by David Nuñez (Dec. 2013)
Now that the ebook, which I worked on for most of the year, is
finally finished, I've been thinking about what to do with it. Of
course, it's available on Amazon,
but the idea with the books has always been to somehow raise funds for
other projects. So after a couple weeks of bouncing ideas around, I
think I have a new goal for 2014.
We're launching a campaign called Education for Conservation, aimed at
both tourists and local youth. The idea is to sell customized versions
of the book to hotels and tour operators, so they can put their own
logo on it and offer it to their own clients. That's the first half of
the plan. You can see an example of how it would work by clicking HERE.
With what we manage to raise from selling these customized editions, I would love to sponsor high school students in the Riviera Maya (we'll probably start with Tulum, since that is where I live) so they can enjoy the same wildlife appreciation tours tourists get to go on.
I believe that the first step toward protecting nature for future
generations to enjoy is to make sure the current generation gets to
enjoy it as well. And though people travel here from all over the world
to wonder at the natural marvels of this region, the majority of our
kids have never snorkeled over the reef or explored a mangrove swamp.
They've never swum with a sea turtle, or even seen a flamingo or a
So my plan for next year is to begin to change that. You can read a bit more about the project HERE,
but that is basically it. Proceeds from the ebook will help sponsor
free tours for local high school students. and thus foster in them a
greater love, respect and curiosity for their environment.
Of course, we'll need to work with the schools to ensure not only that they are properly prepared to get the most out of the experience, but also that there is some sort of follow-up. In the long term I'd like to hand out snorkel gear and binoculars to the kids, and make sure school libraries have plenty of wildlife guidebooks on hand. As an additional benefit, these tours could be a welcome source of income for communities during the off-season.
I'd like to emphasize that we are not seeking donations. (Though they
are, of course, always welcome, we would like the project to generate its
own income and be self sustaining.) We just want to sell as many books as possible, so please help us get the word out. And if you are a
hotel manager or a tour operator, please contact us about customizing the book for your customers.
If you would like to help out, feel free to contact us either through our website or Facebook page.
David Nuñez is a biologist, photographer and author of several books on the Wildlife of the Mexican Caribbean, as well as a founding member of Mexiconservación.