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Everglades Stories: Connecting Communities with Nature

Go! Latinos Magazine, May 6, 2024


This past Earth Day, The Everglades Foundation launched the “Everglades Stories from Across the Watershed” project, taking us on a fascinating journey into Florida’s natural beauty. Its goal? To make the complex world of Everglades restoration more accessible to everyone and remind us of our deep connection to nature. This initiative invites us to discover the diverse ways we’re intertwined with the Everglades, showing just how vital these wetlands are to Florida’s soul.


Voices of the EvergladesThe restoration of the Everglades is quite a complex matter, with many layers to consider. It involves technical and scientific aspects, such as infrastructure, water models, and water management. However, it can be challenging for people to connect with these concepts and feel invested in them.


“We need to go beyond data … because sometimes when you say numbers and figures it might not resonate with people. We’re all more interested in people’s stories than in facts alone,” says Begoñe Cazalis, Director of Communications at The Everglades Foundation. “Storytelling is a very powerful tool.”

“We need to go beyond data … because sometimes when you say numbers and figures it might not resonate with people. We’re all more interested in people’s stories than in facts alone,” says Begoñe Cazalis, Director of Communications at The Everglades Foundation. “Storytelling is a very powerful tool.”


From documenting the impact of environmental degradation to showcasing connections with nature, the project seeks to inspire viewers to become advocates for Everglades restoration. Through a broad representation of voices and experiences, the project fosters a sense of ownership and stewardship among the community. From teachers to boat captains, each story offers a unique perspective on the Everglades ecosystem, resonating with a broad audience.


“South Florida is a very diverse place, so we wanted to make sure that everybody was represented so that everyone could see themselves in these stories,” says Cazalis.


Passion for Preservation

A common thread throughout the stories is a deep love for nature. Yet, intertwined with this love is a recognition of the challenges the Everglades faces, prompting individuals to engage actively in restoration efforts. Speaking about the passion shown by the storytellers, Cazalis points out many of them “Urged other members of their community to come and see this beautiful, unique nature that they have in their backyard.”


Technology plays a key role in the project, especially with the inclusion of an interactive map on the website. This feature is designed to give people a better understanding of the vastness and significance of the ecosystem. Cazalis notes, “A lot of people don’t grasp how large the Everglades watershed is, and how interconnected it is, so it was very important for us to show the geography of it.”




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