After falling in love with Mexico and its nature, I decided to move here permanently in 2000. Fresh out of university and keen to learn as much as possible about the country’s fascinating nature I began collecting photos and information on the topic. In the fall of 2001 Viva Natura was born, first and foremost as a web based project whose goal was forming an easily navigable bridge in between scientific knowledge and the public. VivaNatura.org was launched.
Viva Natura web became almost immediately successful, due to the simple fact that no such a source on this topic was available then. Mexican governmental sources existed, but were presented largely as pages and pages of closed written academic text with little appeal to general public. Other efforts were lacking. Also, internet was then still quite “young” in this field. Viva Natura and its user friendly presentation loaded with images found its niche. Its success opened a lot of doors – it led to the pages of the Science Magazine best of the web section (Vol 301, 4 JULY 2003) for instance or to several years of cooperation with the BBC and the Czech National TV.
With the exponential growth of information available on the internet and also thanks to the truly heroic effort of Mexican CONABIO’s department of Scientific Communication (www.conabio.gob.mx) in providing an enormous amount of information on Mexican Biodiversity, Viva Natura can today re-focus its aim. It’s goal and methods haven’t changed. Viva Natura still believes that images are a hugely powerful tool of education and that simple, attractive presentation of complex issues is needed to attract public attention. However there is no longer the need for Viva Natura to provide in-depth information on the vast topics of Mexican Biodiversity. Such sources exist today, backed by the Mexican government and its institutes filled with highly educated and motivated scientists. Instead, Viva Natura will strive to continue forming the bridge in between the public and the scientific knowledge in an easy, accessible fun way.
My web, as well as other products such as printed Field Guides and mobile apps are meant to address anyone with interest in the nature of Mexico, be it a visitor on vacations or a caring resident. Being an avid photographer I will also keep on providing useful tips to those of you who enjoy exploring natural spaces with camera in your hands.
– with best regards –
Petr Myska, M.Sc. & M.Sc.
Puerto, Vallarta, Mexico