Friday, February 10, 2017

Sharing our Discover Birds Activity Books with Cuba

Discover Birds activity books are now in the hands of many of our new Cuban friends and teachers to help children learn about birds.  On a recent trip to Cuba, I along with my Naturalist Journeys traveling companions enjoyed the honor of gifting Discover Birds Activity books to the people who welcomed us into Cuban life and culture.
Coffee grower, Omar Ramirez and Vickie Henderson        Photo by Billie Cantwell

We took both Spanish and English translations of the activity books to share in Cuba.  The printing of the Spanish translation was made possible through a generous donation from Naturalist Journeys. Naturalist Journeys will be taking the books to Cuba and other Spanish speaking countries as they continue to travel throughout 2017.

The printed English books were funded with matching donations from the Tennessee Ornithological Society and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency

Our tour of Cuba traveled from Santa Clara to Cayo Coco, to Topes de Collantes and Trinidad, to the Zapata Peninsula and west to Vinales, Soroa, Las Terrazas and Havana. We covered a lot of territory in nine days and had the opportunity to learn about many aspects of Cuban life.  Among my fifteen Naturalist Journeys touring companions were Billie Cantwell and Colin Leonard, also from Knoxville, and fellow members of the Knoxville Chapter of the Tennessee Ornithological Society.

One of our reasons for traveling to Cuba was to see Cuba's beautiful birds, of course! Among many bird species we met the smallest hummingbird in the world, the 2 inch Bee Hummingbird, a bird endemic to Cuba.
We also enjoyed seeing Cuba's national bird, the Cuban Trogon, along with 17 Cuban endemic species and 17 regional endemics found only in the West Indies.
In Las Terrazas we visited a community and it's school.  School was letting out as we arrived and children were skipping rope and playing games as they also headed toward home.

Las Terrazas' school master with Vickie Henderson.      Photo by Billie Cantwell

Otis Campa was our guide for our visit and walking tour of the Las Terrazas community and its school.  He teaches children about birds and conservation and about the value of keeping birds in the wild and out of cages.  We were delighted to present him with activity books both in Spanish and English to use with his students. In the photo, below, we are standing in the area where we also saw an endemic Cuban Kite.
Billie Cantwell, Vickie Henderson, Otis Campa and Otis' son, in Las Terrazas, Cuba.  Photo by Colin Leonard.
On our last day in Havana, we presented books to our Cuban guide, Liudmys Ramirez, and bus driver, Alexis Alfonso, pictured here with Vickie Henderson.  Both Lu and Alexis were with us for the nine days of our tour and made our journey unforgettable.   Photo by Billie Cantwell.

A big thank you to Naturalist Journeys for making the printing of the Spanish books possible!

New Spanish translation
Naturalists Journeys
Discover Birds Activity Book
Discover Birds Curriculum Guide
Discover Birds Program
Visit to Cuba in 2014
Tennessee Ornithological Society
Tennessee Watchable Wildlife sponsored by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency

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