Letter from Ana Moreno: International Migration Impacted by Local Political Decision


Published: 12/03/2021

For the second consecutive year, the Cerro Pelón Sanctuary will be closed to the public, a decision made by the commissioner of our ejido without any thought for the needs of the people. It’s a development that disappoints and saddens me. It is difficult to understand the justification of this decision. Honestly, I don’t get it. 

When the commissioner decided to close the previous season, I thought it was for the best because that way no one would run any risk of being infected by Covid 19. However, with the passage of time and the arrival of vaccines, the situation has improved. At least in our town, there were no deaths from COVID, nor in our entire ejido. The pandemic has affected not only the economy of our town, but also the forest, which is being hard hit by illegal logging. Despite this suffering, our local political leadership prefers to keep the sanctuary closed to visitors.

This whole situation makes me very sad because I cannot work as I normally had in other seasons guiding people to Cerro Pelón. What makes it even worse is this season I have been in our sanctuary and in Rosario and, from my perspective, there are an incredible amount of butterflies here in Cerro Pelón. The rangers have counted at least 100 trees with butterflies, divided into 3 different colonies.

The closure of Cerro Pelon directly affects me and other guides, as well as people who rent horses, makes crafts or sell food. But just as we did last season, we are adapting to this situation, and continuing to share the beauty of our sanctuary and the danger it’s in through our Adopt a Colony project. In these online experiences, we talk more in depth about the situation on Cerro Pelón. In each issue, we check in on the status of the colony, share some of the natural beauty that surrounds us, and show what the lives of the people who share the forest with the butterflies are like. For the second year in a row, it’s the only way for us to tell the world what’s happening here.

Read the Spanish version of Ana Moreno’s letter»