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Friday, January 14, 2011

The Bio Photo Excursion Part II.5 - Cuajiniquil and Junquillal

Coming down from Pitilla, we decided to take a break before braving the hike to Nancite. That took us to Cuajiniquil, a major fishing village along the coast. We had hoped to meet with Maria Marta Chavarria, who runs the marine education program in the village. This is designed to prepare the next generation for sustainable use of marine biodiversity resources – less fishing, more ecotourism. Unfortunately for us, Maria Marta had been called out on another assignment for the ACG. So, we settled for some photos of the harbor area 

 and then a wonderful fresh seafood lunch at a new restaurant in town. This is an example of how sustainable use of biodiversity resources can lead to socio-economic development. One of the fishermen in town, Minor Lara, now also conducts dive tours and beach and snorkeling tours. His wife has income from that enterprise to fund the new restaurant, which she runs. Each of these new enterprises requires additional staff, so new jobs are created. We ate from the balcony patio in the restaurant, looking out onto the estuary at low tide, where a plethora of shorebirds plied their trade – a roseate spoonbill, a tricolored heron, some ibises, dippers, oystercatchers and the occasional crab hawk wheeling overhead.
After lunch, we headed to Junquillal beach, for a leisurely swim in the afternoon. We arrived to find that there was an upwelling event that day, meaning the water was 17C (63F), not 25C (77F). A bit chilly, but almost everyone braved it for a little while at least.
Then it was on to Santa Rosa, passing a sabanero (cowboy) herding cattle on the way.
Back in our now-familiar dorms, we sorted clothe and equipment for the trek to Nancite the next day – since everything needed to go in on our backs, we quickly went for essentials. Following dinner, we had a photo session in which each person showed their favorite 10 shots of the trip thus far, and discussed why they liked them, what they were trying to get and how well they think they achieved that goal. Everyone could see improvements in just the few days so far.

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