May 24 - Happy Birthday, Ynés Mexía

 Posted on May 24, 2022     

This is an update of my post published on May 24, 2011:

She was a social worker until age 51, when she decided to change her life.

And, boy, did she change it! 

Ynés Mexía became a botanist (a scientist who studies plants) and an explorer who discovered more than 500 species of plants!

It's estimated that she collected more than 137,000 plants in six expeditions over a period of just 13 years!

Ynés Mexía was born in Washington, D.C., on this day in 1870; her parents were Mexican, and her father probably worked for the Mexican embassy in the U.S. capital. She apparently didn't have a lot of formal education until she was 51 and started attending botany classes at the University of California at Berkeley. And the reason for the career change? Mexía discovered her love for plants while hiking with the Sierra Club.

Soon Mexía began to take botanical collecting trips in Mexico, Alaska, Brazil, Ecuador, Colombia, and the American Southwest.

Sadly, Mexía experienced chest pains on a collecting trip in Mexico, and at age 67 she died of lung cancer. Still, she managed to find a passion, make a contribution, and see new sights at a time when some would have said she was “over the hill.”

What will YOU do from age 51 to 67 that will result in you getting a Wikipedia article and Google Doodle?

Plan ahead:

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