Colaborators in This Issue

Baja California
Jacqueline Violeta
Valdés Cárdenas
Jesús Camacho

Baja California Sur
Israel Sánchez Alcántara

María de los Ángeles Hernández Morales
Talli Nauman

Hitandehui Tovar
Fabiola Vega Leyva
Kenia Castañeda Nevárez
Ramón Eduardo Meza Gutierrez
Laura Liseth Wicochea Acuña
Paola Rivera
Guadalupe Chino
Johanna D.J. Nieblas
Bárbara B. Ramírez
Tania Bustos
Julián Cota
Mayra Luna Ruiz
Isaac Álvarez Zazueta
Jorge Mercado

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. 2, No. 2
Ernesto Bolado
Alba Reyna González
Machángeles Carvajal
Dahl McLean

English Translations Vol. 2, No. 2
Debra Valov
Steve Gooding
Thomas J. McGuire
Jim Morgan
Sarah Picker
Anne Shapiro
José Nicolás Cabrera-Schneider

SuMar - Voces por la Naturaleza, A.C.
Fondo de Acción Solidaria, A.C.
Green Grants
The David and Lucile Packard Foundation
Resources Legacy Fund
Prescott College

Gabriel Martínez; Hermosillo, 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 

While many citizen’s groups in the Mexican northwest and across the country struggle to obtain both the information necessary to participate in decisions about their environment as well as environmental justice on a national level, others are taking their demands to international authorities. Such is the case as presented in our first short article about the municipalities of Escuinapa and Rosario, Sinaloa. In order to defend their sources of income and their quality of life, some are engaged in regional campaigns for the protection of the National Wetlands zone while others are alerting the U.N. about the threats to this important wetland bordering the Gulf of California. 

This is also the case in Cabo Pulmo, Baja California Sur, as we highlight in another of our articles.  There, civil society is fighting to be heard regarding the violations of environmental law by a real estate development on the Pacific coast, while at the same time two cross-border organizations are representing these same civil interests in front of U.N. forums on the other side of the Atlantic. 

To continue, it is worth pointing out that in the interim between producing this, our fifth issue of the Meloncoyote bulletin, its founder,    Journalism   to   Raise   Environ-
mental Awareness (PECE), was present along with ELAW (Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide) and more than 100 non-governmental organizations who had a strong presence at the 4th Meeting of the Parts of the Aarhus Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters.

Held from June 26 to July 1 in the city of Chisinau, Republic of Moldavia (a country formed to the east of Romania after the dissolution of the Soviet Union), the meeting was a followup of the agreements of the Convention.  They are only obligatory for the countries of the European Union, but they are noteworthy because they are in the vanguard of this issue, thanks to initial pressure  from   non-governmental   organi-
zations in Caucasia, Europe and Asia.  Gradually they have been adopted by organizations for other parts of the world, and most recently from America.

PECE (with headquarters in Aguascalientes, Aguascalientes but with ample cross-border work) was honored to attend on behalf of the Americas Program, located in Mexico city (and part of the Center for International Policy in Washington, D.C.), and represented   non-governmental    organiza-
tions on the American continent.

The Aarhus Convention was signed in 2004 in order to give more force to Principle No. 10 of the Río de Janeiro Declaration [link] on sustainable development that dates back to 1992.





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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