100 Women Who Care support Audubon Mexico’s Rescue the Ignacio Allende Dam Plan

By Paola Velasco

The community of San Miguel de Allende has always distinguished itself for its commitment to and participation in various causes. Currently there are over 150 non-profit organizations whose objective is every facet of wellbeing. One of these associations is 100 Women Who Care SMA, whose members meet quarterly to select a specific cause to support. At each meeting, a representative from each of three nominated organizations explains what would be done with the funds, should it be selected. 

At the April 18 meeting, three associations made their presentations. The first was Friends of Animals, which educates and promotes respect for animals, offers free sterilization programs, and provides guidance on rescue issues and adoption. Next was EAT A.C., which offers excellent-quality food to the elderly once a week. Last was Audubon Mexico, an association that connects people with nature.

The winning association that afternoon was Audubon and its Rescue the Ignacio Allende Dam program. The Ignacio Allende Dam and reservoir has had serious problems with an infestation of water lilies since last year’s heavy rains. The water lily problem plagues the Allende Dam and the Rio Laja, and extends to the Cieneguita bridge.

Last November, April Gaydos, representative of Audubon Mexico, began conversations with the Municipal Offices of Environment and Sustainability of San Miguel de Allende. She shared the plan Audubon Mexico had developed to control the infestation. Over the last few months, a group of volunteers has been investigating the problem and potential solutions, with advice from biologists and specialists in the field. The Rescue the Ignacio Allende Dam campaign is a response to the urgent need to eliminate and eventually manage the water lily crisis.

Water lilies can double their mass every 5-15 days. In just five months, the plants have covered 30 percent of the Allende Dam. The cause of this plague is the presence of contaminants in the water—mainly untreated wastewater, manure, and agricultural fertilizers.

The support for Audubon Mexico from 100 Women Who Care will go to programs that, aside from cleaning up the affected area, will include economic reactivation for the area’s residents. The plan is for the lilies to become raw material that will generate new sources of income.

At its next meeting, Audubon Mexico representatives will share with 100 Women Who Care the results of their support.