Carolina was showing Ocean Oasis two nights over the coming
week. We attended on the first opportunity and watched this
great movie from the very place where most of it was filmed.
The musical score and the wonderful cinematography worked
together to make more complex my love for Baja California and
her magnificent displays of nature. It made me want to
freeze-frame and shrink-wrap the peninsula.
The next day we went with some friends out to Antonio's turtle
sanctuary. He happened to be there and a crowd had gathered so
he launched into a presentation supported by printed slides and
viewgraphs that discussed the lives of Leatherback turtles whom
originate in Asia and migrate for a time to Mexico because food
is so prevalent there. The Leatherbacks cross the Pacific Ocean
to eat. Imagine that. After a few years they head home again,
to reproduce and then whisper into their children's ears about
the magic of Baja. This information fills me with respect for a
beast that is such a navigator, an animal we think of as
non-thinking who can swim the largest ocean and back again just
to feed for a few teenage years. How could we not respect that?
A few nights before we left the village at Bahia, we had dinner
in our truck, parked at the village plaza. It was cold and
almost raining and Mary Ann waited in Vaca Blanca while I
shivered and ordered Mexican hot dogs at Rainas taco stand. I
was asking them how they were enjoying the bay; they had
transported themselves across the Gulf of California three years
ago in search of employment. They were happy to have found the
tiny village. As conversation slowed I noticed a small
brochure, about 5 by 7 inches and 10 pages thick. It was
positioned prominently in their small ordering window and I
picked it up, started to thumb idly through it, until I caught
the full impact of the document. It carried a message regarding
the conservation of sea turtles. While it was written in
Spanish and I could understand most but not all of it, it was
obviously written at a child's level but meant for everyone. It
seemed to be developed there in Bahia de Los Angeles, although I
can't say for certain. But the message was direct. Save the
turtles and mostly words stating why we needed to do so. There
were two hand-drawn pictures in the beginning of the brochure.
The first was a group of children holding hands. Above were
simple words about the innocence of children. The second
illustration was one of turtles rather than children. The words
above were similar. Perhaps our children actually will save the
world. If we can't manage it.
There are many more examples of how the people of Baja
California are becoming aware and working toward conservation.
A larger example might be in the new fishing conservation plan
that was passed just recently. I don't personally understand it
yet, but when I've asked others they feel it is a well-intended
act to support the limited fishing of areas so that the balance
between local residents and fish population rebuilding are
If you sit on a quiet beach along the shores of the peninsula
you will certainly witness death. But then, if you watch long
enough, you will observe that even in death there is a delicate
balance in nature. The small beast, destroyed, will sponsor
many other forms of animal and plant life. There is no waste.
Only perfection and a singularity with all.