Our Trip to Honduras – Filming a Documentary – Day 7
Day 7 – Wednesday 5/2/18
The interview with Santiago went well. Santiago is a very vocal person, and is very passionate about his village, their culture, and the macaws.
He explained that when he was a child, and his family first came to Mabita, the forest was untouched. There were no humans living here.
Then, the wildlife here l was abundant, and the macaws were thick and always flying overhead.
According to Santiago, his parents and their ancestors respected the forest, but he says the generations that followed started using it and taking its resources, including the macaws.
Like everyone here, Santiago himself used to be a poacher, and he sold the macaw chicks for money. It’s a poor area avd there is little Work here, poaching macaws avd selling them to traffickers was how they fed their families.
But now, Santiago says, he’s made a promise to God to care for the macaws, and help bring the wild population back. He’s in charge of the patrols in this village, so he organizes the teams who go out each day to check nests and watch for poachers. When they find someone trying to steal macaw chicks, they confront them, explain that it’s illegal, confiscate the poachers tree climbing equipment, and offer them a job to help save the macaws instead.
It’s an interesting strategy really, but one that makes sense. If poachers are doing it to make money – they can get paid more cash to join the observation program. Poachers only get up to $25 per bird, but they can make up to $500 a month just doing patrols.
After the interview, we spent a couple of hours filming birds flying in the wild. We are getting better at that!
We also asked a couple of the men who do patrols to help us reenact a poaching scene.,We had a couple of the guys who do patrols, dress up in clothes like the poachers wear, and carry their machetes through the woods.
They even put a chicken in the bag to make it look more realistic! It was great. We really hope that this scene in our film helps people better understand the reality of what is happening.
We finished our day with another delicious meal cooked by the local women. We had, you guessed it, beans and rice! Along with home made tortillas and fried plantains. Oh, and we had a surprise drink tonight. Real hot chocolate, made from fresh ground Cacao harvested right here in Mabita. A bit bitter, but very good.