This May, one of our 2015 Celebrate Urban Birds mini-grant winner organizations, the Green Jay Mayan Birding Club, had an event with the Juarez community, an hour away from Cancun, in the beautiful state of Quintana Roo, Mexico. The event was made possible with the participation of 20 people, 12 women and youth, and eight organizers. The main park had been set up to have pictures of native peninsula birds so the participants could check them out! The children arrived early in the morning, when they were given a brief tutorial, familiarizing them with the binoculars. They were able to do a test run, using the pictures placed around the park to try focusing with the binoculars. Even though it was early, everyone had big and bright smiles on their faces, super excited to start the day!

(Photo © Green Jay Mayan Birding Club

When everyone was ready to go, the event began on some trails nearby. Together, everyone was able to see a variety of native birds such as Turquoise-browed Motmots, Yellow-throated Euphonias, Masked Tityras, Black-headed Saltators, Red-legged Honeycreepers, Social Flycatchers, Orange Orioles, Altamira Orioles and Cinnamon Hummingbirds among others.

The program’s itinerary was explained to all of the participants as the educational Celebrate Urban Birds kits were being passed out. The posters included in all of the packets motivated everyone and made them extra happy about participating in the program.

(Photo © Green Jay Mayan Birding Club

There were a few activities afterward with photos of the birds seen on the nature walk. They were able to draw and color in their favorite bird. It was exciting to be able to recognize some of the birds from the cornfields, in the park, and in their very own backyards!

The older women of the community made orange juice, chicken and cheese empanadas, and brownies and different flavored cookies. The children also received a small bag with a tag that said, “I [name of child], love and protect the birds.” This bag held their drawings from the previous activity! Some of the children gave organizers from the Green Jay Mayan Birding Club their beautiful works of art to demonstrate their gratitude. This was definitely another wonderful event bringing communities closer to science; thank you, Green Jay Mayan Birding Club!

Check out these beautiful pictures from below!

You can learn more about Green Jay Mayan Birding here.

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