The coastal town of Chiquilá is a passing town for the thousands of people that take the ferry to visit the famous Holbox Island. Here not many options exist for kids in extracurricular activities. Besides, kids from Chiquilá have limited economic access to the many popular technological gadgets that many contemporary kids have, such as tablets and smartphones. Also, the WIFI signal at Chiquilá is not that great.
However, at Chiquilá, kids play outside and interact with nature, giving them a genuine interest and curiosity about their natural surroundings.
For several years now, Roberto Rodriguez Dominguez, his wife, Ariana Flores and Francisca Antele, three locals from Chiquilá, have run a kids´ group focused on bird watching. They have also developed diverse environmental education activities so kids can also learn about marine biodiversity and other ecosystem services such as water quality and its importance to their community. I met this group back in 2016.
Through our SOSF grant, we were able to bring our Shark´s Club workshops to this unique group of kids from Chiquilá. They have also participated in the Draw a Whale Shark Campaign we did last year as part of our grant.
We spent the last weekend of February in workshops with the kids. We learned about the sharks that inhabit the Yucatan Peninsula and historical information about some ancient inhabitants of their coastal areas, the sawfishes.
The curiosity, participation, and interest nature from the kids of Chiquilá took our hearts. They paid so much attention; we even had a very young visitor from 4 years old who was so happy at our activities. Most of these kids have family members that are or were fishers. Others have parents that work as tourism stakeholders. Either way, kids already at such a young age have a vision for the need to preserve the environment. We are going back in the coming months for some more workshops, and we continue to have some exciting online kids’ activities with them, getting ready for the ocean’s day on June 8th.