SAVE Travel Program
@ La Duna Ecological Center
Starting March 2018
Who are SAVE travelers? YOU!! Scientists, teachers, students, and volunteers.
Anyone and Everyone who want to travel with a purpose.
SAVE travel provides:
Scientific community a way to contribute to scientific advancements while traveling,
Academic community a living laboratory of different ecosystems to bring the classroom into the field,
Volunteers the ability to travel with a purpose and leave a legacy to a local community in Mexico,
Education community a chance to awaken their senses and creativity in nature.
SAVE travel sessions from 1 week up to 2 months.
The longer you stay with us, the more you see and learn.
SAVE travel in two integrated themes:
1. Ecological biodiversity - help scientists conduct census surveys on the flora and fauna that inhabits the coastal dunes, beach, intertidal zones, sargassum and coral reefs, and mangrove wetlands. Research projects: symbiotic relationships of fauna associated with floating sargassum reefs, symbiosis of macroinvertebrates with sea turtles, intertidal biodiversty, beach erosion, coastal dune biodiversity, and symbiosis of fauna associated with mangrove roots.
2. Sustainability Practices - join experts in hydroponics, fresh water catchment systems, seaweed composting and gardening, artisan up-cycling crafts, natural material building designs, local ranch-style Mexican cooking, sustainable artisan fisheries and aquaculture.
Data and feedback gained from these activities help local biologists create local field guides, study population trends of endangered and migratory species, develop curriculum for local secondary schools, and share data with global citizen science databases.
SAVE travelers are greeted in La Paz at the airport or the Malecon (Boardwalk) by our staff. Together, we journey towards the base of the Sierra Giganta mountain range before arriving at the remote, pristine La Duna Ecological Center about 35 mins later.
Upon arrival, we are greeted by Malena, our camp chef and cooking class instructor. Munching on fresh cut fruit, we meet the rest of the staff and go through our safety briefing and orientation to the campus. After a short siesta in the hammocks, we hike over the coastal dunes and jump into the clear waters of the Gulf of California for a brief swim check.
During each weekly session, we will hear presentations from different local marine biologists, marine geologists, and oceanographers. Our main theme is always SYMBIOSIS, which includes an ecological aspect and a social aspect, meaning we will be analyzing relationships between species and also engaging in cultural exchange with local scientists, fishermen, sustainability experts and students.
SAVE travelers will stay at La Duna Ecological Center in individual or shared rustic, ecologically designed cabins with twin beds, mosquito nets, and solar lighting. We have plastic tubs in each cabin to store your personal belongings and a small area to hang clothes. Each cabin has a dry line for hanging wet clothes, wetsuits, and bathing suits. Cabins are made from natural, locally grown materials with palm thatched roofs.
Shared bathrooms are situated just a few steps from cabins, kitchen, and common palapa. They are dry, compost toilets adding to the intimacy of learning about sustainable outdoor living. We have hot or cold showers with an attached sizable changing room all lit with solar energy for more sustainable feel. Bees in the desert love any small source of fresh water and can frequently be found near bathroom faucets and shower heads. This provides food for birds and geckos, which some visitors know by name. Males and female bathrooms are separated by the showers and sinks for privacy.
Spanish and English speaking staff live onsite during your entire SAVE travel experience, so any problems arise, there is always someone there to wake up for help in the middle of the night! The most favored staff, Malena, does all the gourmet cooking in an ample outdoor kitchen with palapa roof, but visitors will serve as assistants on a rotating basis to help cook, clean, and serve meals at camp. Thanks to modern solar technology, we like yogurt, fresh chilled ranch cheese, and homemade, seasonal fruit ice cream on special nights. Your stomach will not suffer - actually most reviews from people who stay at La Duna comment on the delicious food.
Trails between cabins, kitchen, bathroom, and our outdoor beach laboratory are all well lit at night and marked with white painted rocks and cleared of debris, cactus spines, but may have traffic with wind scorpions, spiders, and snakes crossing - shoes always required for walking around. Don't kill anything, just grab a biologist and add it to the list of macro invertebrates on the biodiversity checklist! Just make sure to note what you see in your biodiversity notebook, which can be stored along with your books in the central palapa library, next to the hammocks.
SAVE travel Tuition:
1 - 3 weeks: $640 per week
1 - 2 months: $2500 per month
Group pricing available
Not included: Airfare, International travel/medical insurance (Must provide proof of international travel/medical insurance), Personal snorkel gear (rentals available), Extra trips (sea lion colony snorkeling, swimming with whale sharks, Cabo Pulmo marine park, Cabo San Lucas, Sierra Laguna Waterfalls).
Copyright Alianza Keloni A.C.. All rights reserved.