NANPA Environmental Grant Helps Protect the Last Free-Flowing River in Sierra Madre.
by Jamie Rojo
The San Pedro Mezquital project is an ongoing communications effort to protect the last free-flowing river in the Western Sierra Madre, Mexico. The river is under threat by several development projects, including a dam in the middle basin and a huge tourist resource in the upper basin.
The Philip Hyde Grant that I obtained in May 2012 was used to continue the documentation of this huge river basin, but also to give public presentations in the upper and lower basin to involve the local communities in the actions to protect the river.
In May 2012, we inaugurated a large format exhibit of the San Pedro Mezquital that was hosted by the three main cities of the basin, following the course of the river on its way to the sea. I gave presentations on Durango and Tepic on the day of the exhibit launch, and had meetings with regional authorities involved in the management of the river basin:
- Durango, upper basin, May 2012
- Presidio, middle basin, Oct 2012
- Tepic, lower basin, Jan 2013
Also, in January 2013, I did a 2-week expedition with my colleague Octavio Aburto, co-financed by National Geographic Explorers Fund, to document some of the most remote parts of the upper basin (Chachacuaxtle canyon and the Tres Molinos basin), with some surprising results, and a field blog was published in National Geographic Newswatch. The Philip Hyde Grant represented a great opportunity to continue the conservation photography work in the San Pedro Mezquital river and I will always be thankful for NANPA’s support.
Jamie Rojo was awarded the Philip Hyde Environmental Grant for this project in 2012 by the NANPA Foundation. The $5,000 grant is provided by Fine Print Imaging through its Art for Conservation program, the International League of Conservation Photographers, the NANPA Environment Committee and individual donations.