How a Small Mexican Town is Helping Monarch Butterflies

If you've been following us for a while, you'll know that I have this 'thing' with Monarch Butterflies, so I really wanted to share this uplifting story about a village in Mexico that is protecting Monarchs in a really beautiful way.

You see, last summer when the first Monarch landed in our front 'ditch', turned pollinator sanctuary, I was overcome with a weird mix of excitement and GRIEF.  Similar to that feeling when you see a celebrity you've watched most of your life age and even die.

Because let's be straight about it.  Monarchs are dying in large numbers, due to pesticides, habitat destruction (they need Milkweed and Milkweed alone to survive) and climate change.

And I really want to help these incredibly tough, beautiful and magical creatures.

Part of the magic is that they weigh half a gram [0.01 ounces], and yet can migrate more than 5,000 kilometers [around 3,000 miles] largely from Canada, through the US and to Mexico for a winter vacay.

And because they travel so damn far, if we're going to help them, there needs to be a multi-national approach.
 Which is why I was so pumped to find this article about a Monarch reserve in Atlautla, Mexico where they have been seeing gradual increases in the Monarch population thanks to local efforts.
The big challenge of protecting the Monarchs is that lumber is the main economic driver, but cutting down the local trees is destroying habitat.
 So one of the ways they've been able to justify the importance of protecting forest habitat is by bringing back the old culture belief that made Monarchs essential to one of Mexico's most well known tradition - Día de los Muertos (day of the dead).
You see Monarchs represent the souls of lost loved ones returning and reuniting with their loves.
And when I think about my own grief and losses over the years, I find this is such a beautiful way to honour that inevitable human experience.

And when I think back to the little catterpillars munching on Milkweed in my ditch here in Eastern Ontario, I suddenly feel even more inspired to protect their beautiful spirits and I also feel way more connected to my Mexican friends who live so far away.

In the end, this whole thing is a group effort, and I believe our current environmental crisis is just what we all need to recognize that.

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