Last night, the Iniciativa Mexico competition between the five finalists of the Environmental category was held on live television. I watched the TV Azteca coverage via the internet. Technology is amazing! Allowing me to watch a Mexican television program via the transmission of millions of 0s and 1s (bits and bytes of information moving at incredible speeds over thousands of miles). It is mind blowing to consider how far we have come technologically in the last 100 years.
Mario Castro did a great job as the representative for Amigos para la Conservacion de Cabo Pulmo. He was up against some very stiff competition. Voting was done by telephone, instant message and online and the project receiving the greatest number of votes from all over Mexico and abroad was declared the victor. “Agua para Siempre” Water for Always was the winner. ACCP came in third, receiving 14% of the votes. It was predictable that in a popular vote, Agua para Siempre would win because the availability of clean drinking water and water for every day purposes is still a serious issue throughout Mexico. It is something that affects millions of lives daily, so it speaks to a very broad audience. The protection of a fragile reef system is something less immediate, less important to people who don’t have clean water to drink or bathe in.
Although ACCP did not win by popular vote, there is still the chance that they will be chosen by the technical counsel to continue on to the finals. In each category, the technical counsel reserves the right to choose a project that they feel is worthy of further consideration. I remain optimistic that ACCP will be given another chance in the Iniciativa Mexico competition because the reef that they work so hard to protect is internationally recognized as a treasure and is important as a nursery for commercially important species of fish. Regardless of what happens, ACCP can be proud to have made it to the semi-finals, one of 25 groups chosen out of 47,049 entries. They have also succeeding in bringing much needed attention to their work and to Cabo Pulmo National Park. If you took the time to vote last night, thank you.
Today preparations are being made to leave Maui tomorrow. We will fly to San Bruno, California, just south of San Francisco, the same place where last Thursday there was a huge natural gas explosion, killing at least four people (many are still unaccounted for) and destroying 37 homes. In the blink of an eye, many lives were changed forever, reminding us to live each day as though it is our last. We never know when our time here will be over, when we will utter those last words to a love one, see them for the last time.
On Saturday we will fly on to Mexico, to the heat of the desert, to the tranquil blue waters of the Sea of Cortez, to live life to the fullest.