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Connecting Communities Across the Continent Through Birds — Mexico

2012 May 1
by Marta del Campo and Seth Inman

Did you know that some of the organizations we collaborate with are in Latin America and the Caribbean?. They are wonderful and an inspiration to us all!

Children enjoying Celebrate Urban Birds activities organized by the Museum of Mexican Birds at Saltillo, Mexico

With such diverse cultures in Latin America and the Caribbean, there is a lot we can learn from them, and vice versa, to better understand birds and their habitats, both here and there. If birds don’t discriminate by country, then shouldn’t we follow their example? It is true that many of our focal species for Celebrate Urban Birds aren’t found in other countries, but with a little creativity and persistence, organizations across Latin America and the Caribbean Islands adapt our materials and resources to fit their local needs, resources, and birds. It is inspiring to see how these groups benefit their communities with activities and materials derived from our own project to help others appreciate local birds, celebrate in their communities, and aid bird conservation n urban green spaces and surrounding areas.

Another wonderful group of kids enjoying activities organized by the Museum of Mexican Birds at Saltillo, Mexico

In Mexico, for example, the Museo de las Aves de Mexico (Museum of Mexican Birds) in Saltillo is accomplishing great work in its community of nearly one million residents. Saltillo is in the northeast of Mexico, near Monterrey, and is a very arid zone, though not a terribly hot one since it is more than 5000 feet (~1600m) above sea level. The museum designs many different activities to educate the population about birds, nature, and  conservation. They have created several successful activities for children and other participants in the zone, using materials and resources from Celebrate Urban Birds. In only two months,more than 600 kids participated in workshops about urban and suburban birds. When it came to thinking about how to reach the children and adults outside the city, the folks at the museum had to get extra creative—they came up with the idea of a “traveling” bird museum that could better reach people in other towns.

Participants with Celebrate Urban Birds materials at activities of the Museum of Mexican Birds at Saltillo, Mexico

As the saying goes:, “If the mountain won’t come…” then the museum will go to the people all around the zone. Imagine a caravan of sorts, full of many colorful birds coming to  your town or city; it sets up displays and information tables in a public space so all may learn about and appreciate the birds and their habitat. And that’s just one town! The museum truly does move from place to place.People of all ages participate, and it is great to see the looks of curiosity and amazement on kids’ and adults’ faces as they participate in this unique experience.. Moving from place to place, the museum is truly able to spread its core message of “Knowledge for Conservation.” In the next blog, I will tell you about the activities about some of our partners in Cuba.

To learn more about our partnership with the  Museum of Mexican Birds (Museo de las Aves de México), visit:

http://www.birds.cornell.edu/celebration/community/Spotlight/Partners/museo-de-las-aves-de-mexico

To learn more about the Museum and its programs, please visit:
http://www.museodelasaves.org

To learn about other organizations collaborating with us, please visit:

http://www.birds.cornell.edu/celebration/community/Spotlight/Partners/partner-spotlight/community

Until next time!

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