Conservation these days is often about islands. Islands of remaining habitat, islands of refuge for endangered species, and in the case of Ometepe in Nicaragua a literal island. If the most colorful bus in the world doesn’t make you want to go, hear what Mark Twain had to say:
Out of the midst of the beautiful Lake Nicaragua spring two magnificent pyramids, clad in the softest and richest green, all flecked with shadow and sunshine, whose summits pierce the billowy clouds. They look so isolated from the world and its turmoil – so tranquil, so dreamy, so steeped in slumber and eternal repose. What a home one might make among their shady forests, their sunny slopes, their breezy dells, after he had grown weary of the toil, anxiety and unrest of the bustling, driving world.
Vic, Meryl, Kim and myself worked with the Maderas Rainforest Conservancy (disclaimer: I continue to teach photography courses with this organization) at two of their field sites in Nicaragua and Costa Rica. As mentioned above Ometepe is an actual island while its sister station in Costa Rica, La Suerte, is an “island” or fragment of forest increasingly surrounded by agricultural plantations and development.
In both cases the preservation of these sites are crucial to conservation efforts in the areas. Our objective with the Conservancy was to produce a series of short video segments that communicated three primary goals: conservation, research, and education. Completed in conjunction with the making of the videos were several collections of still photography, as well as experimentation with some “behind the scenes” video.