From the Beautiful Hotel Morillo in Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico

This post comes to you from the incredibly beautiful courtyard of the Hotel Morillo in Coahuila, Mexico. 

We are relaxing after days of pushing to get into Mexico and meeting up with a Monarch Monitoring conference in Saltillo. As we bask in the sunshine we are watching a steady trickle of monarchs passing through.   The hotel is situated along an arroyo that we believe may be the reason for the steady flow. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

We got up early Tuesday morning to join the Monarch Monitoring conference happening in Saltillo, Coahuila (Mexico).  About 40 people from Mexico, Canada and the US,  were gathered for a workshop with the goal of engaging more individuals in monarch monitoring programs such as Project MonarchHealth , Monarch Watch , the Monarch Larva Monitoring Project  ,  Journey North  and Correo Real.   By working together, sharing data and involving people throughout monarchs’ migratory range, they are hoping to learn even more about monarchs. Increased monitoring is one of the recommendations of the North American Monarch Conservation Plan.

We arrived at the Fiesta Motel in Saltillo in time to have breakfast with the people attending the workshop.

At Breakfast at the Hotel Fiesta: Jean Lauriault, Ba Rea, Susan Fry, Bill Fry, and Carol Cullar. Photo by Don Davis

We followed the workshop’s bus, learning Mexican driving style all the way, through the streets of Saltilo to a botanical garden, Parque el Chapulin.  A naturalist took us on a tour.  There were monarchs flitting about and we could see some sunning themselves high in the trees getting ready to take off for the day.  The bulk of the migration has already passed through this area.  We saw just 3-6 monarchs together. We were late enough in the morning that we didn’t see any clusters.


Next we went up into the mountains south east of Saltillo to the Natural Protected Area  Sierra Zapaliname. State naturalists gave a presentation on the ecosystem. The nature of the migration through their area and the 5 species of milkweed found on that area.  After the presentation, a monarch release and a demonstration on how to check monarchs for OE infestation, the group took a hike to see the ecosystem.

The presentation

Karen Oberhauser. Director of the Monarch Larva Monitoring Project and Monarchs in the Classroom

  Eligio Garcia Serrano, Mexican scientist, monitor of the Biosfera de La Mariposa Monarch for the Mexican government for 12 years..

Eneida (Sorry Eneida…I’ll get her last name ASAP), Mexican scientist studying monarch butterflies; Don Davis, Monarch Naturalist from Toronto; and Elizabeth Howard, director of Journey North

Rocio Trevino, founder of Correo Real a monarch program and curriculum that connects classrooms in the United States with classrooms in Mexico in monitoring the monarch butterfly. 

The Butterfly Release

We opted out of the hike and instead took a tour around the adjacent Ejido Chapultepec. (Nahutl for Grasshopper Hill). 

On the way back to Saltillo we stopped to watch a group of Matachines dancers dancing in a Shrine to Nuestro Senior (Jesus) that was located next to the highway to bless truckers on their way to Zacatecas.




About monarchchaser

I am a naturalist, illustrator/author and educator who has been raising and releasing monarch butterflies for over 40 years.
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1 Response to From the Beautiful Hotel Morillo in Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico

  1. Allen Ritzman says:

    Thanks Ba, for the great travelogue and photos – -don’t hold back on the insights and recipes – – We’ll play in the mud when you find your way back to our frosty climes. Flurries today in response to ‘publican ‘bama ‘bashin. Gaia knows best. Later, Al

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