Two years ago, ecotreasures explored Inés María Mendoza Nature Reserve, also known as Punta Yeguas, located in the Municipality of Yabucoa, Puerto Rico. Our hiking tour at the Punta Yeguas trail was guided by Daniel Cruz along with Lydia Díaz’s assistance. Both Daniel and Lydia are representatives of YUCAE Committee, which entered into a collaborative agreement with Para La Naturaleza, a nonprofit organization that manages Punta Yeguas nature reserve.
We make reference of the article titled “A Banquet of Nature in Punta Yeguas”, published under the “nature encounters” section of ecotreasures magazine. You may read about the sightseeing paradise that hypnotized us while discovering the Punta Yeguas trail site.
Considering that Daniel provides an excellent environmental interpretation of Punta Yeguas trail’s surroundings, we interviewed him about his insights and opinions with respect to this ecotreasure and nature as follows:
1) What contributed for or motivated you to become an interpretive guide in Punta Yeguas’ trail?
“The Inés María Mendoza Nature Reserve is a precious natural resource that people from my hometown (Municipality of Yabucoa) were unaware of. Therefore, I was initially focused to attract people from our hometown and Puerto Rico, in general, to visit the nature reserve.” (translation ours)
2) What attracts you the most about your job as Punta Yeguas tour’s interpretive guide?
“To watch visitors as they enjoy learning about the nature reserve’s flora and fauna, and admiring the beautiful scenic view.” (translation ours)
3) What do you find to be most interesting about Punta Yeguas’ trail and its surroundings, considering its nature and other aspects?
“The diversity of flora found on around 194-acre piece of land, including a vast variety of native trees, as well as its impressive scenic value.” (translation ours)
4) What do you find to be distinctive about Punta Yeguas trail area, considering its nature and other aspects?
“This area is distinguished by the fact that it serves as home for plants that are characteristic of tropical moist forests and those that tend to grow in tropical dry forests. This contributes to the diversity of flora and the nature reserve’s scenic value." (translation ours)
5) Which environmental conservation practices you tend to perform during the hiking tours in Punta Yeguas’ trail?
"The use of reusable water bottle so that less waste is produced, waste removal, and deposit of organic material on the soil so that it acts as fertilizer." (translation ours)
6) What message you wish to communicate young and adults in relation to nature’s role and benefit in Planet Earth, and human beings’ role towards nature?
“As human beings, we need to protect our natural resources. Any damage done to nature has repercussions against us since we are part of nature. It is important to maintain our ecosystems since these contribute to nature’s balance. In addition, protecting our environment and natural resources is important for our enjoyment and future generations’." (translation ours)
Regular tours at Punta Yeguas trail are held on the last Sunday of every month. The recreation also includes a walking tour in an agritourism route in Punta Yeguas nature reserve. Both tours last around three and a half hours. To schedule a regular tour, you may contact Para La Naturaleza at 787-722-5882, or make a reservation through the organization’s website (paralanaturaleza.org). Group tours (10+ persons) may be held on weekdays or Saturdays, subject to availability and prior reservation. To schedule a group tour for weekdays or Saturdays, you may contact YUCAE Committee at 787-385-5422.