Letter From Estela Romero: Monarchs and Water
Warmer Winter Temperatures Continue: Monarchs Active
At the Sierra Chincua and El Rosario Sanctuaries, monarchs remain at locations they have been for the last few weeks. These locations are known as El Mirador and Las Palmas sites.
We had freezing conditions overnight, yet the days have been bright and sunny with warmer-than-usual temperatures. These weather conditions have kept monarchs much too active. Monarchs can be seen flying in and out of their overwintering spots in search of water sources and wet soil for minerals.
We remain alert for unusual climatic Events which can take place in January and February.
Water: A Critical Resource
In the early 1900s, mining activities in the region galvanized a group of diverse people to demand a water supply system using a modern pumping system. This group no longer wanted villages to rely on a conventional gravity system and rudimentary aqueducts.
The people of Angangueo were pioneers in taking on wáter improvement projects.
This citizen-based initiative was led by a group of representative men from the local society and representatives from the U.S. company active in mining in the área (American Smelting and Refining Company). My grandfather, Mr. Erasto Romero, was part of this initiative to bring filtered water to the town.
A filtering system was constructed at the village water source. This system included filtering first with a bed of rocks, then with sand, and lastly with coal. Water was then delivered using a network of tubes to the first local hydroelectric plant. The plant consisted of a Pelton turbine and a generator. By the mid-1930, the people of Angangueo had Access for the first time to potable city water and a formal energy source.
The Next Chapter
The ensuing decades have brought new challenges to our water quantity and quality for the towns and villages surrounding the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve. We are all ready for the next chapter of this story to be written by committed people who live in this área. Much work is needed to maintain healthy water for monarchs and the people who love them.
Estela Romero, Journey North, Angangueo, Michoacán
[original submitted, 01/16/2023; edited by N Sheehan, 01/20/2023]