Welcome to Remote Learning for Families in Baja California Sur!
What a wacky world we’re living in! With so many unknowns, one thing is for certain, adaptability is a key quality to embrace. As seasoned travelers, we understand this all too well. With the school year starting or already in session across North America, we’re in a unique position to guide our children to make the most of each day and face any uncertainties with an open mind. Over the past months, the notion that ‘things turn out best for those who make the best of the way things turn out’ has become a daily mantra in my house! Remote school, in-school, hybrid models, homeschool….the list goes on in terms of choices that have been made for students from elementary to university. No matter which you’ve chosen, if you find yourself already dreading the months ahead, we’re here to redefine ‘remote learning’ for you. This is a chance to shake things up and turn this upside down year into an incredible adventure!
The nature of Baja California Sur is a remarkable classroom, and we invite you and your family to step away from “remote” learning in the virtual world to in situ learning in remote locations in our striking natural world. Baja California Sur is one of the most fantastically beautiful, slimly populated and biologically diverse places on the planet, and we invite you to come stay with us for one to four weeks and allow our naturalists, conservation biologists, marine biologists, Spanish teachers, rancheros to take you to school in Baja’s wild, natural areas.
Together with our wildlife biologist, we’ll work with you and your family to create the curriculum that best meets your family’s current learning needs. We’ll start with an online meeting to understand any parameters or current school (and let’s face it, work) obligations, discuss ideal length of trip, budget, and share a myriad of additional activities because why wouldn’t surfing, kayaking, paddle-boarding, or snorkeling be considered physical education? Itineraries are crafted to meet students needs and interests and adjusted depending on age/grade from kindergarten through University. We’ve created building blocks for your curriculum in Baja to select from with courses around the following topics (many of these are seasonal and ideal of the North American winter!):
Sea turtles. 5 of the 7 world’s turtle species nest on the beaches of BCS and, depending on the time of year, we can engage in nest monitoring, hatchling releases, and gathering data while snorkeling with sea turtles in their natural habitat
Whale sharks. We will have identification, research and classroom time with the leading whale shark researchers in Baja, and we will snorkel with them in their natural habitat.
Sea lions. One of the most successful sea lion colonies in the Sea of Cortez is nearby and we will engage with researchers who have been studying the dynamics of the colony for over 20 years. We’ll also have plenty of time to snorkel with and observe these puppies of the sea!
Sustainable fisheries. Fishing is one of the key industries in Baja California Sur and we will visit some fisheries that are making great strides in reducing turtle bycatch and fishing in ways that will allow for fish stocks to replenish.
Birds: Over 430 bird species have been observed in BCS, including 6 endemic species. One of the largest Blue-footed Booby colonies in the world is in the Sea of Cortez, and we can observe rookeries for a number of birds, including the Magnificent Frigatebird and Great Blue Herons.
Bats. The cardon cactus is ubiquitous in Baja and their success is due entirely to bats. At certain times of year, we can visit bat caves and interact with key bat researchers in Baja.
Gray Whales. The gray whales migrate 6,000 miles from Alaska each year to mate and give birth in the lagoons of Baja. We will have classroom time about these amazing beings then spend plenty of time interacting with them in the lagoons.
Mountain Habitats. The Sierra La Laguna Biosphere Reserve was once an island off the coast of Baja, and this early isolation lead to an extremely high rate of plant endemism. We will explore the Sierras with local rancheros and learn which plants they use for medicinal purposes and how to prepare tinctures and balms from the plants.
Desert Habitats. The flora of the Baja desert hold so many cool secrets to investigate including tricks to prevent water-loss, capturing moisture from the air, how unrelated plants tend to look alike and how connected they are to semi-desert areas in Africa. TOSEA have teamed with the famed Dr. Esme Hennessy to study this and even publish a book with their findings.
Mangroves. Baja has 4 main species of mangroves and they are the nurseries of the sea. We will kayak through mangroves to explore their beauty and the environmental services they perform.
Arts and Culture
The rancheros of Baja California Sur are a direct link to the past, living and working in many of the same ways as they did 300 years ago. The rancheros are wonderful, patient teachers and we can do workshops with them on leatherworking, cheese making, candy making, and preparing tortillas and other local foods in the traditional manner. After spending time with these wonderful people, you’ll gain insight into their culture and their friendship.
Traditional Mexican Medicine. One of our instructors, Omar, has studied traditional Mexican medicine throughout the country, and does a wonderful workshop right in the gardens of Los Colibris in which we learn the identity and medical uses of many common plants in Baja. The workshop continues with learning how to make balms, tinctures and ointments with the plants we have found with in-depth learning about the whole approach to traditional Mexican medicine also available.
Art classes with local artists. Todos Santos has been famous as an artists’ colony ever since Charles Stewart arrived from Taos in the late 1970s. We now have dozens of working artists in town and can provide art classes in many mediums including drawing, painting, mosaics, pottery and more. Subject to artist availability.
Spanish Language. Whether your student is looking for an introduction, to brush up on casual chatter, or for full Spanish immersion, we can arrange instructors to inspire and guide them.
We have three wonderful accommodation options for your stay in Baja. At each of these, families can settle in to enjoy every day life knowing that detailed steps have been followed to ensure your maximum comfort, enjoyment, health and safety.
Los Colibris Casitas, our boutique hotel in Todos Santos, a small mission town, artists’ colony, and agricultural hotspot.
Camp Cecil de la Isla, our “glamping” location in the Sea of Cortez
Camp Cecil de la Sierra, our tented camp in the mountains of the Sierra La Laguna Biosphere Reserve
Todos Santos Eco Adventures is owned and operated by the incredibly creative and welcoming team of Bryan and Sergio Jauregui. Sergio and Bryan have spent the last eighteen years ensuring local Baja Californians – fishermen, ranchers, farmers – benefit from the tourism economy while preserving their local culture. The warm welcome and genuine care provided by Bryan and Sergio can’t be beat! Of course, they can’t do it alone and have surrounded themselves with the amazing
TOSEA adventure team. All year-round residents of Baja who have a deep knowledge and love for the area, and take great pride in sharing their knowledge and expertise. All guides are certified Wilderness First Responders, ocean safety and open water rescue, and the whole team is dedicated to superior customer service, safety, and let’s just say it, having as much fun as possible! They are also trained to the British Canoe Union 3 star level for open water kayaking. Senior guides are also licensed to transport tourists on federal highways in Mexico. Regular opportunities are provided for them to attend seminars on Baja history, nature, and culture. The TOSEA adventure team guarantees that while exploring, travelers are in the best of hands and having a ton of fun too!
Our wildlife biologist, Stephanie Russo, has worked with several high schools and universities in Baja California Sur, including Westridge School for Girls, The Link School, Polytechnic School, Colorado State University, Marist College, California State Fullerton, and several others. For over 20 years she has been researching wildlife migrations and habitat use for conservation applications. She is a 4-time winner of the Rufford Small Grants Foundation, as well as numerous other grants for her research on practices in small-scale fisheries in Baja as a means to reduce incidental capture of sea turtles and other protected marine life. Stephanie has a BA in Biology from California State University, Bakersfield, and an MA in Marine Sciences from the Polytechnic Marine Science Center in La Paz, Mexico. She also received a Masters equivalency in Conservation Biology from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for implementing, coordinating, and authoring the Florida Wildlife Conservation Guide.
Reach out to Bryan (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Sonya (sonya@kusinicollection) to plan a call to get started or learn more!