The Bridging the Americas Program arrives in Venezuela

September 8, 2021 by Bárbara Santana

In June, the “Birds and Coffee” agroforestry project implemented the Bridging the Americas program in two primary schools in the coffee growing areas of Piedra de Cachimbo and La Florida, in the Venezuelan Coastal Range.

Birds and Coffee (B&C) has as its main objective the conservation of the endemic tropical birds of the northern Andean region that inhabit the Venezuelan Coastal Range and migratory birds from North America that use this biological corridor as a winter refuge.

That is why one of our goals at B&C is to implement the Bridging the Americas educational program in the areas where we work with farming communities to raise awareness among children and teachers about the relevance of good agroforestry practices in bird’s habitat conservation.

Bridging the Americas is a cross-cultural environmental education program, where the objective is to plant the seed of environmental consciousness in the big minds of the little ones, introducing elementary school children to the benefits of conserving forests not only for people but also for birds. This program links elementary schools in the United States with schools in Latin America and the Caribbean through the exchange of materials focused on neotropical migratory birds. The migratory species help highlight the interconnections that exist between the countries of the Americas.

To launch the program we presented ten migratory bird species. The presentation reflected the journey of these birds and the various risks they face in their travel. In addition, the children performed short skits, played educational games, and participated in feather identification, drawings and worksheets to promote learning about resident and migratory birds.

The start of the program was more than special! We made a version adapted to the COVID-19 context and we had wonderful turnout from the entire community to help carry it out. We are very excited to implement this educational program again in 2022 and we hope to be able to include more schools and communities. We are not only conserving  the Red Siskin, but also many other species for a long time to come!