The History of AMA Mexico
Hurricane Kenna and the Birth of
On Friday October 25, 2002 Hurricane Kenna slammed into the Bay of Banderas sending giant battering waves onto Nuevo Vallarta’s beaches and washing thousands of sea turtle eggs out to sea. The Nuevo Vallarta Sea Turtle Preserve was completely destroyed, buildings, enclosures, tanks, equipment – everything. Amazingly the female Olive Ridleys responded to this extraordinary event by returning to the beach to nest again. As a result their babies hatched in great numbers into January, February and March of 2003, even though it was off season. This phenomenon provided winter visitors to Bahia del Sol and other resorts on the beach a chance to work along side Mexico’s SEMARNAT volunteers to save the lives of these late arrivals. It was this collaboration that led to the founding of the nonprofit organization AMA Mexico.
AMA Mexico began collaborating in 2002 with the Mexican government to support the operations of the Nuevo Vallarta Sea Turtle Preserve. In 2004, AMA Mexico and Bahia del Sol Resort held their first annual Arts for the Turtles fundraising event. Since then the organization has partnered with the Bahia de Banderas Rotary Club and other groups to carry out research and education projects. In addition to providing stipends for staff biologists and student interns, the organization initiated environmental education at different levels, trained volunteers and produced educational materials about Sea Turtles.