Above you see me getting a kiss by a manatee. They are amazing animals and getting kissed by a manatee is a pretty intimate thing. I thought long and hard about whether I wanted to really be a part of an experience where manatees are “caged” because manatees are endangered. At the Xel-Ha Eco Park on the Riviera Maya coastline in Mexico, they are protected and treated like royalty. Their cage is a salt water oceanarium where they have a lot of room to swim and explore in an outdoor environment with ocean water which is fresh and not manufactured.
The manatees that were not born in captivity were “rescued” that this group works with and I feel strongly that educating the public on manatee care in the natural world is extremely important. Being able to touch them, see them up close, and understand them better leads to more manatee protection. In this video adventure our team gets to swim with and touch manatees while examining ways to keep the mammals safe in nature.
I loved touching the manatees skin, which is very warm and smooth. It was a wonderful trip to Xel-Ha Eco Park. Watch the video and see how we were able to interact with the manatees and learn more about their safety.
*Video produced by “78 Pesos”, a production team which is a partnership between Shawna Coronado and Mario Salazar (www.mariosalazarphotography.com).
Special thanks to our sponsors:
- The Riviera Maya tourism organization – http://www.rivieramaya.com
- Grand Palladium White Sands hosted our stay during this adventure week – http://tinyurl.com/3zlbqcq
- Xel-Ha Manatee Encounter – - To learn more about the Xel-Ha Eco Park Manatee Encounter, please go here – http://www.xelha.com/xelha/activities_xelha.php.
*Note – Because the FTC requires it, I am noting that the Mayan Riviera Tourism group sponsored this trip. I was not told what to document or how to document the experience, we were simply asked to attend and film – anything expressed in posts related to the activities is my own opinion expressed from my own personal experience.