Timeline and Events

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Our Mission:
Connect people with nature and each other through programs that inspire and empower interconnection and environmental stewardship

A conscientious and connected community that is putting the common good of each other and nature first for lasting health.

3 years (Through July 2024)

How we determine our project priorities:
Our project priorities and activities are determined in partnership with the communities we serve from conception through execution through final review. For an activity to qualify for consideration, it must serve our mission and advance our mission.

Targeted WoG programs activities (2023-2024):

Community development

    • Build a community center (for meetings, trainings and visitors) in Barra de Potosi
    • Visitors’ mural map of village in Barra de Potosi
    • Senderismo guide training and development program for women
    • Community planning/vision making work

Whales and dolphins

    • Assist unified, informed, empowered authorized guides in the monitoring and protection of marine mammals
    • Whale and dolphin disentanglement training and volunteer network
    • Identify and create no-go, limited access or limited speed protection zone for humpback whale mother calf pairs
    • Year-round opportunistic citizen science data collection of whales and dolphins
    • Whale fiesta (annual greeting ceremony and closing celebration)
    • Publish minimum 2 scientific papers about whale and dolphin research in 2021-2022


    • Conduct community learning exchanges (Oaxaca, Papanoa) and project leader exchanges in Canada, the US, Kenya, Senegal, Australia, Baja, Mexico City
    • Increase public awareness re: best practices with marine mammals (non-authorized guides, private boat owners, general public, fishermen)
    • Women go whale watching program
    • Workshops and educational programs for children (support partner organizations through fundraising and staff support)

Find funds to support all activities

    • Expeditions and day trips
    • Grants
    • Individual donors
    • Corporate sponsors
    • Fundraising events, dinners and presentations

Programs to serve as liaisons, advisors and supporters on but not lead, plan or fund:

  • Explore alternate, sustainable options of fishing (oysters are the primary interest)
  • Bring fishing experts to region to help with fishery
  • Citizen science fishery study
  • Citizen science study of birds, lagoon life
  • English classes
  • Support local allies (animal sanctuaries, turtle camps, community outreach, education and well-being groups) to advance our shared vision an interconnected, healthy, harmonious region.

Support our big, beautiful vision with a tax-deductible donation today! 

View our 2022-2023 Accomplishments

View our 2021-2022 Accomplishments


March 2020 – October 2021 Accomplishments

Entered, analyzed, organized, published and disseminated scientific results of 5-year study (2014-2018) and got data and photos into a place where they are easier to access, work with and share

2020-2021 Activities:
• Published 2014-2018 whale study findings (2 papers accepted pending revisions, 2 papers accepted pending publication, 2 papers entering final stages of revision)
Entered, corrected, organized 2019-2020 opportunistic survey data and shared flukes catalogs with collaborators in Latin America and US + IWC and other international organizations
Tagged and organized full body of 150,000+ photos in Lightroom for easier sharing and analysis
Published Rough toothed dolphin paper
Opportunistic seasonal humpback whale data collection, organization and analysis
Set up app gocambas template and trained whale watch guides to use it. Integrated gocampas data into our existing database

Safe Whale Watching in Guerrero
Set up team, strengthened relationships and systems so that government- and community-backed safe whale watch awareness and practices are the norm

2020-2021 Activities:
Submitted seasonal report to SEMARNAT and received permission for authorization as WW zone for 2021
End of season meeting and closing ceremony with guide group
Safe whale watch training with SEMARNAT and safe WW guides
Look for the flag/Busca la bandera campaign
Self policing guide network support and development
On-water monitoring
Informal whale watch training program at piers
Season beginning/end awareness campaign (radio, television, newspapers, social media, lonas, handouts – hotels, businesses, boat operators, government bodies, visitors)

Education, Community Building and Public Awareness
Completed committed to education and hands-on citizen science conservation and awareness programs  

2020-2021 Activities:
• National Geographic Seeds of Hope Program
• Women on the water – bring Barra de Potosi women onto the ocean to see whales and dolphins
• Public presentations at ecotianguis, community event participation
• Mangrove restoration project
• Brought kids from village, surrounding areas whale watching
• Clean Barra de Potosi awareness campaign

Capacity building and community organization
Reinforced community progress and new identity as sustainable ecotourism providers and passed the knowledge on to neighboring communities

 2020-2021 Activities:
Taught our strategy to Petatlan Tourism Department and tourism vendors in Petatlan (e.g., Valentin and la Chole)

Ecotourism Development
Brought ecotourism and other non-extractive financial opportunities to community of Barra de Potosí in order to motivate ongoing environmental commitment and stewardship activities

 2020-2021 Activities:
Strong campaign to revive tourism in Barra de Potosí. Collaborate with regional partners with videos, spots, etc.
• Sunwing – more opportunities for Barra guides (cooking classes, laguna visits, Morros visits)
 • Developed cooking classes and market with the women in Barra de Potosi

Connected our community with partners and funders who will help to lay groundwork for regenerative marine environment and fishery practices that will bring Guerrero’s oceans back into balance

2020-2021 Activities
• Met with potential funding partners and connect local fishery leaders with experts to discuss potential and develop proposals.

Administration and Finance
Created robust organizational infrastructure and secured $60,000 USD to make all activities above possible

 • Bookkeeping and accounts for FY 2019 (June 2019-June 2020)
• Annual report
• Board meeting
• Strategic planning meeting with team + advisors + board + community
• Annual whale fiesta
• Annual dinner
• Online presentations, events and fundraisers
• Fall fundraising drive
• Rebuild and update website
• Donor database software
• Whale adoption program organization
• Business sponsorships and partnerships developed in Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo
• US-based business sponsorships and partnerships
• Applied for grants

2019-2020 Project Activities 

  • Community-led empowered leadership program
  • Safe whale watch training and support program
  • Sustainable ecotourism training and development
  • Citizen science research expeditions
  • Fishery and Conservation Leader (FCL) development work
  • Community-guided vision and strategic planning process
  • Scientific results presented at World Marine Mammal Conference (Barcelona)
Scheduled Season 7 Milestones

The first official Whale Watch Season in Guerrero is complete! 50 authorized whale watch guides worked beautifully together between  December 15, 2019–March 20, 2020 to keep humpback whales safe during the whale watch season.

Weekly National Geographic Seeds of Hope Program Activities with 20 Local Youth Leaders will be occurring between August 2019-August 2020.

WildSea/California Whales and Wildlife joined us for an expedition January 13-20, 2019

A very special evening and world premier of a song by Gabriela Quintero of Rodrigo y Gabriela for the whales to benefit Whales of Guerrero took place in February 2020.

The first Fiesta de las Ballenas took place in Barra de Potosí in February 2020.

Oceanic Society Expeditioners joined the Whales of Guerrero to study whales and  Guerrero’s extraordinary biodiversity on February 15-24, 2020.

In 2020, Barra de Potosí’s Young Leaders and Champions of Nature:
  • planted 700 germinated mangrove plants
  • launch a garbage reduction and awareness program
  • and beautified the village through a public art program 
Recent Activities
  • Official Government Acknowledgement of our region in Guerrero as a whale watching site – September 2019
  • Participatory vision-making and planning process for Whales of Guerrero with community, Board and Advisors May 2019
  • January-March 2019 – 100 hour whale survey
  • February 2019 – Fishery and Conservation Leader Learning Exchange in Baja
  • Responsible Ecotourism training and development programs
  • 2000+ kids participated in marine biology programs in 12 schools
  • 250+ kids participated in field-based science programs
  • 30 kids conducted in-depth photographic nature study
  • Safe Whale Watch Training Program December 2018
  • May 2018 – Present 5-year study results at SOMEMMA (National Marine Mammal Science Conference) in Tabasco
  • May 2018 – Planning trip for Fishermen’s learning Exchange in Baja
  • January – March 2018 – 300 hour whale survey
  • September 2017 – Scientific Advisory and Project Partner Meetings – Mexico City
  • 22-28 October 2017–Society for Marine Mammalogy Biennial Conference – Halifax, Nova Scotia

Project work presented in Halifax:
Marine mammal monitoring in the Southwest Pacific state of Guerrero, México. Andrea J. García Chávez, Terra Hanks, John Calambokidis, Elana Dobson, Luis Medrano González and Katherina Audley

Site fidelity and association patterns in rough toothed dolphins in the Southwest Pacific state of Guerrero, Mexico. Victoria Pouey Santalou, Katherina Audley

Behavioral responses of marine mammals to drones. Eric A Ramos, Brigid Maloney, Nataly Castelblanco-Martínez, Iain Kerr,Andy Rogan,Katherina Audley, Marcelo Magnasco, Diana Reiss.

Migratory destinations of humpback whales that feed along the US West Coast: Implications for management under the newly recognized Distinct Population Segments. Gretchen H. Steiger, John Calambokidis, Paul Wade, Katherina Audley, C. Scott Baker.

  • November 2017 – Presentations for Hotel and Tourism Professionals in Ixtapa, Zihuatanejo and Playa Blanca
  • November 2017 – Zumba para las Ballenas Fundraiser. Ixtapa
  • January 3–March 15, 2018: Season Five!
  • 2018: January 26 – February 2 – Oceanic Society Volunteer Vacation Expedition
    Hop onboard this Volunteer Vacation and come play marine biologist with us! Secure your spot here