Xcalak - Rooster Story

Giving Back with Gallo: A Story of Hope for Xcalak Beach

On Bajío’s recent Odyssey expedition to Xcalak, Mexico, we learned about an incredibly disturbing trash problem. Due to ocean currents and illegal dumping, vast amounts of plastics and ocean trash from neighboring countries and the cruise industry are being deposited on the shores of the tiny town of Xcalak—a mecca for flats fishing where you can catch permit, tarpon, bonefish, triggers, snook and cuda all on the same day.

We love Xcalak and its people and decided to do something about this growing trash problem. So we teamed up with local Liz Castro, daughter of Xcalak’s first fly fishing guide, and hired her to help us create a trash cleanup program. Liz manages 10-15 local people to clean up the town’s beaches and she hires trucks to haul away and dispose of the waste at recycling centers. This program is ongoing while we research and investigate the perpetrators causing the problem and work to stop it at its source. Learn more about Xcalak and its growing trash problem here.

How You Can Help

When you purchase an Xcalak Rooster tee or hat, $10 from the sale of each item will go to the Xcalak beach cleanup program. This equates to paying one worker for one full day of cleanup per purchase. Look guapo in your gallo gear while giving back to Xcalak. Bajío, the people of Xcalak, and the marine animals of Mexico thank you for your support and restoration of this extremely special place.

What’s with the Rooster?

What’s the story behind the colorful rooster on our Project Xcalak gear? The rooster is the unofficial symbol of the town featured on a mural in Xcalak.

The mural was painted by travelling artists from England for a charismatic local man nicknamed Gallo (Spanish for rooster) because of his red hair—a rare occurrence in Mexican manes.

The Bajío crew met Gallo on one of our visits to Xcalak. An entertaining storyteller, Gallo told us that his grandfather was a pirate (also blessed with red hair) and his family was one of the first to settle in Xcalak as coconut farmers. They were also one of the few to survive the great hurricane due to their ability to climb to the top of their stone chimney—the only one in town.

Gallo is deeply bothered by the trash problem as well and allowed us to use his rooster painting on our fundraising gear as an effort to help clean up the town’s beaches. 

But There’s More

The Xcalak Rooster campaign is just a start. We’ll also raise awareness this through our documentary films and our distribution of the films on social media platforms. We’ll tell the stories through our magazine, our catalog and other marketing channels.

To make a difference it takes people. We believe that the youth of the countries we visit, along with the youth of the U.S. can provide the people power needed. They are activists. They believe in the power of the collective. And they care about fixing the environmental mess left by previous generations. Join us in our quest to restore our oceans: buy a rooster tee or hat  and follow our stories on this site and social media.

September 21, 2021 — Denise Alonzo