On April 24, Eco-Alianza hosted the Third Annual “One Ocean Film Festival” on the elegant grounds of Rancho El Jaral overlooking the beautiful Gulf of California and Parque Nacional Bahía de Lore, our very special place on Earth we all work to conserve and protect. More than 125 supporters enjoyed an outdoor program of nature-related films and presentations after an enjoyable social time and delicious meal served by culinary sponsor, Hotel La Misión Loreto. While following all COVID safety protocols, participants at the fundraising event enjoyed mingling in an outdoor setting. As a result of the generosity of Eco-Alianza’s supporters, attending or absent, sufficient funds were raised to support Environmental Education programs for 2021.
One Ocean Film Festival Earmarked to Support Environmental Education - April 24, 2021 After a year that felt like “everything on hold,” we are happy to announce a resumption of our annual One Ocean Film Festival. Due to ongoing challenges with COVID restrictions, we are changing the venue this year and shortening the duration. Originially scheduled for March of last year, Eco-Alianza's third One Ocean Film Festival is now slated as a one-evening event honoring Earth Day, to take place Saturday, April 24. Proceeds from the event will be earmarked specifically to support Eco-Alianza's expanding environmental education programs (more details below). This year's event will be held outdoors, under the stars, on the lovely private grounds of Rancho El Jaral. [...]
Although Eco-Alianza's traditional anniversary GALA wasn't possible this year due to Covid-19 precautions, an outdoor awards ceremony last month honored Trudi Angell, this year's recipient of Eco-Alianza's Environmental Stewardship Award (commonly referred to as “Conservationist of the Year”).
As reported in our September Soundings, because of Covid-19 precautions, Eco-Alianza's 13th Anniversary will be celebrated along with next year's 14th Anniversary GALA in November of 2021 at the Hotel La Mision. Proceeds from the GALA normally provide the majority of funding for all Eco-Alianza conservation and education programs, so to raise the necessary program funding for the coming year, we are currently holding an Online Fund Drive that officially wraps up on October 31.
For the last six months, Eco-Alianza's employees, donors, and volunteers have played a critical role in seeing Loreto through an extraordinary time – the sudden exodus of most part-year Loreto residents, rampant unexpected unemployment, and the uneasy arrival of the Covid pandemic. At its peak, Eco-Alianza's Temporary Food Security Program for Unemployed Workers was providing twice-monthly food “despensas” to 2,300 local families. With an average of 4.0 people per family served, that's 9,200 people, or roughly half of Loreto's population.
If we are going to protect Loreto and this One Ocean, we see now more than ever that we cannot just treat the symptoms. The center of it all is sustainable economic development and food security. Caring for people and building community through the shared ethic of conservation has been Eco-Alianza's core mission from the beginning.
In celebration of this year's Loreto Blue Whale Festival, we spoke with Mariana Salgado, Park Ranger and Biologist for the Parque Nacional Bahía de Loreto (PNBL) and also to Bryan Olachea, a Blue Whale researcher who will present “Gigantes del Mar,” a free, bilingual Visiting Scientist talk at the Chili Willy large open-air palapa on the Loreto Malecon, just north of the lighthouse at 5:00 p.m. on March 20.
For two days in January, Loreto was buzzing with the news of a visit to Loreto by former U.S. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. The morning of January 21, the photos below were widely circulated on Facebook, and Seven Seas, the yacht owned by director Steven Spielberg, was anchored in the Bay of Loreto National Park.
As part of its One Ocean Initiative, Eco-Alianza earlier this month kicked off a new campaign to engage Loreto's first-line service providers, captains of Pangas, in supporting and implementing the new Management Plan for the Bahia de Loreto National Park (PNBL). The campaign aims also to help promote the business culture and personal brand of the first-line workers – Capitanes Loretanos, who provide their services in the sport fishing and ecotour sectors, and traditionally have served as a magnet for Loreto tourism.
Hotel La Misión Adds a Touch of Elegance to 12th Anniversary Gala, Nov. 16. The Board and Staff of Eco-Alianza are proud of the advances we have made this year, and are eager to share some news about them at the upcoming 12th Anniversary Fundraising Gala, hosted by Hotel La Mision the evening of November 16. If you have not yet reserved your space, please do not delay as this event has sold out the last six years in a row. This will truly be an evening to remember, beginning with an amazing venue. If you are new to Hotel La Mision's 5th floor banquet room, you are in for a exceptional treat. According to General Manager Maria Gamez Castro, the “palapa roof terrace” took a year and a half to complete, including exquisite craftsmanship in the wood structure and thousands of woven palm leaves in the palapa-style roof. Windows on the entire east and west sides of the main hall provide panoramic views of the sea and Isla Del Carmen on one side and of the Sierra La Giganta mountains on the other. Egyptian marble floors throughout are perfect for dancing!