Art For Turtles Encourages Conservation in the Riviera Nayarit

  • This annual event offers an art walk for visitors in order to continue to encourage the conservation of local species, especially the marine turtle and its habitat.

The Association for Environmental Unity with Mexico has celebrated its Art for Turtles event every year since 2004 in the hopes of encouraging the conservation of the marine turtle and its habitat in the Riviera Nayarit.

A group of some 50 volunteers headed by doctor Manuel Carlos Feliz, president of the association, collaborated in this nonprofit activity with artists and visitors. 

“As human beings we have the responsibility of being the primary guardians of the planet, its species and all of nature. We need to act locally and think globally,” said Manuel Carlos.

The encounter took place on February 27th at the Bahía del Sol facilities near the Nuevo Vallarta turtle camp.

“People come, walk around and enjoy the music, the cuisine, the artisans and the artwork. The artists donate their work to the association so it can be sold and then apply those resources to fund our programs,” he added.

The association works together with the National Commission on Protected Areas (CONANP by its acronym in Spanish) and its National Program for the Protection of the Marine Turtle.

They also clean up beaches, visit schools to plant the seeds of conservation early on in the children and receive about 100 people daily and give them useful information about the impact of human beings on the marine turtles’ ecosystem.

Their main operations lie between the Ameca River and Bucerías. They extended an invitation to the local community as well as the local expats to be a part of this movement and add their efforts to better our planet. 

To cite an example of how the conservation of the marine turtle benefits tourism, Manuel Carlos explained that jellyfish are a staple of the turtles’ diet; if the turtles are gone, the largest natural predator of these jellyfish disappears.

“The jellyfish burn swimmers and if there aren’t turtles around to eat them, people won’t be able to be in the water, which is what happens in the Mediterranean,” he said.

He also encouraged the community in general to contribute as much as possible to benefit both tourism in the Riviera Nayarit and its people.

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