Hugh Paxton’s Blog is pleased to forward the following. Good news from my buddy, Colum, in Guatemala!
As predicted by the Hugh Paxton Blog weather bureau in the last post it is now raining heavily in Bangkok! Long overdue but most welcome!
Subject: ARCAS 2015 Annual Report
Saludos Familia Paxton!
How is everything there in the Paxton clan?
Attached I am sending you our 2015 Annual Report. It was an interesting year, and despite the incredible instability here, we managed to get a lot accomplished, including the first-ever release of scarlet macaws in Guatemala which we are all very excited about. This is a permanent program as we are committed to released macaws every year and working in community development and education in Sierra Lacandon.
We are also really excited about the recent official declaration of the Hawaii Protected Area, which is also a long-term commitment to manage the area. With the UNDP we are working to establish a second protected area right next to Hawaii in the Las Lisas – La Barrona area, a really important sea turtle nesting area that extends almost to the Salvadoran border. Of course, none of this would have been possible without the steadfast support of friends like you around the world, for which we are eternally grateful.
Also, we are really excited that one of our private donors, Michael Bostelmann, has offered to buy us a piece of land on which to build our central offices, a wildlife holding facility, and an environmental education center. This is a dream come true for us! During the last several years, the role of the central office in providing logistical support to law enforcement and in receiving confiscated wildlife has grown. Under Guatemalan law, if there is an arrest, this wildlife is considered actual evidence and we are prohibited from releasing or transferring these animals until the trial has ended. This puts a great strain on our limited space at our current, rented office, and limits our ability to provide adequate care to the animals. With the commitment from Michael, we are initiating a campaign to raise funds for construction of the office, wildlife holding center and educational center probably in Antigua or nearby. If you know of any sources of support for this campaign for our new office, please let us know. We are all really excited about the possibility of having a permanent office that will be able to meet the needs of the staff and the animals.
Big hugs to you all! Any time you want to visit, you are welcome, or if you want to talk, give me a Skype at colummuccio. Did you see our BBC documentary?
Keep it wild!
Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Association, Guatemala
Asociación Rescate y Conservación de Vida Silvestre, Guatemala