I remember when I was a little boy
first learning about the Vaquita.
I was filled with wonder and determination…
Determination to keep them on this planet.
I donated my Christmas money;
I didn’t get souvenirs when the rest of my family did,
so I could donate even more.
I told everyone I knew,
and told them to do the same.
I even started a Vaquita club at my school to raise money.
I emailed the experts as often as I could,
and read every book and website with the word, “Vaquita.”
I don’t exactly remember what I thought was going to happen to the species,
but I know what I wanted to happen.
That was around the time Chris Johnson’s movie came out,
and I loved it.
But I was also scared…
Scared we might lose the Vaquita forever.
Thinking back upon these things,
I wasn’t doing very much.
But I loved doing it.
Then came V-log.
I still remember coming up with the name,
“A vlog is a video-blog, and Vaquita starts with V, so it could be a Vaquita-blog!”
I was 11 at the time, so I wasn’t the best with websites.
My first post was,
“Vaquita is Spanish for ‘little cow.'”
I became obsessed with learning and writing about the Vaquita,
so I started a book on it.
When I finished writing the book,
I kind of stopped for a little while.
But then my passion was rekindled by art.
I learned that I love to draw, especially Vaquitas.
I began illustrating my book.
And then, on one fateful March morning,
I received a comment.
It was from William Whittenbury.
He told me all about his club,
The Muskwa Club.
My life changed dramatically on that day.
Together, we have accomplished so much.
Videos, tables, my book’s publishing,
and National Save the Vaquita Day.
This event coincided with the Official Norm law,
and this summer was one of utter awesomeness for the Vaquita,
I am learning the ways of a businessman, conservationist, and artist.
Or some combination of the three…
Muskwa and I may be getting some pretty crazy ideas,
but hey, they are working.
And there has never been a more exciting time in the world of the Vaquita.
Have you ever heard of a Tweetstorm? “A Tweet-what?” you may say. Well, let me enlighten you. A Tweetstorm is a concerted effort on Twitter to get as many people as possible to all tweet the same hashtag during a small time frame in order to give that hashtag extreme popularity, landing it on the ‘Trending Topics’ chart.
The Muskwa Club and I are organizing a Tweetstorm for #SaveTheVaquita on New Year’s Day, January 1st, 2014 from 5:00 pm to 11:59 pm Pacific Time (8:00 pm to 2:59 am ET). During this time, we would like for everyone to tweet about the critically endangered Vaquita using the hashtag #SaveTheVaquita. Also, you can include some eco-conscious celebrities in the tweets, like the incredible @LeoDiCaprio or my favorite singer Moby (@thelittleidiot) so they catch all of this Vaquita buzz.
A Tweetstorm is similar to a petition, but interactive and with more immediate results and potentially a much wider audience. A great example is the Tweetstorm for #SOSMauisDolphins, which garnered almost 12,000 tweets, landing at number 5 on the ‘Trending Topics’ chart, ahead of Beyoncé and Lady Gaga. If we only get a fraction of the tweets that they did, ours can still be considered a success. My goal is 1,000 tweets, but goals are meant to be exceeded.
“Ugh, this social media stuff isn’t for me,” you could be saying right about now. Even if you are a firm believer that social media is only for teenagers and balk at the thought of yourself tweeting, the least you could do is email the flyer below to your friends. But to all you tech-savvy people out there (basically everyone that is reading this), please participate. I would not be nagging about this so much if I didn’t think it was one of the best ways to help the Vaquita. So mark it on your calendars, check out this countdown a few times to remind you, share the flyer increasingly frequently, and get your tweeting muscles ready! If you have been on the border between getting a Twitter account or not, please get one, even if you delete it after the Storm. Thanks so much from the Vaquita!
And don’t forget to follow me (sidebar under ‘Stay Connected’)!
A while back I wrote a post on the importance of social media to help the Vaquita. You can read it here: https://vlogvaquita.com/2013/04/04/social-media/. Social media is an extremely important tool for us in the battle against the Vaquita’s extinction, as it is the only way to easily spread information across the globe in seconds. So if you are such a big proponent of social media, why don’t you have it yourself? you might ask. And the answer is, “I have no clue.” So now it’s time to put that all to rest. I have created two social media accounts, on Google Plus+ and on Twitter. I will be posting all of my future posts from V-log on Twitter, and very important posts and extras on Google Plus+, so if you follow me on both as well as here on WordPress, you should be able to stay constantly connected to the Vaquita world! Also, please follow ¡Viva Vaquita! on Facebook and Twitter. Click the buttons below (they are also in the sidebar) to begin our journey together!
Today, Saturday, July 6, is National Save the Vaquita Day. If there was ever a day to help the Vaquita, today’s the day. I am asking you to do your part to save the Vaquita, even if you only do something seemingly miniscule. For example, today I am riding my bike around my neighborhood, putting Vaquita flyers in people’s mailboxes (I couldn’t man the Virginia table due to travel reasons). To do your part today, you could attend a Vaquita table (click here for a list), donate through ¡Viva Vaquita!’s website, buy my book, post a status update about the Vaquita on a social network, fill out this survey with the Vaquita’s information and range (the northern Gulf of California, Mexico), ride your bike around your neighborhood with the printable, quarter-sheet flyers below, make a pledge to have a DVD (Daily Vaquita Duty), or any combination of those. I would love to hear your ideas about how you can help the Vaquita today and every other day, so please leave what you did today in the comments. Thank you so much for your participation in this vital new holiday.