As some of you may already know, Hotel Zamas on the beach is hosting a lecture series with speakers from ConMonoMaya, the foundation headed by Dr. Filippo Aureli. Filippo, of course, is also in charge of the monkey research that has been going on at LAT for several years.
The theme of the 3-part series is Preservation and Conservation, and it specifically focuses on Spider Monkeys, Filippo’s expertise.
I attended the very well attended introductory talk given by Filippo, and the audience learned a tremendous amount about the behavior of our tree-dwelling neighbors and why they are so important in the efforts to protect the Yucatan jungle. The audience was very interested in what Filippo had to say, and the organizer had to end the question & answer period, or we would have been there – fascinated – until the wee hours of the morning.
The next presentation will have Los Arboles for its main theme. Dr. Denise Spaan will be the featured speaker. Denise, whom many of you know from her fearless jungle excursions, has received not just one, but two individual grants from the National Geographic Society specifically to conduct research projects in Los Arboles.
Los Arboles is still an enigma to most people living in Tulum. Little is known around town beyond the fact that there are some houses in the jungle behind a big, guarded, iron gate at km 12.6. Few know, or are fully aware, that Los Arboles is, in fact, a unique,entirely off-grid community specifically committed to protecting the environment. We see more and more developments in the area making the same claim. But there are none that have this commitment enshrined in their bylaws, building requirements and guidelines and their fideicomisos. And there are none that have a specific account to which every owner and resident contributes annually a fixed amount to be used to support environmental and animal welfare initiatives, research projects and educational programs. As an entire community, we ‘put our money where our mouth is’. Our commitment is not a sales pitch.
Denise’s presentation of her research work at Los Arboles will be the first occasion for the Tulum community to learn about some of the exciting and important activities that we are underwriting.
It is an amusing irony that Los Arboles is better known among the international scientific community than it is among our immediate neighbors. This lecture series, specifically the 2nd talk, will, I suspect, change that.
Please look for the date of the 2nd lecture in the LAT newsletter or contact Zamas (+52 1 984 145 2602) or ConMonoMaya (+52 1 985 105 3799)
Treasurer, LAT Vigilance Committee