Travel

Bad News at the Butterflies: Reactions to the El Rosario Murders

Mexico’s monarch butterfly sanctuaries made international news last month. It began with the disappearance of the administrator of the El Rosario sanctuary, Homero Gómez Gonzalez, on January 13, followed by the appearance of his lifeless body two weeks later. The bad news kept coming when a second body, that of Raul Hernandez, was also found …

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How to Do Monarch Butterfly Ecotourism

Mexico is not a poor country, but its wealth is unevenly distributed. Half of Mexicans live in poverty, including the rural communities that lost their land after the discovery of the monarch colonies. Until recently, these communities lacked tourism infrastructure. Only outside operators benefited from butterfly tourism and locals continued logging the butterfly forest to …

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Monarch Migration Reaches State of Mexico Sanctuary on October 31, 2019

Usually in late October, the wind rips through the valley and blows the clouds away, ending the rainy season and bringing on the dry. A few years back los vientos de los muertos, as they’re called, toppled the water tank on our rooftop and tossed lawn chairs about the yard like leaves. Last October the …

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“Banner Year” in Progress on Cerro Pelon

Cerro Pelon monarchs and their favorite flower, salvia mexicana. Week Three: November 20–27, 2018: Colony Growth and Fission Mexico’s monarch colonies are constantly in flux, varying from season to season, month to month, and even week to week. People try to pin monarch tourism down with generalizations. Like the hike takes however long and the trail …

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Butterfly Trailblazer: An interview with Cerro Pelon’s first female guide

It’s not unusual to see women working as guides in the El Rosario and Sierra Chincua monarch butterfly sanctuaries. In these sites, anyone who’s related to an ejiditario (members of the community with land titled in their names) can buy the right to work. At Cerro Pelón, the organization of work is simultaneously more inclusive …

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