Posts Tagged ‘Zihuatanejo’

This tour was a lot more than a paddle around a lagoon, half an hour south of Zihuatanejo, Mexico. It was an education, with a teacher so intrepid and erudite,  we learned more about local history, ecology, and plant and animal life than I ever knew, while having fun. kayak tours, Zihuatanejo, Mexico, Brian Peters, Zoe Kayak Tours, wildlifeBrian Roach is an expert at sharing what he knows.

Our little group floated among the mangroves, binoculars at the ready, and he pointed out cormorants, frigate birds, elegant white egrets, flycatchers, doves, roseate spoonbills, and a few dozen others (he knew all the species variations, of course). We were far from the tourist beach scene as Brian guided us through mangrove tunnels and showed us where salt had been gathered. He provided a good lunch on a beach, bird life Mexico, wildlifeall the while telling us how the tides work and the birds migrate and what happens in the rainy season.

Some years back, Brian and his wife, Kathy Kokolias, came to Zihua from New England to help with a friend’s hotel and boutique. Guests were interested in their 2 kayaks, so Brian started tours. Now they have 28, and Zoe Kayak Tours offers hotel iguana, wildlife, Mexico, Zihuatanejopick-up in a van for trips to the lagoon at Barra de Potosi, Laguna Valentin, and the recently opened wildlife refuge, El Refugio De Potosi.

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Pencils to Mexico

Netza School classroomMost tourists to Mexico don’t bring school supplies along with their swimsuits and sunscreen. But we did, a big duffle bag full of crayons, markers, notebooks, pencils — all needed by the kids at Netza School in Zihuatanejo. The town nestles between mountains and the Pacific, on the west coast. We settled into our bungalow with a view of the bay, then hailed a cab and lugged the duffle up to the barrio.

Netza is amazing. The school began with Marina Sanchez teaching¬†kids under a tree and now it’s in hillside buildings for grades 1-6. These children would have no education without the Netza Project; they’d be selling trinkets to tourists on the beach. Many speak indigenous languages, not Spanish, and are too poor to buy uniforms and books required by state schools.

An American, Lisa Martin, spearheaded its growth in 3 Cups of Tea style. So here we were, waving at little kids, listening to their songs and lessons, and delivering the things we and several friends collected.

Back on the beach, hanging out at a cafe that plays great jazz CDs, we watched the waves roll in and felt we’d done something worthwhile.

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