In the coastal village of La Ensenada, Colombia, where digging for shellfish is a way of life, everyone must learn to swim eventually — even little Dulce. But as the effects of climate change, marked by swelling tides and shrinking coastlines, begin to threaten the village's livelihood, the carefree swimming lessons led by Dulce's mother take on a sense of urgency.
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Helping coastal ecosystems stay afloat
Work is underway to protect Colombia's Pacific coast and the tremendous biodiversity it harbors. In 2017, then-Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos expanded the reach of the Malpelo Fauna and Flora Sanctuary, already the largest no-fishing zone in the Eastern Tropical Pacific, to include an additional 1.7 million hectares. The underwater topography of this region, marked by numerous caves and tunnels, and a unique convergence of ocean currents combine to attract a menagerie of marine life, including several shark populations and more than 300 species of mollusks.
Additionally, Conservation International has partnered with Fondo Acción, a Colombian nonprofit that specializes in improving living standards in rural communities, to create a conservation fund that will support community-driven conservation efforts along the country's Pacific coastline. Beyond the 30,000 residents of Afro-Colombian descent, Colombia's vibrant Pacific coast is home to 80 percent of the region's humpback whale breeding grounds and many of the nation's most well-preserved mangrove forests.
"Dulce" was co-directed by Guille Isa and Angello Faccini and produced by filmmakers Jungles in Paris. It was executive produced by actor and activist Lee Pace, and Margarita Mora and Anastasia Khoo on behalf of Conservation International.