Meet The Vaquita

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This is the Vaquita. They are the smallest porpoise in the world. They never stop smiling, and there are less than 30 of them left making them the world's most endangered marine mammal.

They are critically endangered and their extinction is only imminent. Save the Vaquita Day is July 11th and they may not even make it. They are endemic to a small area in the upper Gulf of California.

Vaquitas are the most critically endangered marine mammals in the world, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Between 1997 and 2008, unsustainable deaths in gillnets caused vaquitas to decline from around 600 to 250. Since 2011, the resumption of illegal fishing for a large endangered fish (the totoaba) increased the decline to 34% a year, resulting in only 60 vaquitas remaining in December 2015. The swim bladders of totoaba fetch large sums of money in Hong Kong and Chinese black markets. In response to the alarming rate of decline, the Mexican government instituted a two-year gillnet ban throughout the vaquita’s range (2015-2017), increased enforcement with the Mexican Navy, and compensated fishers affected by the two-year gillnet ban ($72 million). Despite these substantial government actions, illegal fishing continues and will likely result in extinction of vaquitas in the next few years.

In 2015 the Mexican government implemented a 2 year ban of gillnets throughout the Vaquita's range in hopes that this would help the population recover. The Mexican government has determined that emergency action is needed to temporarily remove some of the remaining animals from their threatening environment and create a safe haven for them in the northern Gulf of California.

Officials estimate the plan will cost more than $3M in 2017 and will rely on a variety of funding sources, including donations from the public, private organizations and non-profit groups. There is an urgent need for immediate funding to avoid delaying efforts.

Every donation is vital in keeping these beauties alive. Every bit counts.

If you'd like to donate, or want to learn more about this precious little porpoise, visit VaquitaCPR.org

Amanda ❤

February 2017 Gratitude

I'm a firm believer in showing gratitude for the things that we receive. I like to take a few minutes at the end of the day to write them down and so here are all of the things that I was grateful for in February. 

February-2017-Gratitude

  1. Spending time at the park
  2. Max sleeping in bed with me
  3. The rain
  4. Dance nights
  5. Taking my shoes off after a long day
  6. Starting water week
  7. School starts. My final FM class
  8. Falling asleep early
  9. I think I'm ready to take this fashion entrepreneur class
  10. The rain, again
  11. Hulu
  12. It being warm enough to go to the beach today
  13. That I don't have to pay of going to the doctor
  14. Spending time with Gary
  15. Antibiotic ointment
  16. Starting my morning with Daybreaker
  17. That Max didn't fight me when I gave him his bath today
  18. Getting off work early
  19. Reading while taking a hot bath
  20. Being able to trust the Universe
  21. That Gary comes back today! 
  22. Almost two weeks into my fitness
  23. Salads from SaladFarm
  24. Started Vaquita ad
  25. Work out Rest day
  26. Did the beach clean up
  27. Taking Gary to the Aquarium for his first time
  28. My bed after a long day

Do you regularly write down the things that you're grateful for? What are some of the things you were grateful for in February, or this month so far? 

Amanda ❤

My Dad Made Me A Feminist (And He Doesn't Even Know It)

With the word 'Feminist' being tossed around so aggressively these days like it's the worst thing a woman can be, I like so many other women in the world will proudly admit to being one.

Does that make me bad? No.

Do I hate men? Quite the contrary. 

What I can tell you is that I've been a feminist probably since I was about 10 or 11 years old. Although I didn't know there was a word for it back then. 

My-Dad-Made-Me-a-Feminist

By the title of this post, you can probably guess who turned me into a feminist, although he did have some help from my mom. 

You see, when I was younger and in about second grade my mom would continually tell me that "can't" should never be part of my vocabulary. If you put your mind to it, worked hard and stayed determined, I could do anything that I set my mind to. 

And I grew to believe it. 

So as I was growing older my dad would come in and do the rest. 

"Get an education." 

"Get a good job." 

"Never depend on a man."

"Never put all your money into a joint bank account."

"Don't cry over a boy."

"Learn to do your own taxes."

"Learn how to change your own tires."

Because my parents were divorced, one of these lessons would be drilled into my head almost every weekend.  So I knew how to change a tire before I even knew how to drive. I knew that if I wanted something, to never depend on somebody else getting it for me. 

By the same token, my grandparents lived in a small town in Mexico where gender roles rule. Women and girls stayed in the house cooking and cleaning, while the men and boys got to go out and do things. They played sports. They played video games. 

Well guess who would be the one to get into trouble almost every day for questioning and rebelling against those gender roles? You guessed it! Me. I was constantly getting into trouble for playing video games in the small arcade, for climbing trees and throwing rocks and breaking glass bottles, and just being too aggressive for a girl. But I didn't mind. I liked it. I would hear my mom's voice saying, "Don't let anybody tell you that you can't do something." 

And if you were to ask my father whether or not he's a feminist, he would probably tell you that he wasn't. But here's the thing guys, if you want your daughter to get an education, so that she's gets a good job, so that she can support herself and not have to depend on a man, then you're a feminist. If you want your wife to be someone who works and contributes money to the family income, then you're a feminist. If you leave her to choose her own clothes, then you're a feminist. 

So Dad, thanks for making me the person that I am today. 

Amanda ❤