Can you remember the first time you connected with nature? For some of us these experiences leave such an impact that they mark a turning point in our lives. At RED Travel México, we actively seek out opportunities to create life changing experiences through nature.This June, as part of the Puentes (Bridges) program of RED’s philanthropic arm Red Turismo Sustentable, RED, FANLAP and the US tour operator, Elevate Destinations through their Buy a Trip Give a Trip program created that opportunity for a group of youth from a marginalized neighborhood on the outskirts of La Paz, on a trip out to Espíritu Santo Island. Luis Garduño, co-founder of RED says that “It is important for all residents of La Paz to experience the natural wonders that surround us, especially the people who don’t live near the water and don’t have the resources to take trips to places like Espíritu Santo, a World Heritage Site. We can only truly value what we know and experience personally.” Elevate started their Buy a Trip Give a Trip program for this very reason, so that local kids can experience the natural phenomena that draw so many outside visitors, and through this experience understand the natural and cultural heritage that makes the place where the live special.
“These kids deserve to have the same experience as any tourist that visits La Paz. How else can we expect them to value and protect the natural resources that surround us?” With these words by Luis as inspiration, the group headed out in RED’s panga “Mango” to discover the wonders of the Gulf of California. After snorkeling with the sea lions in clear blue water, learning about the geology and natural history, and the important steps to make Espíritu Santo Island a protected reserve, we can say that this group of youth had an experience that will stay with them well into the future. We look forward to creating more opportunities for youth and families to get out and experience the natural wonders of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula. Whether it is a trip to Espíritu Santo Island, a research expedition with sea turtles or whale sharks, or a guided nature walk along Balandra beach, we invite individuals and corporations to support RED’s Puentes program, and help foster the growth of tomorrow’s leaders and future natural resource stewards. Contact RED or Elevate Destinations to get involved.