Many Visitors Attest to the Importance of Habitat Conservation

February 14, 2020 by Nancy Sheehan

Monarch sanctuaries are magical places.

An amazing view of monarchs roosting in Mexico. (Photo by: Estela Romero; 02/14/2020)

Dear Friends,

Here the Queen of Butterflies, the Monarch, continue their overwintering stay at El Rosario and Sierra Chincua Sanctuaries. These sanctuaries are located at ten thousand feet in elevation in the the Eastern Sierra Madre mountain range in Central México!

Many visitors — families with children, students, young couples — from around the world discover their real passion for nature here in the Monarch Butterfly Sanctuaries.

The communities surrounding the Sanctuaries play a large role in conserving these natural reserves. Indeed, many of the youth stand side-by-side with their elders to learn how to be stewards of these sanctuaries so that when the time comes, they will be ready to inherit their responsibilities for protecting these natural reserves for future generations.

Yesenia, a middle school student who lives near the Sierra Chincua Sanctuary is excited to learn to become an experienced and knowledgeable guide. She told her mother, “I have so much to give of myself to visitors. We women can tell our visitors about our many traditions, family organization, about why we need our brothers and future husbands to become highly responsible for our land to care of it all together”.

Salvador, son to a young couple born near in “El Rosario” Sanctuary, said: “It is so wonderful to see so many people coming. Grandpa was an Ejidatario. Then my father took over his role. I hope I will inherit the rights within the Ejido, since I am the only son in the family with three other sisters. Our Monarchs and our forests bring all these people to us.”

Many visitors to the Sanctuaries are deeply moved by their experiences. 

Young elementary school students, Matías and Mateo, brothers from México city, remarked during their recent visit to Sierra Chincua, “We hear so many languages being spoken all around in the Sanctuary…Dad told us this is called “Sanctuary” because it is a place where Monarchs gather for people coming from all over the world to see and to feel something very special; to feel how our planet is magic; to reflect how this is all of ours, as long as we really care for it!”

Another visitor from the northern state of Zacatecas had this to say, “We all are obligated to preserve this treasure giving our best, each one of us; thanks to all who make all this possible for us to enjoy and see…part of the immense natural patrimony for México and for the world; I brought my daughter because I want her to know how immensely respectful to nature we shall be.”

Alina, a high school student from the Mayan Region in southern Mexico, said: “I can tell you, as native to the Mayan archeological site in southern México, how proud we are of the Monarchs Sanctuaries;  they have become a symbol for México, and a symbol for the United States and Canada; we all are in charge of conserving and guarding it, since they belong to all mankind and this shall stay here as long as possible into the future”—she expressed as she stood there for many photographers around her to shoot a real Monarch suddenly landing on her head!.

During this first half of February, we have had a very rainy, cloudy, and cold week, with very low temperatures (4-6 Centrigrade) The humidity and water is good for flowers to continue blooming. Likewise, pollinators and insects will have good humidity levels, nectar and pollen sources. Monarchs seem to be overwintering in really good conditions. Our experts who measure the colonies and overwintering conditions shall have the last word on actual numbers.

Let’s continue guarding and enjoying the season all together.

Estela Romero, Angangueo, Michoacán

For Journey North

Next Update in February 20, 2020