When I first signed up for the Panama trip, I was going to be closer to my dad. I wanted to see the country where he had lived and worked for 3 years, without any real consideration for the impact of the work I was going to be doing. However, now that I have been to this beautiful country, I am more aware of the importance of increasing awareness of the mangroves and the environment in general.
Our tour of the mangroves was absolutely amazing. As we floated between the trees, we learned just how many different types of species there are and how well they coexist. We learned just how much the local communities rely on the fish that come from the mangroves and how the mangroves work to protect the community from the strong winds and dangerous elements. These gentle giants have provided more for Panama then you can ever find out by simply researching them.
This trip made me want to be more conscientious about how I take care of my trash. Both the mayor we interviewed and the fisherfolk said that the biggest threat to the mangroves was trash, and it was plain to see how detrimental that could be as we drove and boated around. I would love to see not just Panamanians educated on the importance on taking care of their trash, but the rest of the world as well. We need to do a better job taking care of our planet so that we don’t continue to lose these beautiful elements to our planet.
These are entries by students from Texas Christian University (Fort Worth, TX, USA) Roxo students traveling to Panama for Spring Break to work with Wetlands International on the Mangrove Project."