Busy in Baja!
Creating a meaningful participant experience is a top priority for EPI staff, but equally important is our integration and and connection with the communities in which we serve. In addition to running the primary courses attended by visiting and local students, our EPI Mexico team works tirelessly year-round to build community and conservation action in Baja through workshops, field trips, eco-rallies, presentations, beach cleanups, the local Eco Club, scholarships, internships, and more. The impact is pretty amazing.
Learn all about EPI Mexico’s California Verdes Eco Club and their amazing work here!
You can contribute to the preservation of Baja wherever you are through the program's Fuel the Field Fundraiser!
EPI Mexico’s recent community events:
This city-wide festival celebrates the iconic, beloved whale shark that call the Bay of La Paz home. EPI Mexico staff were busy with over 500 visitors that passed through the festival, many of who stopped by EPI’s booth for a dose of whale shark crafts and facts. The EPI Mexico team left the event feeling the community love:
“Thank you to everyone who visited us and to everyone who was present learning and celebrating the largest fish in the world, so loved by all who have the opportunity to swim alongside them.”
Yo Amo Balandra virtual rally
41 participants joined this rally, led by the California Verdes Eco Club. Balandra is a bay composed of stunning beaches that are often referred to as the most beautiful in Mexico. It was declared a National Protected Area in 2012, and this rally is held as a way to connect attendees to the ecosystems in Balandra, the importance of this area, and provide avenues to contribute to its conservation.
Balandra Beach cleanup
Balandra beaches welcome anywhere from 500 to 4,000 visitors each day, making beach cleanup days a necessity! Members of the California Verdes Eco club joined with the Ocean Conservancy collecting trash and microplastics to keep Balandra beautiful.
Keeping up with Costa Rica
The preferred scent to attract a jungle cat? Chanel Number 5 perfume, of course! Don't ask us how, but researchers found this scent to be a crowd favorite among Pacuare Reserve's big cats. The EPI Reserve team received a generous donation of this very perfume to attract jaguars and other big cats to camera traps set up to monitor their behavior.
Get all the facts on this reclusive, rarely seen heron that delights and attracts Pacuare Reserve’s visitors each year:
These herons live in dense tropical lowland forests, typically along the edges of small rivers, swamps and estuary streams where they wade in shallow waters for food.
Courtship between two agami herons is a sight to behold, as both genders enhance their colors to attract a mate, and a dance of sorts ensues. Heron biologist Jim Kushlan and wildlife photographer Kirsten Hines were able to witness and document a rare colony of Agamis at the Pacuare Reserve in 2011 during breeding season. According to the National Audubon Society, this was the first time agami breeding behavior was documented. Check out the full story here.
Agami herons nest in colonies. EPI’s Pacuare Reserve is home to Costa Rica's largest breeding and nesting colony of agami heron (Agamia agami).
Little is known about the agami, including their population size, due to their reclusiveness and preference for dense jungle that is difficult for humans to access. EPI researchers are beginning to populate the sparse body of data on this stunning species.