BY MARTINA DOBESH
A hawk flies from the Earth to the Moon! Yes, Really! In its ten to fifteen year lifespan the
Red-tail Hawk will fly 238,855 miles, the distance from here to the Moon. How do we know that? As the saying goes it takes a village to create a better future. We tend to have an idea of what comprises a village or community, seeing it limited to family and neighbors. Today I’m meeting Mirna Borr to understand why it is actually important to know about the hawk and be amazed by the very idea of these airborne creatures as part of our village too. This interview with the Community Outreach Officer from Terra Peninsular will broaden our ideas about how we are interconnected to everything we encounter as we travel the wonder of Baja California.
Terra Peninsular is a non-profit organization in Ensenada committed to conserving the natural beauty of Baja California since 2001. It has been faithfully led by Executive Director, Cesar Guerrero. The volunteers are vision-holders who work tirelessly to educate communities in the importance of protecting and managing the natural resources. The non-profit group focuses their passion on sustainability and compatibility with the ecological system that has been in perfect balance since the peninsula fractured off from mainland Mexico and rose from the sea millions of years ago. With the growing human population it is important to understand why we need to care.
I wave to Mirna across the shaded patio. She is a beautiful woman with thick dark hair and eyes that hold a vision of hope. We order our espresso and cappuccino, catching up since we last saw one another. I wanted to hear of her latest travels to San Quintin where much of the conservation focus is at this time. I asked her to explain why it is important for us to know how far the Red-tail Hawk flies in a lifetime. “It’s a long story,” she said. “When I started working with Terra Peninsular in my first year I was sent to Alaska to learn how to organize for our Annual Bird Festival here. It was there I learned about how that community was very connected and cared about the richness of their land. I saw that in San Quintin people don’t have an idea about the greatness of the land. It was in Alaska that I heard the story about the Red-tail Hawk. It was very shocking to me to realize that the birds I was seeing here in Alaska migrated to San Quintin, and I had actually followed them in my travels. I learned so much how to engage people and how to work with the community to connect them with the land and the birds. When I returned, I began to plan the 4th edition of our bird festival in San Quintin.” Mirna was clearly excited about her work, “I saw that the local people here had no interest in birds. They didn’t understand how important it is to learn about the habitat and how to protect it. The plants are part of this interconnection and without them the birds and many other rare species would not survive. It is so important to understand this.” Mirna rushes on to explain how their outreach program is working. “We have designed hiking trails so we do not trample the plants. We point out this red flower and say that it is special to the hummingbird that flies all the way from San Quintin to Alaska!” She grins and says, “They are amazed and exclaim, really?! She goes on to say that there are different kinds of hiking trails to explore the volcano area as well as the wetlands. It is deeply gratifying for all the members of Terra to see the changes in the community getting more involved.”
Mirna shares a perfect example of the power of understanding nature and its far reaching effects, “A mother shared her story with me. She noticed that her boys chased the birds, throwing rocks at them to watch them fly, and at times successfully hitting them. The family came to one of the Bird Festivals and was told how to watch and identify the birds. Eight your old Santiago won the prize for his Bird Watching Marathon success. The prize was a pair of binoculars and a bird guide. Today he leads other children out for bird watching.” She goes on to say, “The women of the community can now recognize the birds by name and are excited to report seeing the especially rare ones.” Mirna points out, “People now understand that the special plants in the wetlands promote a healthy environment in which the birds flourish, sustain other animals, insect life while promoting clean air that is in perfect balance, if not interfered with.” Mirna expresses wonder, “We have created a whole new thing! We have a boom of recreational visitors to the area for hiking, kayaking, and surfing. The people have found this wonderful protected area. This is changing the attitude in the town, because it is bringing more visitors who go to the restaurants and more eating places are opening. The town is now participating in guiding people to treat the environment with care and being responsible.” Amused she continues, “It’s great and the guides are asking about how they can get their certification, because their clients want to know about the ecology and the names of the birds. Now we are starting workshops to educate the local guides.”
I was curious about how Mirna found her way into this unique work. She has lived in Ensenada her whole life and was attracted to an education in research and mass communication in documentaries. This was well before anyone was interested in environmental sustainability. “I was so fortunate to have Professor Anna Sanchez, an amazing woman, and together we planned projects for public knowledge.” After graduation, Mirna’s first project was with the fisherman of LA Bay. I mentioned it must not have been an easy task to try and change the old fishing habits. Each job after graduation was a step towards her vision that led to the opportunities with Terra. I said, “So you are planning a trip back to Alaska? Do you feel like one of the migrating birds?” She exclaimed, “Yes, yes! I feel I am in the first step of my life’s journey and it is important that I acknowledge this, because just two years ago, I felt I had to go back to school and learn all the science to fully understand. But then I realized people don’t need to know all that. They don’t need the scientific name of the plants; they just need to know that the red color of a flower is important to the hummingbird and that hawks can fly to the moon.”
Near the end of our visit Mirna wanted to speak about Terra Peninsular, “Claudia is my boss and partner in crime, she is an amazing person and we are a great team. We gather all these ideas and have created art shows displaying the painting of the bird life. It makes me feel very connected.” Pride is heard in her voice, “The people of Terra Peninsular have the same passion that I have, and it is amazing for me to experience the trust we have for one another. This is not like a normal organization. It has a powerful force working with a lot of love, inspiration and hope which promises to keep the beauty of the reserve for future generations. It is very human.” As I watched her walk away, I knew that she was one of the Mexican young people who are the future of their country.
For more information you can go on line to Terra’s Mediterranews Magazine published every two months about their ongoing work. In part it will help the traveler begin to investigate this rich resource as a destination. There are two areas that are now federally certified for visitation. Punta Mazo and Monte Ceniza Reserves are at this time destinations for kayaking, surfing, hiking to the volcanoes in the 130,000 acres of reserve. Monte Ceniza has cabins for rent. Not to be missed is a virtual tour on YouTube. Wetlands Notas de campo (Field notes) Espisode #1 and #2, and Youtube.com/c/TerraPeninsular/videos. The photography is spectacular of this unique paradise. For reservations, email@example.com
Around the world the wetlands are being reduced as they face threats of pollution, artificial filling for buildings and industrial waste. All this is loss of habitat which brings instability for all creatures including us, because we are all interconnected. Being informed is the turning point, like Santiago who no longer throws rocks at the birds, but now leads children to appreciate them, we can become a Guardian and Terra Peninsular can show the way.
This was first printed in the Baja Bound.com March, 2022 bulletin where readers will find Martina’s column, The Baja StoryTeller and many other Baja writers sharing their experiences. See Martina’s book, Dust in My Sandals, Tales from a Baja Traveler, and an easy way to order her found in her ad in this edtion.
It’s spring in Baja California and the bees are loving the wild flowers and are happy in our gardens. We seldom pay attention to them, unless we get buzzed or one swoops in to join us for lunch. Rarely do we consider how important they are to our way of life. They go about their work in honey production, but as they do this they are also a major contributor to our healthy food systems. Without them the planet’s ecosystems would be dramatically altered.
We humans tend to care about things when we understand them. To appreciate bees more, a few fun facts are helpful. Did you know that the reason bees are so noisy is because they beat their wings 11,400 times in one minute! Honey bees love to dance and their moves are the way they communicate. Next time we put honey in our cereal we can thank the whole hive of bees for flying over 55,000 miles to make a 16 ounce jar for us. And to cover that kind of mileage they fly at 20 miles an hour. To keep us all in honey the queen has to lay 2,000 eggs per day.
Science is telling us that there is a noticeable and steady decline in the bee population. Both scientists and beekeepers believe there are a combination of factors which are mostly created by man; the loss of habitat and increased usage of pesticides are but a couple listed. Most recently, there have been studies about the effects of cell phone signals. The question that is being kicked around is that the phone signals whizzing around in space disorientates the flight of bees, causing confusion and low honey production. Research on behalf of the bees is not well funded, but there is enough evidence for the fact that it is harmful to humans. It is one simple step to suggest that the invisible signal disrupts the bees’ sensitivities. One study on humans stated, “EMF disrupts the chemical structures of tissue since a high degree of electromagnetic energy absorption can change the electric current in the body.”
National Library of Medicine reports that the intensity of electromagnetic radiation in human environment is increasing and currently reaches astronomical levels that had never before been experienced on our planet. EMF impacts living organisms by direct tissue penetration. It isn’t a stretch to think the EMF symptoms for human such as disrupted sleep, headache, fatigue, lack of concentration and dizziness could make a hapless little bee fly in circles.
Is there a way to support the health and well being of ourselves and the bees? Some of the current thinking is to “Go Wild” and let your lawn grow without mowing. Bees love flowering weeds and grasses. Let some of the native plants thrive around your home is a good source of necture. Bees need water too; think about creating a bee pond in a shallow pan with pebbles, no need to clean it as bees love dirty water too. Support your local organic farmer. And it should go without saying, stop using toxic sprays. One of the most brilliant new ideas I am hearing is happening right here in Baja California.
Reagan White, a student from Escuela de Comunicación Transcultural in Tijuana, contacted me. The school offers classes meant to look at how to build a business in a foreign country that can help people. He was looking for information for his school project using bees, honey and sustainable living, “We have a business project at our school, where we need to look for business opportunities in Tijuana. My teammates and I are researching bee-keeping for honey production and pollination of farms in Baja.” I suggested several names of people in Ensenada who were well versed in caring for the bee population. Several weeks later Reagan returned to report, “We are through our data-gathering phase of our project and have found the beekeeping community in Baja to be extremely welcoming and kind to us in this school project. We’re currently putting together a PowerPoint presentation for our panel of judges and would like to send that information over to you once it is completed.” I was thrilled with the idea of writing the story.
When the PowerPoint arrived, it was impressive and professionally done. Reagan and the team, Josiah, Elisabeth, Katie, Jacob, and Ruth had laid out clearly where the “gap in the honey market” was to be found. The point was to bring the raw unfiltered honey from the Baja beekeepers and to provide a more affordable and sustainable raw unfiltered honey to the higher purchasing markets of San Diego. In that city there is a high demand for raw unfiltered honey. This then creates jobs, benefits the farmers with higher crop yield due to the natural pollinators like bees with the added benefit that it helps the dwindling bee population. Since beekeeping is already aligned with Mexico’s direction there would be no issues of implementation. This is a win win for people, bees and the planet.
The students developed a three phase marketing plan based on a profit margin that has a “lean start up cost” because it is helpful to the farmers is a possibility of free or low rent. There is naturally lower labor and material cost, and the government has provided beekeeping subsidies. The overall good news about this is there is a “high price point and consistent demand.” Their figures showed that by the fifth year there would be no need for further outside capital, thanks to nature’s amazing bees.
This business model is the wave of the future. It is a must that intelligent ideas include sustainability, health and wellbeing for humanity, the planet, and all its creatures.
With a delightful Mexican play on words, the English word honey is pronounced Hunnie in Spanish. They named the new product, Hey Hunnie!
BeeKeepers in Ensenada
Dayan Amanda Moran Lugo
A Bee Rescue Chat group
Make sure you follow these 11 tips
BY JASON WAGNER
The Mexican Traffic Safety Research Center reports that Mexico registers 4 million car accidents every year, and the total cost of the accidents reaches over $10 billion dollars annually.
If you are involved in an accident in Mexico and no one is injured, it is always best to be prepared for the situation at hand. Discussed here are 11 essential tips that will help you at the scene of the accident and during the claim process. The laws and protocols when dealing with accidents in Mexico are different from other countries and to understand these laws and protocols will only help you, so you are better prepared.
To avoid potential problems in the event of a car accident, having an active Mexico car insurance policy in hand is your first line of defense and will help keep you protected from the unexpected. Having the proper insurance in Mexico will help you deal with serious legal and financial consequences and will offer support when involved in an auto accident in Mexico.
TIP 1 – STAY CALM and FOCUSED: The first and most crucial action for you to consider is to stay calm and focused by protecting yourself, your family, third parties, and your property. Immediately after an accident, there will be many emotions to manage. However, it is highly recommended to remain as calm as possible and tend to any personal injuries you or your passengers may have sustained. In Mexico, it is important to remain at the scene of the accident until the proper authorities arrive, so the details of the accident are properly documented. There are of course exceptions to these rules if serious medical attention is required.
TIP 2 – DOCUMENT: Take photos and video of the damage sustained to your vehicle and all other vehicles involved in the accident from multiple angles. Documenting any and all damage close and from afar of the entire scene is highly recommended.
You can imagine that there will be a lot going on at this time, so collecting photos and video will help tell the story of the accident at a later time, when for example your insurance adjuster is involved and has requested to understand the full scope of the accident.
It is recommended that taking photos and video of the other vehicle’s license plates, Mexico insurance policies, and drivers’ licenses are the fastest and easiest way to build your digital claim file. Also, if you or your passengers have sustained any injuries, be sure to document this just the same.
TIP 3 – CALL FOR HELP: Dial 911, the emergency hotline in Mexico, and make sure medical help is dispatched to tend to anyone with severe injuries and the police to make an accident report. Remember that the accident report is vital for you to file a claim to your Mexico insurance provider.
TIP 4 – READY THE ESSENTIALS: Prepare your essential identification documents to present to the police when they arrive at the scene. These include your passport, visa, driver’s license, valid registration, and an active Mexico auto insurance policy.
TIP 5 – CALL YOUR INSURANCE PROVIDER and REPORT YOUR CLAIM: You are REQUIRED to Report your claim to your Mexico insurance carrier FROM MEXICO AND BEFORE YOU RETURN TO THE UNITED STATES. Failure to report your claim before returning to the United States will result in your claim being denied as this is a requirement in the terms and conditions of your Mexico car insurance policy. I always recommend to my clients to call their Mexican car insurance provider as soon as possible and report the accident and file their formal claim. Request a field adjuster to come to the scene of the accident for assistance when dealing with Mexican authorities.
TIP 6 – AVOID GOING TO JAIL: In Mexico, “YOU’RE GUILTY UNTIL PROVEN INNOCENT.” Kind of scary if you are from the United States or Canada and not used to these types of Mexican laws. All involved in the accident will be taken into custody to identify who caused the accident and to make sure that the person at fault is capable to cover the expenses of the damages.
If you have a valid and active Mexico car insurance policy, then feel assured that you have legal bond included and have met the requirements of Mexican law.
Although there is no guarantee that the local officials will not detain you, knowing you have a Mexico car Insurance policy issued by West Coast Global Insurance Services will assure you have a reputable Mexico insurance carrier providing coverage and protection for your financial responsibility.
TIP 7 – DON’T SIGN ANYTHING: If you are handed any document at the scene of the accident and forced or asked to sign, DO NOT SIGN this agreement without knowing 100% what you are signing. Signing a settlement agreement or accepting payment from anyone involved in the accident will void your Mexico insurance policy. We strongly recommend consulting with your field adjuster assigned from your insurance company before you sign anything. You do not want to regret making a decision that may result in your claim being denied because you entered into your agreement which forces the Mexican insurance company from being able to be involved any further in the claim.
TIP 8 – KNOW THE RISKS: Remember that driving in Mexico without car insurance is illegal, and plain and simple, just NOT A GOOD IDEA. Additionally, there is a good chance you will land yourself in jail if you are unfortunately involved in an accident. However, with an active authorized Mexican car insurance policy, you will be protected from the unexpected and have the financial and legal strength of an “A” rated Mexico car insurance carrier by your side providing you peace of mind.
TIP 9 – KNOW YOUR POLICY: Not every Mexico car insurance policy is written the same.
Did you know that U.S. and Canadian vehicles are not insured with the same type of policy that a Mexico-registered vehicle is secured with? If after a claim, you find out that the policy written on your vehicle was issued with the wrong insurance program, meaning a Mexico registered vehicle was insured on a Tourist auto policy, or vice versa your claim will be denied for not having a valid policy. You will have wasted your hard-earned dineros and are now stuck with a bill to repair your car 100 percent out of pocket. Double check your policy declarations page to be sure your policy is written correctly.
TIP 10 – PERMISSION TO DRIVE YOUR VEHICLE: If you decide to hand your car keys over to a friend to drive your vehicle, it is essential to know that you are now handing over the insurability and decision making of your vehicle to that person. This means that if your vehicle is in an accident and your friend negotiates to have your vehicle fixed by a third party, then this will void your Mexico auto insurance policy. This person can negotiate on your behalf due to you permitting them to drive your vehicle; they now become the insured on the vehicle and have the authority to act on your behalf. Please note, as mentioned previously in the KNOW YOUR POLICY section, that some Mexico auto insurance policies written for U.S. and Canadian vehicles do not extend protection for Mexican Nationals when driving under these insurance policies.
TIP 11 – ASK YOUR AGENT: If you have any questions about your Mexico auto insurance policy, ask your licensed insurance agent to provide you the details of your policy. Request a copy of the policies terms and conditions, which should be provided to you in Spanish and a courtesy copy in English. Please note that the Spanish-written policy conditions will always prevail in Mexico.
IN-Closing: Driving in Mexico and especially in Baja can sometimes be a challenging experience, accidents & fender benders can occur in a blink of the eye and some say it’s best to be a defensive driver rather than an offensive driver. Always be aware of your surroundings, limit your driving at night and contact Jason Wagner of West Coast Global Insurance Services for ALL your Insurance needs in Mexico. With over 16 years of focused experience protecting our clients’ Assets & Health in Mexico, we assist our clients with the Best Coverages and Pricing available.
When was your last Mexico Insurance Review? Purchasing Mexico car insurance has never been easier with our Quote and Apply online platform. Quote up to 5 Mexico car insurance carriers at the same time with flat deductible options, policies in English, and the ability to purchase and print your policy online securely in just a few easy steps.
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Are you Protected from the Unexpected? Jason Wagner & the West Coast Global Insurance Team!! Contact our office by: email WCGN@InsureMeWC.com or
Call us at (818) 788-5353 Website – www.InsureMeWC.com
Disclaimer: Review the policy conditions attached to your insurance policy in Mexico. Each Mexico insurance carrier and policy is written with unique terms and conditions. This article was written to provide an outline of what to expect when involved in an auto accident in Mexico. Details within this article are subject to change based on individual occurrences, companies and persons involved.