Collaborators in this issue

Ensenada, Baja California
Erick Falcón
Oscar Cota

Cabo Pulmo, Baja California Sur
Miguel Ángel Torres

San Blas, Nayarit
Alma Delia Sojo Cornejo
Irvin Uriel Aguilar Chávez
Nancy Kate Ayón Carlos

Teacapán, Sinaloa
Talli Nauman

Guaymas, Sonora
Alex Daniel Gastélum López
Eunice Angélica Jiménez Cobos
Javier Osvaldo Díaz
Mario David Gamboa López
Martín Barrón Trujillo

Puerto Peñasco, Sonora
Javier Emmanuel Verdugo Melendrez
Santiago León Marco Antonio.

Editorial Board
César Angulo (San Luis Rio Colorado, Son.)
Talli Nauman (San Ignacio, B.C.S.)
Debra Valov (Mulege, B.C.S.)
Sergio Morales Polo (Loreto, B.C.S.)
Carmina Valiente (La Paz, B.C.S.)
Miguel Ángel Torres (Aguascalientes, Ags.)

Consultants for Vol. 1, No. 3
Ernesto Bolado
Alba Reyna González
Juan Francisco García
Carlos Simental
Dahl McLean

Translations Vol. 1, No. 3
Debra Valov
Steve Gooding
Thomas J. McGuire
Jim Morgan

SuMar - Voces por la Naturaleza, A.C.
Fondo de Acción Solidaria, A.C.

Green Grants
The David and Lucile Packard Foundation
Resources Legacy Fund

Gabriel Martínez; Guaymas, Sonora


Primera Plana, Hermosillo, Sonora

Meloncoyote logotipo

Meloncoyote is a product of Journalism to Raise Environmental Awareness (abbreviated PECE in Spanish), an independent communications project founded in 1994 with the support of the MacArthur Foundation. The viewpoints expressed are solely those of the authors. This work may be reproduced in part or whole, with images and illustrations, as long as the publication source and authors are cited.


Logos de colaboradores

We think readers should be surprised with every click of the mouse button or turn of the page of this newsletter. Why?

Because we believe surprises in content induce people to read on. Not only that but, it is surprising that we have achieved what many start-up publications cannot: the publication of four consecutive editions. What’s more, we have surprised even ourselves with an issue that, we hope you agree, is better than ever.

The short, but productive trajectory of Melóncoyote has been possible due to a number of key factors.  We recognize the efforts of a civil society that is actively organized around Alcosta, a coalition constantly working for the conservation and sustainability of northwestern Mexico. Alcosta is keeping track of developmental issues on the agenda that is providing the raw material for the stories in this publication.

Another ingredient is the perseverance of professional reporters, represented by Journalism to Raise Environmental Awareness (PECE), in creating and developing a publication for the entire region of  the Gulf of California, known to local people as the Mar Bermejo.  From this newsletter, residents can learn about not only the environmental and social threats to their well-being, but also about actions to defend it that constitute important economic success stories.

SuMar, an organization based in Guaymas, has played a significant role.  Its actions and environmental education programs have turned the participation of students, teachers and other community members into the seedlings of what could become a dense forest of citizen journalists.

The essential element has been the volunteer work that has created the first four issues of this publication.  Without exception, all of the participants have given of their time and energy without payment of any kind. 

The first issue (No. 0) was our trial run.  Now with issue No. 3 we can be proud of publishing articles that have come out of a grassroots journalism training program, created by SuMar in coordination with students and teachers of CETMar.  We can also brag about articles written by internationally acclaimed environmental journalists such as Erick Falcón, winner of the Latin American Environmental Journalism Award for 2010, a competition held by Reuters and the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

From the beginning, Meloncoyote has been based on an understanding of the need for a printed, Spanish language publication for the Gulf of California region.  Now we have taken a huge step forward with the translation of the publication into English and its availability on the Internet, thanks to the work done by environmental educator Debra Valov, creator of the website

It only remains to be said that all of this has been done in difficult times, whether because of the restructuring of the media industry or because of the threats that we face as journalists when we take on the work of investigating those interests that are detrimental to sustainable development.  All this has been achieved with much appreciated, but very little, financing.  It has been done for love of the craft.

We extend an invitation to volunteers who want to join us in this work. Help is welcome in editorial, design, production and distribution phases. In addition, we are looking for parties who could help to finance the project.


Why Melóncoyote?

Our project dates back to 1994, when “Journalism to Raise Environmental Awareness” (abbreviated PECE in Spanish) was formed.  In 2004, PECE played a role in the founding of the national professional organization The Mexican Environmental Journalist’s Network. In 2005, when we started the first grassroots journalism project in the Gulf of California, our team chose the name Melóncoyote because it is a species emblematic of the region at the heart of our mission.

The Coyote Melon, known in Spanish as melón coyote or calabacilla (which includes the species Cucurbita palmata, C. cordata, C. digitata and C. foetidissima) is a wild perennial gourd that is resistant, versatile, beautiful, useful and native to the sandy soils that characterize the Gulf of California zone. The coyote melon is found in the region’s seven states: Baja California Sur, Baja California, California, Arizona, Sonora, Sinaloa, and Nayarit. A vine, Coyote Melon has an immense root that guarantees its survival against hard times while its long stems serve to anchor the soil in fragile areas.

The indigenous peoples of the area, bearers of the region’s traditional wisdom, describe the plant and how it is used. As medicine, it is bitter, but effective.  As a musical instrument, it makes a beautiful rattle.  Its seeds provide oil and a flour which contains a high level of protein. Its shell is ideal as a container for all matter of things.  Because of all of these traits, and because it is an integral part of the food chain and one of the principal foods of the coyote, they named it “Coyote Melon”.

Our team of collaborators chose this name because it is a plant found throughout the region, and in doing so, we wanted to stress our intention to create a large-scale communications medium, capable of spreading (on a regional level) the news about efforts being made towards sustainability. With this symbolic name to represent our work, we are sending a clear message about our respect for the land and the sea, as well as for the ancestral cultures and customs of the region.  We see the establishment of this medium for education and dissemination as something urgent, given the idiosyncrasies of the region.  We have conceived this project as being an integral element of the environment, something positive like the Coyote Melon.

Faced with the challenges of growth in the region—a low population density, its recent political incorporation into the national government, a high degree of natural attraction and its proximity to the strong investment sector of the United States—we understand the implications of the pressures for development.  Dealing with these challenges and pressures will require informed citizens who have the chance to participate in the decisions that affect their land, water, air, biodiversity and their future.  We invite others to join with us, to participate in building this medium and to fight for a stable future for the region. 

All work on behalf of Melóncoyote is voluntary.
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