Thousands of monarch butterflies migrate to Mexico for the winter each year, to find refuge from the cold weather in the country’s pine forests. In March, a rare snowstorm interrupted their sleep as freezing winds blew the butterflies out of their safe colonies, grouped together in the trees, and deposited many of them across the forest floor where they are at risk of freezing to death while still in hibernation.
What began as a story to document how land conservation and reforestation is not only protecting the Monarch butterflies in Mexico, but also providing jobs and opportunity for local landowners changed after strong winds and a rare snow storm hit the area. We were without power for a couple of days and had about a dozen trees fall on the property at our lodge. The reporter and I were able to convince the guides to let us into the sanctuary the afternoon after the snowstorm. We had packed for 75 degree tempertures before out trip, but ended up hiking in 6 inches of snow to find the thousands of Monarch butterflies frozen to the trees and on the ground.
Originally published for Univision and pickedup by the Gaurdian. A second story was published in Spanish detailing how reforestation efforts have encouraged undocumented workers in the United States to return home.
Reporter: Clemente Álvarez
Cinematographer, Photographer: Jessey Dearing
Editor: Almudena Toral