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The Seahorse of Troy

by Leo Chavez-Rivas

I saw a sea horse for the first time 17 years ago, after a disastrous hurricane hit Central America. The storms lasted all day and the sun didn’t shine for two weeks. Once the storm was over I climbed onto the roof of my house, to eat a fresh mango from one of the branches of our mango trees. What I found on the roof of my house that afternoon broke my heart.


I sat on a branch and peeled a mango with my pocket knife. I looked down and some strange and skeletal figure attracted my attention. I moved some of the leaves that were covering it and I found an animal I had never seen before. I wrapped the creature in my shirt and took my discovery to my mother, who told me that it was a seahorse that the hurricane had blown onto our roof.


Holding in my hands the corpse of what once had been a beautiful and curious sea creature made me very sad. In my childish mind I blamed my self for not having climbed onto the roof during the storm. If I had been there I could have caught the little seahorse and saved him from the hoe of death. I cried. This experience inspired in me a deep concern for small sea fauna. These creatures are the most vulnerable on the planet. They not only must survive their predators amid natural catastrophes (such as the hurricane that sucked the little seahorse out of the ocean and onto my house), they also must suffer from the contamination we bring to the environment.


I can see how my concern may sound ridiculous, since, in reality, I could not have saved that seahorse. The capriciousness of nature cannot be challenged, but the deeds of humanity can. I believe in the power of people’s consciousness, and that a brief moment of reflection can bring about great changes of mind.


I joined the Saltwater team because it has a story to tell. A story that, I believe, will help touch people’s hearts and make them reflect on our relationship with the earth’s aquatic ecosystems. Just as in any movie in which important themes and messages are explored beneath the surface, I hope Saltwater will be our seahorse of Troy and quietly carry its environmental message into the consciousness of humanity.


Maybe I can’t stop a hurricane from killing sea creatures, but I can help show people we are all responsible as well. Seahorses will continue to die due to hurricanes and other forces of nature, but the casualties can stop there. Keeping the waters of the earth clean is a responsibility that belongs to all of us.

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