The ProEcoPelaos sail off into the blue for International Oceans Month

Fig. 1. The Pro Eco Pelaos say goodbye after a productive day of whale-watching.

The ProEcoPelaos children’s group enjoyed a wonderful blue whale-watching adventure in the Pablo Arturo Barrios Wildlife Refuge in September, international oceans month.

THE ADVENTURE

Fig. 2. The Pro Eco Pelaos waiting to set sail for the open sea.

It all started on a sunny and pleasant afternoon, under a radiant sun that made the small sand particles shine, when the Pro Eco Pelaos gathered at Arenal Beach, prepared to go out on the wide blue open sea awaiting them. Four boats carrying a total of 27 people embarked into the waves of the Refuge, getting closer and closer to their whale-watching destination. The magnificent Iguana Island seemed to greet them, exposing all of its natural beauty full of flora and fauna that are part of an interconnected ecosystem shared with its neighbor, the Pablo Arturo Barrios Wildlife Refuge. As they set sail, the Pro Eco Pelaos were able to observe interesting species.

Fig. 3. Edward Garcia, AEP program leader, with the Pro Eco Pelaos.

The hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) passed by the boat and seemed sad because humans threw garbage into their homes; dolphins (Delphinus delphis) were jumping, trying to watch the sun; flying fish (Exocoetus volitans) wanted to reach the sky; sailfish (Istiophorus platypterus) hurried by; seabirds were searching for food; and humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) joyfully showed off their large size. The children’s eyes were shining in wonder as they explored how beautiful nature is and that how taking care of it is our human responsibility, taking this message with them once their feet touched the ground again and they headed home. Despite having lived their whole lives close to the sea, for some of the Pro Eco Pelaos, this was the first time they had set out to see their neighbors, the whales.

Fig. 4. Pro Eco Pelaos smile despite the wind and the foam as they sail in search for whales.

“This experience with the Pro Eco Pelaos was very beautiful and different, and I saw a lot of animals like dolphins, whales and turtles. Although I was in the open sea I was not scared. I have been participating in this initiative for 7 years now and I still love it” – Michell Pérez (member of the Pro Eco Pelaos).

 

 

 

PARTICIPANTS

Twenty-one children and six accompanying adults participated in this activity which is supported by the LATA Foundation as a part of their collaboration with us to support the Pablo Barrios Refuge, Tortugas Pedasí, the SINAPROC office in Pedasí, La Maestra restaurant, and the Peace Corps.

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