What is at issue:
The Amigos de Isla Contoy have implemented in 2012 what they had planned - more than that: it was possible to raise additional funds and to push forward eight projects in the field of biodiversity, ecosystems and marine resources. Some of these additional projects have also been the basis for the work that has just begun in 2012.
Since 2001, the Lighthouse Foundation has been active in the region on the east coast of Yucatan, on Isla Contoy, Isla Mujeres and in neighboring Cancun. The projects carried out since then by the association "Amigos de Isla Contoy" (AIC), and in particular by the biologist Catalina Galindo de Prince, revolve around the sustainability of tourism and the sustainable lifestyles of the people of the region, on marine pollution and species conservation, the use of marine resources or networking with strategic partners.
But the common thread that runs through many years of project work is Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). In a variety of events Catalina addresses to schoolchildren, islanders and urbanites, fishermen and hoteliers, to students and teachers in schools and colleges.
What's happening now:
Catalina Galindo has been able to develop good contacts with mayors and other officials. Over the past few years, they have been very supportive of events and activities on Isla Mujeres and Isla Contoy. Through her work, Catalina was also able to develop a trusting relationship with the Ministry of Education and thus facilitate the implementation of our educational program in schools.
Beyond the transfer of knowledge, Catalina is now increasingly concerned with strengthening the public's ability to criticize the current state of the coastal environment. And, of course, the sound engagement with sustainable development goals, practices and solutions that contribute to the protection and conservation of natural systems in the region.
To achieve these goals, Catalina has sought to form alliances and partnerships with individuals, NGOs, public administration at the local, state, and federal levels. She co-operates in the development and implementation of programs, projects, workshops, the production of environmental education materials and exhibitions with educational and research institutions, companies and NGOs.
"Flows" leads you on a journey never before taken, exploring the aquifer on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. Flows will show you unique footage from the air and underwater, taking you more than a kilometre into a submerged cave system to see the incredible mirror mirage where salt and fresh water meet, discovering a prehistoric skull more than 10,000 years old and much more.
What we have achieved:
- numerous lectures and presentations of documentary films at universities, high schools, municipal theatres, art galleries and cultural centres on the problem of aquifers (cenotes)
- Training for 28 new tourist guides for the Isla Contoy National Park and ten more people from neighbouring countries
- Workshops on coral reefs and the Isla Contoy National Park for more than 300 students from Cancun primary schools
- Implementation of two conservation projects with public participation, one for the Caribe Mexicano Biosphere Reserve and one for the west coast of Isla Mujeres, Punta Cancun and the Punta Nizuc National Park, including the production of information material and information boards to guide visitors.
2007 - 2018
- Development of training courses on waste management, environmental education, biodiversity and marine ecosystems. Educational work on the waste problem on Isla Mujeres. Courses for the Department of Environment and Natural Resources on biodiversity and climate change and recycling
- Orientation and participation in numerous events in kindergartens, schools and universities, at conferences and congresses in the region. Conducted workshops with various regional and local organizations
- On-going presentations of the exhibition series on the Isla Contoy National Park and a program for the conservation of whale sharks. In 2015, Amigos de Isla Contoy (AIC), with its projects, programs and environmental education activities, will reach nearly 100,000 people in the coastal area of the Yucatan Peninsula
- Active conservation work in the region, e.g. monitoring of migratory birds, sea turtles and whale sharks, mangroves and corals
- Organization of recycling of recyclables on Isla Mujeres. The collected materials, mainly plastic bottles, cardboard and paper are forwarded to recycling companies.
- Establishment and operation of a community center for environmental education in Isla Mujeres from 2008
- Promotion of tourist offers from the islands of Contoy and Mujeres: renewal of the exhibition, design and installation of a snorkelling park with historical artefacts under water. Opening of an exhibition on underwater archeology in the Mexican Caribbean
- Training of nature guides for nature and environment-friendly behavior
- Support and training of Cooperativa Vision-Mujer members in the establishment of lobster breeding.
- Further development and maintenance of a network of organizations of nature and environmental protection.
- Catalina is coordinating two joint projects funded by the Mexican government through CONANP that aim to involve interested citizens in the study of marine and terrestrial biodiversity.
- Species protection and monitoring in the nature reserve flora and fauna of the mangroves of Nichupte. The result is an inventory of 209 different bird species, many of which are listed in different risk categories under Mexican environmental legislation.
- Species protection and monitoring in the Chacmochuch lagoon on Isla Mujeres.
- More than 1,200 people saw the documentary "Flows", which Catalina presented at various events.
2004 - 2006
- Analysis of waste streams and development of a recycling concept for waste management on Isla Mujeres
- Training of nature guides and boat crews for nature and environment-friendly behavior
- Installation of an integrated water and energy supply on Isla Contoy
- Formation of a network of environmental and educational actors in Quintana Roo
2001 - 2003
- Conception, equipping and support of the already existing Visitor Center in the Marine National Park on Isla Contoy
- Analysis of resource requirements
- Design of a technical solutions to meet water and energy needs.