Spring 2006 Forward to a Friend

Kama Dean (left) and other members of Pro Peninsula work with communities throughout the Baja peninsula and the Sea of Cortez to preserve the environment.

The 760-mile-long Baja California peninsula boasts a rare, natural beauty. It is one of the world’s last truly wild places. Thankfully, Subaru owner Kama Dean is working hard to keep it that way.

Five years ago, Kama co-founded Pro Peninsula, a nonprofit grassroots conservation organization dedicated to preserving the unique, yet threatened environment of the Baja peninsula. As co-director, Kama helps to empower communities and organizations on the peninsula and in the U.S.-Mexico border region to protect and preserve their environment.

Sea turtles are among the creatures Kama Dean hopes to protect.
“My favorite part of my job is the coordination of the Grupo Tortuguero, or Sea Turtle Conservation Network,” Kama said. “We work with 11 communities throughout Baja California and the Sea of Cortez to monitor sea turtle populations, educate the public about the plight of the sea turtle and, ultimately, bring sea turtles back to the waters surrounding the Baja California peninsula.”

Kama’s 2001 Subaru Forester – a grad school graduation present to herself – is a natural helping Kama navigate the rough Baja terrain to get where she’s needed. It gives her the ability to reach out to so many rural communities in Baja California.

“I bought the Forester for a variety of reasons,” she said. “It got better-than-average gas mileage, it was within my price range and it was the perfect car for trips to Mexico.”

Last year, Kama had the extraordinary privilege of participating in a traditional Seri leatherback turtle release ceremony.

“The Seri people, an indigenous group from Northwest Mexico, consider the leatherback a sacred being to be respected and protected,” Kama said. “This traditional ceremony highlights the importance of protecting sea turtles throughout the region and renews the spiritual and cultural practices of the Seri Indians by passing on this important tradition from the elders to the new conservationists, the Seri youth.”

When she’s not busy nurturing the planet, Kama looks after a special companion. “My baby is my dog Zippy, whom I rescued about a year ago,” Kama said. “She loves going in the Forester, too!”

From the sea to the desert to the mountains, Kama and her Forester have driven, camped, surfed and parked in some of the world’s most beautiful places, spreading a new energy of conservation and education.

Visit www.propeninsula.org for more information about Baja California’s captivating peninsula.