Why Apple is investing in Colombia’s mangroves
It’s easy to get lost in the narrow channels of a mangrove forest. On either side, tangled clumps of curving roots prop up a row of identical-looking trees above the water line. Aerial roots dangle from high and low branches that arch over the channel. And as inch-long crabs scuttle along algae-covered roots, narrow-snouted crocodiles glide through the water. The maze-like waterways are strange and fascinating, if a bit eerie.
But in the sprawling mangrove forest surrounding Colombia’s Cispatá Bay, mangleros – families living and working in the forests – know every channel, in low or high tide. That’s because every day before sunrise, they navigate the channels to the Caribbean Sea to catch snapper, snook, or tilapia-like mojarra for the day’s meal. Other times, they trudge through the muddy forest at low tide to collect wood for cooking. Some use the channels as a shortcut to get to nearby San Antero or San Bernardo del Viento to work as seasonal labor in rice fields.