Quite often people ask if they can come with me on my parrot conservation trips. Questioners include veterinary and biology students from all over the world, parrot conservationists and enthusiasts, and those seeking a meaningful or spiritual experience. I long to share this world of beauty and wonder with others, but it is rare that anyone journeys with me because most of the places are difficult and uncomfortable, and the schedules are nearly always tentative and last minute. Such is the way of conservation in Latin America, especially Central America. It is all at once awesome, boring, life changing, and challenging, rocking one’s core with the intimate reality of the lives of parrots and people in these lands.
Does this sound alluring to you? If so, then consider joining me on a conservation trip to Nicaragua in early April 2015 (dates will be fixed shortly.) Thanks to the hosts, Fundación de Rio in Nicaragua, I finally have a chance to have others journey with me. Together we will visit their macaw conservation communities, observe wild macaw nests, conduct yellow-naped amazon parrot counts, learn about the local culture and history, and reflect daily upon what we have experienced and learned. Every day not only will we learn about and contribute to conservation; we will delve into the human dimensions of conservation. We will emphasize how conservationists understand human nature so that they and others can nourish themselves, in order that that they can nurture nature around them. Though we are highlighting avian conservation, the principles and experiences we will share have merit for activists from many disciplines.
A recent article in the New York Times, The New Allure of Sacred Pilgrimages, reported:
At its core, (a pilgrimage is) a gesture of action. In a world in which more and more things are artificial and ephemeral, a sacred journey gives the pilgrim the chance to experience something both physical and real. And it provides seekers with an opportunity they may never have had: to confront their doubts and decide for themselves what they really believe, (and who they are and what meaning life has for them). As appealing as that destination may be, there’s only one way to achieve it. Get up off your sofa and go.
If you would like more information, or are interested in attending, contact me soon so that we a can see if this trip is a good fit for you, and so that arrangements can be made. A brochure here describes the journey in more detail, and you can also visit the website of One Earth Conservation and Ministry. You can contact me here.
If you physically cannot attend this trip, or any other trip, but would like to go on a “virtual” journey using webinar and video technology, let me know so that I can let you know when these opportunities arise.
Whatever you decide, by participating you support the people and the parrots directly by witnessing, standing in solidarity, sharing their stories, and offering your financial resources as you participate in avitourism.
It’s a great thing to do!
Shall we make a go of it by going together?