Only if we understand, will we care. Only if we care, will we help. Only if we help shall all be saved. –Dr. Jane Goodwill
Some of the perks of homeschooling are the exciting life lessons and adventures we get to embark on. During every trip we make as a family, we try to set up educational events. On our most recent trip to Puerto Rico this summer, we were able to set up a “Caretaker for a Day” at the “Centro de Conservación de Manatíes de Puerto Rico”, which in English means the Conservation Center for Manatees of Puerto Rico.
This learning experience was unforgettable for the entire family. It was a learning experience for all. I knew about these sweet and gentle creatures and I also knew that they are in danger of extinction. Growing up in the Caribbean and studying biology, I learned the importance of respecting Manatees and the danger their species was in. That was years ago, and they are in more danger than ever. Seeing them up close and interacting with them is transformative. The thought of showing future generations those pictures and telling them that those animals are extinct completely blew my mind. Mostly because they do not have a natural enemy or predator. The main reason they are almost extinct is us, humans. That means we can change the course of things.
The center also aids other marine life that we had the privilege of helping. Such as turtles, sea birds, and fish. All affected one way or another by pollution or careless people that caused them to get hurt.
I’ve mentioned I love the ocean. I enjoy many recreational activities in the water. But I also must remember that those waters are other creatures’ homes. I want to continue enjoying the waters, just in a safe way that allows creatures like Manatees to stay safe and alive and well. I have taken classes of water safety and strive to keep up with the most updated information on how to help and prevent an unfortunate incident that could affect marine life.
It all comes back to education. Learning how to be safe. Also, keeping our waters clean. Did you know that Manatees drink fresh water? They go towards the estuaries to drink fresh water. The same freshwater that you and I drink. Doesn’t it bother you that their population is being hurt in part from the contamination of those waters? It’s concerning to me.
Let’s allow future generations to enjoy these incredible creatures. Let’s enjoy some clean drinking water. All while we also enjoy nature and the beauty of the sea coexisting in harmony. As cliché as it might sound.
Educate yourself. Care. Get involved.
For more information and to tour this wonderful educational place please visit www.manatipr.org I have not received any endorsement. This comes completely from my love for nature, marine life, and the wonderful job this institute is doing in educating about the importance of marine life.
*Images courtesy of Centro de Conservación de Manatíes de Puerto Rico