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Durham County Library Hosts Primatologist Dr. Laura Vick

Program: Lessons from the Ya’axche – Life in the Yucatan
Date: Thursday, August 7
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: South Regional Library
Cost: Free and open to the public

About: Durham County Library will host primatologist Dr. Laura Vick for a talk on her work in Punta Laguna, Mexico at 7 p.m. on Thursday, August 7, at the South Regional Library, 4505 S. Alston Ave.

Spider monkeys drew Vick to Punta Laguna in the Yucatan in Mexico. On a trip in the early 1990s, she went from one tourist spot to another and asked guides where she could find spider monkeys. Three of the guides recommended Punta Laguna, which is a small village deep in the dry tropical forest.

The villagers there wanted to increase ecotourism by protecting archaeological ruins and the spider monkeys. Vick, and the other primatologists who joined her, played a pivotal role in the project and learned about a lot more than spider monkeys. Most importantly, they learned that villagers and spider monkeys alike need variety in their diet and environment. This research played a key role in getting federal recognition of the land as a reserve. Over the years, Vick also had many adventures which she will relate.

Vick is Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at William Peace University. She is the recipient of the university’s McCormick Distinguished Teaching Award. Vick is currently the president of Kanik Global Studies Partnership.

For more information, contact Cathy Starkweather at 919-560-7410 or visit

Durham County Library encourages Discovery, connects the Community and leads in Literacy. As a department of Durham County Government, the library furthers Goal 1 of the county’s Strategic Plan by enhancing cultural, educational and creative opportunities. For more information about the library, visit

Contact: Gina Rozier
919-560-0151 or


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