We are excited to introduce Parker Mateo Ucan Bertram as our first BTT Youth Ambassador from Mexico! The Bonefish & Tarpon Trust Youth Ambassadors Program was created in 2018 and strives to recognize outstanding young leaders in flats fishing and ocean conservation. Nominated by our Belize-Mexico Program Coordinator, Dr. Addiel Perez, our newest Youth Ambassador certainly stands out to all who meet him.
Parker was taught to fish by his father, BTT Conservation Captain and renowned guide Jose Ucan, but he possesses a talent on the flats that nobody could teach. Catching his first bonefish at the age of four, and later going on to catch both his first tarpon and first permit on fly at eight years old, Parker successfully landed his first grand slam before his ninth birthday in August!
Hailing from Punta Allen, Quintana Roo, Mexico, Parker grew up on the water. While he normally fishes on the town dock, in front of his parents’ lodge (La Pescadora Lodge) or in Ascension Bay, Parker says he’ll cast a line “Wherever I am that has water!” His favorite species to fish for are barracuda, cubera snapper, and, of course, bonefish. Parker is a 4th grade student at the grade school in Punta Allen, and told us his favorite subject at school is formación Ética y Civic (Ethics and Civics). When he’s not on the water or in school, Parker enjoys spending time cooking and baking, fly-tying, playing soccer and hunting for scorpions.
Parker’s time on the water has also instilled in him a sense of responsibility for the planet. “It’s important to pick up trash and make sure our trash doesn’t end up in the water,” he says. “When we go fishing, we refill reusable water bottles to use and we always take reusable plates, cups and utensils. It makes me sad to see all the trash washed up. As a global community, we need to stop throwing our trash into the ocean.”
He acts with extreme care to the environment, telling BTT, “Conservation is important to me because we live in nature. We have to take care of our natural resources so we have a place to fish, swim, and enjoy.”
We are so happy to welcome Parker aboard!
Photos courtesy of Parker’s mom, Lily Bertram