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Muerte y Mariposas (Death & Butterflies): A Personal Journey

They flow down and toward me, hitching a ride on a warm current of air. A funnel of vibrant orange against an intense blue sky. At the sight of so many butterflies, the tears begin to flow.

My desire to see the overwintering monarchs began well before Marc suddenly died. But it wasn’t until a year after his death that I felt an urgent need to experience the monarch migration before these beloved insects disappeared from our landscapes forever.

Contemplating death and my own mortality—while armed with a newly acquired sense of fearlessness—I packed up some stuff and journeyed to Central Mexico.

Macheros, gateway to Cerro Pelón

The small village of Macheros lies within the State of Mexico and is the home of a little over 300 residents. It’s a welcoming place, with many beautiful and friendly faces, and it’s there that I made my four-day stay. I had decided on the quaint JM’s Butterfly B&B after reading their website’s page “How to Help Monarchs.” I instantly admired this small family owned eco-tourism operation that helps to protect the monarchs’ habitat by investing in the community. Tourist pesos remain in the village through the sourcing of locally grown foods and from employing residents: from lodging and restaurant staff to hiking guides and the local vaqueros and their horses.

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