Many villagers already know. They will stay out of the thick bushes and trees so they don’t surprise the elephants. Villagers believe that when the elephants come, the land and life are healthy. The elephants are baraka—a blessing to the people and environment of Mali’s Gourma region.
Once there were many thousands of Gourma Desert elephants, but now, there are fewer than 400. The elephants live under constant threat from droughts, militant violence, poachers who want their tusks, loss of water from expanding herds and farms, and encroaching human settlement. Through the dedicated efforts of the Mali people and many worldwide organizations, the elephants have a fighting chance to survive.
The Elephants’ Extraordinary Journey
Every year for hundreds of years, the elephants walk a 350-mile circular migration route in northern Mali, moving around back and forth within the route. This is the longest, most treacherous trek of an elephant in the world. These tough animals brave sandstorms, water shortages, and extreme heat of more than 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
They inhabit a 12,400-square-mile range across the harsh land south of the Sahara Desert in the Gourma region. Following a counterclockwise route, the elephants spend their time in the dry season in the north of the range, moving between lakes and rivers as each dries out. In June when the rains start, they move southwards to the border Mali shares with the country of Burkina Faso because the food supply is better. But there are no lakes or surface water, so when the rains stop and the water dries out, they continue back north.
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THE LEGEND OF THE QUETZAL BIRD
A Mayan Tale retold by Pat Betteley illustrated by Amanda Shepherd
Semana Santa GUATEMALA'S HOLY WEEK
What if Easter preparations meant dyeing sand, collecting pine needles, and staying up all night to work on an art project that you knew would be ruined the very next day? Well, welcome to Guatemala’s Semana Santa, or Holy Week.
The Maya are groups of people who live in parts of Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala. Their ancestors created a great society. At its peak, from 600-900 C.E., the Maya civilization was more advanced than its neighbors in the Americas.
Playing Games Honduras-style
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LIVING A LONG LIFE IN THE Blue Zone
Most people would like to live as long a life as possible. No one really knows why some people live longer than others, but did you know that where you live can play a big part in how many years you’ll be alive? If you live in a Blue Zone, chances are that you will live much longer than people in other parts of the world.
ATTENTION WORLD: Belize Saves Their Coral Reef
Sea turtles float in clear waters, colorful corals hug the ocean floor, and aquatic animals glide among the mangrove roots. Welcome to the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System, the second-largest coral reef in the world (Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is number one). Several years ago, this reef was in crisis, heading toward destruction. But the people of Belize fought back to save their reef’s health.
The Panama Canal
The Panama Canal is a 51-mile long canal that connects the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
This is Central America!
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From golden frogs to big cats to colorful birds, the national animals of Central America represent the geography and cultures of the region. For a quick sampling of creatures plain and beautiful, common and rare, read on.
31 Countries Biosphere
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CHER BEGS FRAIL MOM TO MOVE IN!
She’s terrified of living without feisty 94-year-old
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Hot on the heels of the revelation that Finn, not Liam, is the father of Steffy’s baby, the good doctor has a very important question to ask the woman he loves. “When he was racing to Malibu to stop Steffy from leaving, Finn made one stop to pick up a precious heirloom,” winks his portrayer, Tanner Novlan. “In this moment, after he tells Steffy that he’s the father, Finn makes the most of it.”
JULIA'S TRIAL SEPARATION
Leaving hubby after endless bickering and he’s delighted
Dakota & Chris: MALIBU WEDDING!
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MICHELLE: CLEAN UP, YOUR ACT BARACK!
Her $175M divorce ultimatum!
Malina Moye Means Business
RIGHTEOUS TOURING TIPS FROM A LIFELONG ROAD WARRIOR
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The Seed of the Universe
Move over quinoa. There’s a “new” ancient grain in town—fonio, a hearty, gluten-free species from West Africa introduced to America by Yolélé Foods.
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Confesses she felt like tossing Barack ‘OUT THE WINDOW!’
As Trump Holds Back, Tech Firms Step In On Election Security
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