The San Pancho Bird Observatory organization was awarded the 2018 Latin America and the Caribbean mini grant. This organization began as the San Pancho Birding Club, giving educational tours for students in the local schools of Nayarit, Mexico. For many years, the club was a starting point for many new birders. They have done important environmental activities including regular walks with community members, and with visitors from in and out of Mexico. For many years, this club has been a door for many children to start birding.
In collaboration with the Conectores del Océano (Ocean’s Connectors) organization, they run the program, “Get to Know the Birds in your Community” which plans outdoor trips with local schools. The San Pancho Bird Observatory also does art workshops centered on local species that are in danger of extinction.
The San Pancho Bird Observatory believes that the arts are fundamental in making educational activities effective. They have launched a program called Concienciarte (Conscience Arts). This program focuses on Parakeets and Macaws in danger of extinction in the region of Nayarit. This program allows many different sectors of the community to use art to become involved in the science of conservation!
The first workshop of Concienciarte was for children and it centered around the protection of the Parakeets and Macaws. During the summer workshops, local artists and children made drawings (paintings) of the Parakeets and Macaws to support the “Adopt a Bird” program. The youth donated their artwork to support San Pancho Bird Observatory‘s educational and community programs. Each art piece includes an “Adoption Certificate” with the artist’s name and the name of the species the person is adopting. Since all of their proceeds go to support educational talks in local schools, drawing contests, and an educational program for the community about local birds, the certificate helps the buyer know they are helping improve the conservation of these birds and their habitats!
At the end of this project, there was a festival celebrating the International Bird Day! In the festival, the first display of the Concienciarte collection was presented to everyone! The next day there was a bird observation walk done as part of The Great World Count (Gran Conteo Mundial). The winner of the drawing contest was also named during the festival. They also handed out the exam scores of the participants of the community education program.
The San Pancho Bird Observatory visits classrooms to do bird walks through their program “Get to know the birds in your community”. This program helps bring 10 groups of children in 5 different communities to observe their local birds! The workshops done by the San Pancho Bird Observatory has initiated an amazing cycle art and science to help the community become more excited about the environment of their area, especially of the lives of birds such as Parakeets and Macaws!