Postcard from Angie Estrada

Hi All!

For the past six weeks, I have been working on collecting data for my first season and it has been super exciting! Fieldwork is much more intense and exhausting than you can imagine, but at the same time it is really fun and I have learned so much. I got to see amazing frogs, snakes, monkeys, birds, sloths and even humpback whales during my visit! I also realized that I am the luckiest person to be able to come back to my home country and work on what I am most passionate about– conservation!

The first week in Panama was all about conservation efforts to save Panamanian Golden frogs. For the next two weeks, I joined a group of 30 researchers, photographers and conservationists working on a photo essay about Coiba island, Latin America’s largest uninhabited island off the Pacific coast of Panama. See the map below–it is absolutely beautiful out there!

For the last two weeks I joined the Atelopus Project. I went camping for 10 days in the Atlantic wet lowland forests to look for surviving populations of golden frogs. And we found some!

Even though I didn’t get to see my friends and family as much as they thought I would, I know I have an amazing support group here. When things didn’t go as planned (or when I ran into a poacher in the middle of nowhere), it was good to know that someone has my back–a warm meal, a cold drink, a hammock, a ride, a hug or just time to listen and be part of this experience with me! This first field season definitely taught me how to manage my time and resources, and I was frequently reminded to stop for a second and take it all in.

I only have a weekend left and I am ready to be back to Virginia and share the rest of this amazing adventure with all of you. For now, here are some pictures from my summer away.

All the best, Angie