Friday, February 17, 2012

Live Panda Cam (China): Pandas International Panda Reserves "Endangered means we have time — Extinction is forever."

China Panda Live Camera Endangered means we have time — Extinction is forever.

Panda Reserves in China
The Giant Panda, one of the most delightful and captivating of animals, is also one of the most endangered. The best scientific estimates place the number of wild pandas at approximately 1,600.

In 1999, after a trip to China and the Wolong Panda Center, the sight and plight of the Giant Panda made such a dramatic impression on Suzanne Braden and Diane Rees that upon returning to the United States, they co-founded Pandas International to help save this magnificent animal. In 2000, tax exempt status was granted by the Internal Revenue Service and Pandas International became a registered 501 (c) (3) non profit.

Pandas International is unique in that it is exclusively devoted to the Giant Panda, unlike other organizations, which serve many animals.

As the Director of Pandas International, Ms. Braden coordinates both the annual and immediate needs of the Panda Centers. The personal relationships she has developed with Chinese officials, veterinarians and their staff members have allowed Pandas International to maximize its role in preserving this beloved species. Following the 2008 earthquake which destroyed the Wolong Panda Center and damaged the bamboo forest in the Nature Reserve, the challenge to save the Giant Panda has been made more difficult.  Without intervention, this species could perish.

Mission Statement:
The mission of Pandas International, a non profit organization, is to ensure the preservation and propagation of the endangered Giant Panda by providing public awareness and education, research funding, habitat preservation and enhancement, and assistance to the China Conservation & Research Centers for the Giant Panda (CCRCGP).

Thursday, February 2, 2012

NASA Earth Observatory Mayan Land Use Map + Mayan Earth Mother Video and Tz'utujil Mayan Indigenous Art of Guatemala

View: NASA Earth Observatory Maps of Mayan Land Use from year 800 to year 2000 in Central America. It is difficult to imagine the ancient cities of Central America without associating them with dense tropical forest. But the cultures that built towering stone temples also had to feed 19 million people. As these maps show, most of the land in ancient Central America was cleared, with very little old-growth forest intact.

The maps are a reconstruction of forest extent at three different points: 800-950 A.D., the peak of Mayan culture (top); 1500-1650 A.D., the European colonial period (center); and 2000, modern conditions (bottom). Dark green areas show where tropical forests grew undisturbed. Lighter shades of green mark areas where some of the forest was cleared for agriculture and settlement. White indicates places where people removed all or nearly all of the forest.

The Mayan Art shown here is by Lorenzo Cruz Sunu, Mario Gonzalez,  Marlon Puac, Josè Reanda Quiejù please see below for the story. 

Tz'utujil Mayan Indigenous Art of Guatemala
The Mayan community of San Pedro la Laguna is located in Solola, Guatemala. 10% of the Mayan Sacred Painting profits go to support Mayan children's education and school supplies. All arts and crafts handmade from the 
sacred Mayan Calendar Nawal Nahuales glyph are created in the village by Mayan women who are widowed or single mothers. 70% of profits from the sale of the sacred Mayan Calendar Nawal Nahuales glyph arts and crafts go to the Mayan women craft artisans.

Artist Statement: Lorenzo Cruz Sunu
"I was born in a beautiful town on the shores of Lake Atitlán. I'm the second of eight children and our mother tongue is Tz'utujil. My father is a farmer and my mother is a homemaker – neither had an inclination for art. But from the time I was a child, I felt a great love for colors and designs. It was exciting to go to school, because I loved to draw and art was my favorite class. When I was 11, I told my father I wanted to learn to paint and asked for permission to take classes. But he laughed and didn't take me seriously. I felt so sad, but anyway, I kept on drawing and painting at home when I had a free moment. "

"Today, I understand, because our economic situation was very difficult in those days and extra classes outside the school day weren't a priority for us. By the time I was, 15, several years had passed and I continued drawing and painting with the same dedication. My father decided to support me. With great effort, my parents sent me to Guatemala City to study in the School of Fine Arts. There I discovered my love, passion and vocation for painting. With every passing day, I learned new techniques and, to help my parents, I began to sell my paintings for a few quetzals.
In the School of Fine Arts, I began to meet a number of people who helped me on this road of learning. I've also had the help of my older brother, Pedro Cruz, who helps promote my work and that of other artists in national and international galleries. And, of course, I have the support of my wife."

"I've been working as an artist since 2001, and have exhibited my paintings in places such as Canada, Minnesota, Washington D.C., Maryland and Delaware. I've learned a lot from each exhibit and this motivates me to achieve my dream of sharing the colors and characteristics of my people with the world. My paintings are related with everything I see around me, with what I've learned from my grandparents and their culture. In each work, I try to convey the folklore, the reality of our customs and the legacy of our ancestors. I hope that when you see and acquire my work, you can feel my love and respect for our culture and the people of my homeland."

Mayan Art sales contact Pedro Arnoldo Cruz Sunu on FACEBOOK

Earth Mother Video Video: Saludo a las Madres de Pedro Arnoldo Cruz Sunu

Night Ceremony and Cofrades Lorenzo Cruz Sunu