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A Dark and Stormy Night in Honduras

One thing for sure about wildlife conservation is that nothing is ever for sure. You just can't know when the miracles, or disasters, will strike. The following is taken from a Facebook post written by LoraKim on January 30 when a small (actually really not so small) disaster struck One Earth Conservation's scarlet macaw project in Mabita, Honduras.

On a dark and stormy night, actually many, the seas were too rough to bring supplies to Pt. Lempira, Honduras. Maybe that is what led to the gas station selling us kerosene and who knows what else mixed in with our diesel fuel. This bad fuel took out parts of our truck's motor (injectors/valves) and we are facing an "unbudgeted" $2,000 unexpected repair. It turns out that our particular vehicle is sensitive to bad fuel and the rigors of tropical field work, and we have been advised to get a better used truck. This would cost $10,000 (which we also don’t have). A new truck is $30,000.

These dark and stormy nights and days over the last year have led to massive failures in beans and rice crops, and the people here are hungry. They are also hungry to save their endangered parrots. While our truck was working last week we visited several communities, far by truck, and several only reachable by boat, walking in mud, or riding horses and motorcycles. Our project is growing, perhaps crazily so, to cover 12 communities (up from 4 last year). We do this as internationals lurk along the frontiers this week seeking to buy macaw, parrot, and toucan eggs to sell illegally to the world. The pressure is intense and we need strong coordination and communication, and for that we need reliable transportation.

I am here in the nearby city of Port Lempira heading to the repair shop in a few hours. What do I tell them? Do we scrap the car? Repair it? Trade it in for another used truck? I seek your guidance and support on behalf of the people and parrots of the Moskitia region of Honduras.

Update - LoraKim decided to go ahead with repairing the truck for now, which is a short-term solution. We will have to find the funds eventually to purchase another vehicle better suited to the circumstances of field work and unexpected problems, such as bad fuel. And the need for transportation is just as great in the other countries in which One Earth Conservation works!

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