Why Fly in Mesoamerica?

The presence of “swim-with-whale-sharks” powerboats confirms we're getting closer to these gentle giants of the sea. (Photo © Ivan Gabaldon – Aerial support provided by Lighthawk to Pronatura Peninsula de Yucatan).

Ivan and Bud talk about why LightHawk flies conservation missions in Mexico and Central America in the final installment of our Ride Into Birdland guest blog. Click here to read from the beginning.

I.G. What is Lighthawk?

L.S. Lighthawk is a group of volunteer pilots, some 220 volunteer pilots living across the United States, who fly their own airplanes in volunteer service to the goals and objectives of Lighthawk, which is to help conservation and wildlife organizations, primarily NGOs, in support of their conservation initiatives. These volunteer pilots provide their own airplane, pay their own fuel, give of their own professional time and services in support of these initiatives. In addition to these pilots flying their own airplanes, there is a unique program within Lighthawk called the Mesoamerica Program. Lighthawk itself owns two airplanes and from this group of 220 pilots there is a small, select group of aviators who each year, from January through May, will volunteer to fly the Lighthawk airplanes in the Mesoamerica region, supporting the conservation and wildlife initiatives going on throughout the region, primarily Guatemala, Belize, Costa Rica, Panama, Honduras and Mexico in the Yucatan and in Baja.

The presence of “swim-with-whale-sharks” powerboats confirms we’re getting closer to these gentle giants of the sea. (Photo © Ivan Gabaldon – Aerial support provided by Lighthawk to Pronatura Peninsula de Yucatan).

I.G. Why Mesoamerica, why was it defined as being so important for Lighthawk?

L.S. I think the initial founders of Lighthawk saw a lot of opportunity here, and then they saw a lot of need, whether it’s deforestation issues, wildlife conservation and preservation, mangrove preservation along the coastlines, they just saw a need and said “this is a worthy outreach that Lighthawk can contribute to and we need to do it”. And it’s growing every year, as I —> Read More

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