We are a little over halfway into our program and still getting used to the oppressive summer heat, but the students have been troopers, focusing on their service at AMANC, interesting wildlife and the fun activities we’ve planned for them.
On Wednesday, we went to the zoo! Merida has two zoos focused on wildlife investigation and conservation. We went to Animaya, a safari like zoo where the animals roam freely in designated areas. Our first stop was a miniature safari where we saw animals from four different regions: the American prairie, the Eurasian prairie and the African prairie along with freshwater aquatic life. We also visited Melipona bees that have been cultivated by the Maya for over 3,000 years, and we walked through a botanic garden featuring several kinds of orchids and birds such as Guacamayas and Toucans. We even saw a couple of Capybaras! The birds in this area will be released in the wild when they are fully grown and healthy, so their diet and environment are kept as similar as their natural conditions as possible. Finally, we learned about emus, ostriches, rheas and their eggs. Some lucky students were even able to feed the birds!
Merida has so much to offer in terms of cultural and educational activities. I expect that the students will return home full of stores and fun facts learned while in Mexico!