The organization Alianza Mexicana para la Conservación de la Vida Silvestre (AMECVIS) held an amazing event to bring awareness of urban bird conservation to the youth of Toluca, Mexico! Setting the scene for this workshop was the beautiful Bicentennial Metropolitan Park in Toluca, Mexico, which is home to many trees, an artificial lake, a dog park, and a sports section. This program was developed by the Primeria Feria de la Sustentabilidad (First Sustainability Fair) through their alliance with the Center for Education and Investigation in Sustainable Development (CEDES) and the Red de Investigadores por la Sustentabilidad redisuaem, a sector of Autonomous University of the State of Mexico.
The children looked forward to attending the workshop, where participants learned all about the behavior, colors, and sounds of several principal urban birds in Toluca, using binoculars and cameras as observational tools. They drew their favorite birds, and even some that flew about in their imaginations.
An exciting activity was a presentation by the Folklore Dance Group, where students from the City of Toluca Fine Arts School danced under the leadership of dancer and bird enthusiast Grethel García Pichardo. This bird lover had previously earned a scholarship to attend the first Bird Conservation and Professional Careers for Latin American Youth at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in Ithaca, NY. Grethel uses Mexican folklore dance as a way to connect youth with bird conservation. The magnificent, vibrant colors of the costumes resemble the movement of Toluca’s local birds as they dance. All the children loved watching and participating in the beautiful performance. The arts have a way of getting everyone more interested in birds!
In the last activity, Celebrate Urban Birds participants observed the wildlife around them in the name of citizen science. Youth enjoyed observing birds so much that they decided to form the first bird observers’ club in Toluca, a club that will continue to hold outstanding workshops in their community.
Special thanks to members of the Network for Sustainability “SustentaRed” that volunteered their time and energy to make all the activities fun and educative, the Center for Education and Investigation in Sustainable Development (CEDES) of the Autonomous University of the State of Mexico, and the Red de Investigadores por la Sustentabilidad redisuaem for the invitation to the Primeria Feria de la Sustentabilidad (First Sustainability Fair), as well as the administration of Bicentennial Metropolitan Park for the beautiful space, and Celebrate Urban Birds for the materials shared.