This spring, I was lucky to have an essay I wrote published in Broad Street, titled “A Curious Migration.” The seeds for the essay, which was in part about milkweed, came from a blog post I wrote in July 2013. The town of Macheros, mentioned in the essay, is a special place, and I thought I’d share some photos of it here. I’m a lover of monarchs, for certain, but I’m also in awe of what my friends Ellen and Joel are doing to help their town while promoting monarch habitat conservation through their nonprofit organization Butterflies and Their People. If you’d like to donate to their cause, please visit their website. The organization raises money to hire local people as arborists in the reserve, who monitor the forests and monarch colonies, as well as provide a presence meant to deter illegal logging.
I’ve visited their inn three times—in 2015, 2016, and 2018. When I first visited, the inn was one building with only a couple of rooms. Now it’s two buildings and fourteen rooms, as well as a restaurant. A new restaurant building and a swimming pool are currently under construction. Most of Joel’s family is involved in the running of the inn and restaurant, as well as the guided tours to Cerro Pelon butterfly reserve and other reserves nearby.