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Recently (1999) Nadine and I were fortunate enough to be invited to tour the wetlands research center and nature preserve, in the Cerritos area of Mazatlán. It is located over the bridge and to the north, just before Playa Bruja. We had a very nice time, walking along the trails and learning about mistletoe, termites, the water table, and the concept of a dry jungle. Plans are afoot to make the area more publically accessible, but the researcher there want to remind you that the Estero (wetlands) is a nature area, not a park. They expect you to use your common sense and show respect for the wildlife.
While not really open to the public, the staff there is very friendly and gracious enough to make time for visitors. Pictured here is Sandra Guido, who led our tour of the area. Her English was perfect, and her knowledge of biology and ecology extensive. She can be contacted at:

Sandra Guido
CIAD-Unidad Mazatlán
Ave. Sábalo-Cerritos s/n Estero del Yugo
Mazatlán C.P. 82010, Sinaloa, Mexico
Ph: 011-52-669-988-0157; 011-52-669-988-0158
Fax: 011-52-669-988-0159

The staff is enthusiastic about their work, and are planning to train volunteers as Nature Guides for the Estero del Yugo tours. In October 1999, they are going to organize the II Workshop on Environmental Interpretation for English speaking temporary residents in Mazatlán. Depending on how many guides they will be able to recruite this winter, they will decide on the schedule of the guided tours. For more information, the visitors should contact Sandra or the Friends of the Estero del Yugo group (Kris, Pat or Lois). They will be at Pro-Eco Cafe.

Here are a couple of pictures of the small lake that is part of the nature perserve. There are always lots of birds flying around and enjoying the water. The staff has built an observation platform, which rises about 10 meters into the air, from which these pictures were taken. Once visitors have completed a guided tour, they are encouraged to return and explore the area on their own. The have special plans for experienced bird-watchers who want to visit the Estero early in the morning. They are making the exception with these people (or other nature-lovers) because they know they are comfortable with nature, whereas urbanites are not.

Currently there aren't any booklets available, though they plan to create three soon. These include:
1. Information of the Estero del Yugo project, with a map of the Estero
2. A check-list of the birds of the Estero and
3. A short description of the most abundant trees of the tropical dry forest.
Working hours are from 9 am until 4pm, all year long except weekends, though there are usually staff members and students around even then. A visit to the Estero del Yugo must be arranged at least one week in advance and visiting hours are subject to the availability of a guide. Please call or email Sandra at the link above to arrange for a visit.
We had a nice time there for about 2-3 hours. If you can arrange for a guide, it is worth the trip.

Quote of the day:
There are only two ways of telling the complete truth. Anonymously and posthumously.
Thomas Sowell

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