Sunday, 4 September 2011

Two beautiful whistle blowers

After this post, reporter Steven Bodzin sent us this very beautiful picture of a whistling heron and a Great Blue heron (or something else). The birds were having lunch in the Venezuelan islands of Los Roques. I don't want to promote Los Roques too much because I think there should be less flights to that tiny archipelago and less rubbish pouring in from boats and permanent dwellers. I hope these birds and other species can see less of us...even if we want to see more of them. If you speak Cervantes' language, you can read in El Universal of last month about how Los Roques chokes in human rubbish.

Thanks, Steven.


  1. :) My pleasure. I think that Los Roques, La Orquila, La Tortuga and La Blanquilla could be visited by many more people with much lower impact with a bit of education, more trash pickup, and a bit of enforcement against anyone caught trashing the seas. Along with the photo posted here, I also have lots of pictures of plastic garbage piled up on desert islands, almost certainly several to many kilometers from where the trash was produced. People need to learn, as they arrive in the archipelago, about leave-no-trace travel. The same in the Gran Sabana -- there should be an entry station where everyone at least receives a flyer, and anyone planning to camp or "rustiquear" should get a nice little lecture about how to take care of the wilderness. Even in the Ávila there could be signs to explain how and why not to litter. Instead, Inparques is a very corrupt organization where money for such ends gets gobbled up in administrative BS.

  2. Steven, to be honest: the great majority of Venezuelans have total disregard for the environment.

    They thow away things as if those things were what our native Americans were using 500 centuries ago: wooden arrows, stones, grass, carcasses...and on limited scale.

    I have seen so many people throw away plastic and glass in the most beautiful places in Gran Sabana or in the mountains of the Cordillera de la Costa and every time I have called their attention they have looked at me as if I were an alien.

    Before Chávez came to power, one had to pay a little bit to get to the Parque Nacional Morrocoy. The payment was really symbolic but that alone deterred a lot of people from going in. Now Chávez has made the park for free and it is collapsing. There were issues already there: there are lots of marinas, of yacht peers, inside the Morrocoy National park and lots of people - civilians and military - live there and all the rubbish they produce goes directly to the mangroves.

    I think classes are needed, but they need to be as we seldom have in Venezuela. I am afraid almost all classes in Venezuela turn out to be just a farce, a show. Venezuelans are not taught to think. They are taught to fill in a paper with letters of the right font and the right colour, they are taught to learn things by heart.

    Only those finishing off some analytical career may do something beyond that.

    I think there should be more information on the effects of throwing out rubbish like that - in the form of posters everywhere. Still, I think that is not enough. We will need people being severely fined.
    How do you do that if the very military clubs all along the coast are polluters? How do you do that if PDVSA does what it does?
    Good luck.


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