It was a rollicking day in the skies over Oaxaca yesterday as I made my way back to Teotitlan del Valle from Puerto Escondido via Mexico City, where Tropical Storm Beatriz was having her way with us.
Sheets of rain fell as I took off in the little Aeromar turboprop. In Huatulco, the news wasn’t so good as flights were canceled, and one North Carolina State University student who decided to stay a couple of extra days, couldn’t get home as planned.
But, I’d like to back-track. Another highlight of the NCSU study abroad trip to Oaxaca was a visit to the Ventanilla lagoon between Puerto Escondido and Puerto Angel, where fresh and salt water mix to support cormorants, crocodiles and iguanas.
The bio-diverse tropical ecosystem is home to white and red mangroves, too.
This is a protected area accessible only by canoe, paddles powered by local guides who volunteer as part of the preservation project of the region.
Our admission fees help support the ecology of the region and the endangered species.
We started out by van in a down-pour with no inkling of the storm to come the next days. It was wet, wet, wet and I had to cover my camera lens with a clear plastic bag that I bought from a local food vendor on the beach.
I think the resulting images give you a sense of the wonder, the tropical humidity, and gauzy landscape shrouded by clouds and rain.
By afternoon, the rain cleared. We spent the rest of the day enjoying lunch under the palapa and swimming in a Puerto Angel protected cove. (more about this in another post)
We made a stop along the highway to sample fresh coconut, both the milk and the flesh. It was a refreshing break from the heat and gave us a chance to meet some of the local people who make a living harvesting from nearby trees.
In the lagoon, the families who protect the wildlife explain that they rescue parrots, alligators, crocodiles and monkeys that have been kept in captivity.
When the pets get too big and the owners don’t want them anymore, the refuge offers a safe place where the animals and reptiles can be cared for.
Reptile eggs have a soft, leathery shell. These chicks were just hatched. The reserve has a program to rescue and release.
There is also a reforestation project to protect and preserve the mangroves.