Keep in Touch

Subscribe to stay up to date on Seacology’s events, trips, and projects.

  • Email Address
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.



Isla Mujeres


Conservation benefit: Environmental education for youth; cleanup and protection of mangrove ecosystems

Community benefit: Soccer equipment for youth groups

Date Approved: 11.2021


This project protects mangroves, which trap more CO2 than any other kind of forest and as a result, slow global warming.


This project protects ocean ecosystems, making coastal communities more economically and physically secure in the face of climate change.

This project will get island kids and teens involved in hands-on learning and conservation. Older participants will go on field trips to the nearby Isla Contoy National Park and the Mexican Caribbean Biosphere Reserve. These protected areas are home to abundant wildlife, including magnificent giant manta rays. On other outings, held on average once a month, kids will learn about their island’s ecosystems and remove trash from mangrove and dune areas on the island.

This kind of “place-based education” is a great way to get kids deeply connected to their natural surroundings. It not only gives students information, but also fosters an emotional connection to the natural world—something that can have a powerful effect on their later attitudes about conservation. Research also shows that when children bring home and share conservation messages, their parents are more likely to engage in pro-conservation behaviors.

Fostering interest in conservation is important on Isla Mujeres, where pollution, poorly planned development, and climate change have damaged coastal dunes, mangroves, and reefs. Both red and black mangrove species grow on the island. Wildlife habitats have been fragmented and lost, especially affecting resident and migratory birds including great egrets, bare-throated tiger herons, and magnificent frigatebirds. The reefs have suffered bleaching events.

As we have learned in the Dominican Republic, an effective way to get kids interested in conservation is through their interest in sports. A Seacology grant is providing soccer shoes and club uniforms for 160 kids, plus balls, goal nets, and other equipment.

Our project partner is the nonprofit Manta Caribbean Project, which works with communities toward the goal of a healthy ocean.

Project Updates

June 2023

Uniforms (t-shirt, socks, and shorts) and shoes have been provided to the members of the soccer team, and there have been four more field trips, for 40 children, to Contoy Island National Park.

Read more

February 2023

Since the field trip to Contoy Island National Park, trips have been postponed because the project leader was away for medical reasons. She was returning to Quintana Roo in January and planned to resume environmental education activities then.

Read more

June 2022

All 160 uniforms (t-shirt, socks, and shorts) have been provided to the members of the soccer team, and the first group of eight kids took a field trip to Contoy Island National Park, the most important sea bird nesting site in the Mexican Caribbean. Park rangers gave the children a presentation about the national park, the region’s plants and animals, and the marine protected area. plus a walking tour of coastal dunes, mangroves, and the island museum.

Read more
- +

Related Articles