HIT THE GROUND RUNNING
and I would like to share a few updates.
The moment I arrived in June to Art of Conservation’s new base of operations in Tulum, Mexico, I began following up on the contacts made during our scouting trips. As a result, I have already made a bunch of new friends and established new partnerships.
Art of Conservation is now officially registered in the country of Mexico and authorized to operate as a US-based 501(c)(3) non-profit. We have set up our temporary office, and are making rapid progress on the design of our new regional headquarters, which will be located in Tulum town. I have also started my Spanish lessons!
Spanish lessons at El Camino Escuela Internacional de Idiomas in Tulum. My classmates are Cathy, Gary, and Lelle. Alejandra (standing and with a big smile) is a fabulous and patient teacher.
On July 19th, we had a terrific turnout for our first Art of Conservation One-Health Meet-&-Greet held at Holistika in Tulum town.
Drs. Lucy, Ilze, and I hosted our first event at Holistika in Tulum.
Our agenda was a show and tell, of sorts, about our mission, history, and future. I made a presentation about the history of the organization; board member and Vice President Dr. Lucy Spelman described the need for one-health conservation and shared some examples; and, board member and consulting aquatic health expert Dr. Ilze Berzins reviewed the importance of taking a one-water, one-world, one-health approach to conservation in the Caribbean Basin.
I shared what drew me to Africa and why I started Art of Conservation in 2006.
The event was catered by a local company, Ginger Tulum, and we served a delicious local watermelon cocktail along with lionfish ceviche, making the point that invasive species like lionfish make perfectly good eating, and this is one way to control their numbers. As you can see from the photos posted on my blog, everyone had a great time.
Dr. Lucy Spelman shared samples from her students at Rhode Island School of Design.
At present, I am focused on identifying communities and groups of children who would like to participate in our first round of one-health creative learning and one-health awareness programming in and near Tulum. I am very pleased to introduce you to our first in-country project member, Manuel del Monte, who has already been a huge help in the local community identification process. Together we are holding meetings with principals, teachers, children, and their parents. Manuel and I hope to be working with our first group of children soon. Once we get going, I will of course share more with you about the impressive knowledge Manuel brings to AoC plus updates from the field on our website, including photos and artwork.
Identifying communities and groups of children with the helpful support from new project member Manuel del Monte. (At Marcario Gomez Primary School, pictured left to right: Principal Eliseo Pech Caamal, teachers Isabel Garbiela Maldonado and Remigio Chan Colli, and Manuel del Monte.)
Would you like to help us out today?
Our priority for fundraising is to first support our operations in Tulum, second to fund the outreach programs for children and their families, and third to support our first One-Health Conservation Workshop which Drs. Lucy, Ilze and I are planning for later in the year. Please spread the word to friends and family – donations are essential for Art of Conservation to reach its full potential.
We’re so appreciative of the public support for this organization.
Finally, the news from Africa: Our newly created partner organization,Conservation Heritage – Turambe, or CHT, is continuing to work with eager young children. Their blog posts, as well as mine, can be seen on our website, www.art-of-conservation.org.
The dedicated Conservation Heritage - Turambe team continues with their weekend classes at the Ibirunga Tennis & Running Club.
Thank you again for your support. Please don’t hesitate to contact me should you have any further questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With sincere gratitude and love,
Founder and Program Director