Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Haley Reading Group: “Blood in the Sand”

[The Best American Science and Nature Writing (2015)]

Matthew Power reports the story of Jairo Maro and Almudena as they worked to protect turtles on the Playa Moin beach of the Caribbean. According to Power, the beach’s darkness and isolation made it a popular place for turtles and poachers who’d sell the turtles eggs as aphrodisiac (212).

Power recounts the events leading up to Maro’s death and the impact it had on the local community. This article focuses on the danger people face when preserving wildlife and seeks justice in Maro’s death.

What did you find especially memorable or important about this article? Why?

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

The thing I found most interesting about this article was that the turtles lay 80 fertilized eggs and cover them with 30 yolkless ones. In addition, the conservationists "often placed those eggs on top of broken glass, causing a poacher to cut himself while digging for the good ones" (218). It was interesting to see how nature tried to protect the eggs and the creative way that the conservationists also tried to protect them. This was a great example of thinking outside of the box. I am sure that there are other ways to accomplish this, but probably not any that can be done as cheaply and as easily.

Marina T.

Unknown said...

I thought, “Blood in the Sand” was a particularly sad article. Jairo “Mora” Sandoval dedicated most of his life to the conservation of the leatherback turtles and he died on the same beach he worked long nights to collect unhatched eggs. Mora’s death could have been prevented and he came out with statements to the police days before his death about how unsafe the beaches were to patrol and nothing was done until after he died. After the suspects in his murder were caught, the police attempted to deflect the blame onto, “Mora and Lizano’s failed attempt to hire poachers for conservation” (Power, p 223) . The police were looking for scapegoats because deep down they knew Mora’s death was due to negligence on their part.

Madalynn M.

Unknown said...

I found this article to be extremely interesting and well written. This article explained in detail the risk that Jairo Mora, Lizano, and volunteers took to help save the turtles and their passion for saving the turtles. Their passion showed that no matter what they will not give up in trying to make a difference. After finishing the article, the thing that I found to be the most memorable was the telling of how committed Mora was to continue risking his own life in order to save the turtles by going on patrol and battle with poachers.

Alexis S.

LaTrina Brown said...

I found it interesting that people hunt eggs to sell for a dollar. I wonder why someone would do something so illegal for such a small amount of profit? I also love how the people that work for the sanctuary, like Mora, risk their lives for these seemingly endangered animals. This shows their character and how far they are willing to go for the simple fact of doing the right thing. I liked how the author tried to make the readers have sympathy for the hueveros by saying that this is what they needed to take care of their families.

Linda H. said...

What I found most memorable about the article was how hard the conservationists had to struggle to save these turtles. Not many people would continue their pursuits to save animals despite all the danger that came from it. Especially on page 219 where it says "Two men with machetes jumped out of the forest and ran toward her truck". This sounds insane for people to do just to secure turtle eggs. However, I am glad there was someone there to help these turtles so Mora's legacy can live on

Linda H.

Gabrielle Hieken said...

This article felt like i was watching a movie. It made me cheer for the good guys and share their pain when they cycled through many of their losses. The most interesting part is every trial and error they attempted. One example was when they offered to pay the hueveros (egg dealers) around $300 a month to work on the conservation of these eggs rather than poaching them. What made this stand out was the additional fact that $300 a month was not enough compared to the $200 a NIGHT hueveros could possibly be making poaching eggs. I couldn't believe those numbers. Eventually the hueveros figured out these calculations and this mission was a bust. From that point on, I kept hoping Mora and his team would come out on top of all the raids, battles, death, and threats that the hueveros were throwing them. However, even after the triumphant arrest nothing could avenge the pain and loss Mora witnessed.

Anonymous said...

Mora's story overall was important as he strove to save the turtles at any cost, and went against poachers. I found what Paul Watson, founder of Sea Shepard Society, said about Mora memorable as he said, "Jairo is no longer simply a murder statistic...He is now an icon" (215). There are many unknown hero that are killed for doing something good and just become murder statistics, so it was inspiring that Watson made sure Mora wouldn't be like that. Watson also did the right thing by finding justice for Mora.

Samantha A.

Jovahna Williams said...

What I found to be very important about this article was the sheer cascade of action caused by Moin's death. It was so interesting to see the contrast in the amount of effort put in to solving the problem of sea turtle poachers in Costa Rica versus how the situation would've gone in the United States. The amount of positive action from Paul Watson offering 30,000 to anyone who could identify the killers to the donations made to money donated to Wildlife preservations just because one person was killed says a lot about how seriously Costa Rica takes the endangerment of wildlife and poaching and selling of the eggs of endangered animals. In the United States if someone were to be killed while trying to protect an endangered species the way Moin was killed the story would just be in the weekly paper and they would just be another statistic which is considerably sad considering how precious endangered species are.
Jovahna W.

Dasmin W. said...

The important message that I took from this article is to fight for what you think it is right. Mora risked his life time in and time out to help turtles survive and collect eggs. He remind me of Martin Luther King who wanted to make a change in society and die in the process like Mora. Another thing that these two have in common is that things didnt get better until after their deaths, but I don't think neither of them would be satisfied right now. Martin Luther King would still be fighting for equality and Mora would still be fighting with poacher and trying his best to influence the public to stop stealing eggs.

Caulder Brantley said...

Caulder Brantley

The thing I found most memorable and that stuck with me the most was the the sense of uncertainty that everybody had and that I was also left with. The section that details Jairo Mora's untimely and unjust passing put a very unpleasant feeling in my stomach. I am deeply sadden that his life was taken because he was doing what he had a passion for and trying to conserve the leather back eggs. Another thing that stuck with me was the quote from Almudena on page 224 where she said that in ten years there has to be turtles in Moin or that this happened for nothing. I found this to be especially powerful and memorable because it rings with truth. If Costa Rica doesn't doesn't put funds into conserving leather back turtles and cracking down on poaching then Jairo Mora's death was in vain.

Anonymous said...

The thing most memorable in this article was the length that people go through. The lengths the poachers go to just to sell an innocent little baby turtles as something like an aphrodisiac, and the fact that the volunteers were so invested in what they were doing that even though trouble arose for them they kept going to ensure the safety of the turtles yet to hatch. It portrays a better sense of morality and that not all people do something for selfish reason, sometimes its purely altruistic.

Caleb Abernathy said...

Aspects of this article that I found to be extremely memorable are when the Man went to extreme lengths to try and do everything that he could in order to stop the poachers from trying to get the eggs. At some point in time, he even would place glass amongst the eggs so that the poachers would cut themselves when searching for the egss. I believe that aspects and actions similar to this are extremely important, not only to the article, but just in a general sense or morale. When someone believes so strongly in something, they will go to amazing lengths in order to try and keep that reverie alive. On the other hand, it is also a great thought to ponder, that on the other end of the spectrum, their are individuals who will either intentionally or unintentionally break down that dream. In relevance to the article, the poachers would still go back even though they realized that someone was trying to protect the eggs.

This article, to me, went far beyond the point of a man trying to preserve the life of turtles.

Anonymous said...

This article was incredibly interesting in part because one of my close friends is studying marine biology in Florida and this is something we have talked about it. I think the most memorable thing about this story is how it took someones death in order for people to pay attention. This is something that we see often in the real world today and I was able to connect to that. I also like the this article connected to an issue that is still incredibly prevalent today.

Alexis R.

Anonymous said...

In this article, the Outside Magazine narrates the adventure of two individuals who essentially have the ultimate goal to save turtle. what I will remember from this article is that it does not take an entire population to start imposing a positive change to the society. One or two, although not enough, can start by setting the example so that other people can follow their leads. the most memorable thing for me is the dedication shown by Jairo Mora and Lizano.

Geonel M.

Anonymous said...

I found this article very interesting because it showed the lengths that Jairo Mora, Lizano, and all their volunteers were willing to go to protect the turtles. The part I found most interesting was how they didn't have any protection on the beach. Especially, because It took a man losing his life to put the correct protection and patrols on the beach. This article also shows how far people will go to protect the things that they believe in which is a very powerful message to read.

Cecelia S.

Anonymous said...

One of the most interesting things about this article to me was reading about the lengths that Mora was willing to go through in order to protect the turtles. Knowing it was dangerous work she still did all that she could and put her life on the line to save the turtles because it was that important to her. What’s also interesting is how much work the poachers were willing to go through just to get the turtles eggs.

Gianna T.

Anonymous said...

While reading this article I found that the overall message about morals and values was the most memorable. People that put their all into something so selflessly are the type of people we need more of in this world. This man in the article went to great lengths to protect these eggs from the poachers and if that's not dedication I don't know what is. I've read countless other articles about people trying to protect wildlife but ones like these always stand out to me. Putting themselves in harms way for a species of animals is very commendable. And even when it doesn't apply to saving wildlife, action like this should be taken for any noble cause that is worth fighting for.

Jasmine S.

Sable M. said...

Sable M.

Anonymous said...

This article really expanded my vision on life and how life should be lived. The one message that really stuck to me was that those people who put their best effort into the things they do are the type of people we need to fill the world we live in. Why do something if you're not putting your best effort forward? It helped me think about my life and motivate me to finish these lest few weeks of school with an iron fist. I know this article was about someone protecting turtle eggs from being senselessly poached, but the message of the story can be widened to many horizons. Always do what you believe is important and follow through.
Fatima B.

Unknown said...

Alexis H.

This article was so interesting because a conservationist gave his best effort to protect the turtles from dying. They came up with different tricks and out side of the box ways to keep the turtles safe. Then the conservationist Mora dies on the beach. While it was sickening to read about it was ironic. It made me think that you truly do die doing what you love.

Anonymous said...

This article was well written and it reminded me to always fight for the things that you believe in. The person working went to great lengths to protect the turtles and I think it is important to always remember that wildlife and nature are sacred. Our world is becoming unhealthy and we are destroying it slowly but surely. If everyone were to fight to keep these animals, and our nature safe, the world would be better off. If we were to put our all into things like this person did, then we could all be successful and help the world not only be a better place but a healthier one as well.

-Jasmine D.

Anonymous said...

The most interesting thing I learned from this article is how many eggs a turtle lays. I also really liked how the conservationist were creative in protecting the eggs. It was sad reading about the person who died on the beach yet inspiring how far people will go for the things they love.
Breann Walton

Unknown said...

The entire article interests me because of how hard they tried to protect the turtles when most try to experiment on animals and use them as a gain. Mora puts much efforts into making sure the turtles were protected and risking her life shows the importance and focus we should have toward nature and helping than being all about benefitting ourselves.
-Khalia K