Los Funcionarios: Mexico-Based Alums Drive Ambitious Conservation Initiative

Selva Lacandona Natura Mexicana yale

t the wet border of Mexico and Guatemala grows a florid jungle called the Lacandon. In its dark interiors, somehow, jaguars still hunt tapir and red macaws and pouty-lipped howler monkeys still pass through canopies thick with vines and flowering bromeliads. Where the trees halt and waterways converge, swamp crocodiles still grin and yawn in its rich, silty mud.

“The Lacandon is the last real rainforest in Mexico,” says Lucía Ruiz Bustos ’13 M.E.M., a biologist with Mexico’s National Commission on Natural Protected Areas who once lived in the forest. “It’s as similar to the Amazon as you can get.”