Monday 28 November 2011.
The Ecoguide course was conducted in order to train our forest guardians along with people of influence from the communities invloved in the YARÉ II Project (San Vicente de Chucuri and Zapatoca, Santander). The course stressed ecological stewardship with an emphasis on bird watching and knowledge and tools for how communities in this area could benefit from ecotourism in the region and especially the up and coming EcoRoute the “Lengerke Road”. The course trained a total of 23 people belonging to different organizations in the area.
The course also covered topics such as: the importance of birds, identification of different families and species of birds in the field, skills and abilities of a guide, group management, use and maintenance of observation equipment, basic knowledge of English and first aid.
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The event began with a meeting attended by representatives from 11 institutions and organizations of San Vincente de Chucurí such as: the City Hall, Parques Nacionales, Corporación Autónoma de Santander, Comité de Cacaoteros y Cafeteros, Educational Institutions and tourism, and the Servicio Nacional de Aprendizaje SENA – Bucaramanga branch. Similarly, there was a presentation from Fundación ProAves, EcoTurs and results and successes obtained during the YARÉ II Project. A socialization of the EcoRoute”Lengerke Road” and the mini guide of the Serranía de los Yariguíes was also conducted to enhance ecotourism strategies for the region.
One of the themes of the course consisted in implementing theoretical basis for guiding tourists, focused specifically on ecotourism and birding, conservation, management of field teams, use of field guides and field practices in birding and group management for local guides. A strategy a forest guardian was allocated to each local guide so that their previous experience would support them for better learning.
In addition, each organization was given the Guide to the Birds of Colombia in Spanish and each individual recieved a course manual, as part of the important material for the development of the training and learning of the participants.
At the end of the environmental guidance course, our forest guardians and the local communities were very satisfied with what they learned, and they expressed interest in participating in more training by ProAves in the future. Also through the results of the YARÉ II Project and the Lengerke Road Recovery they were encouraged to create actions for the conservation and maintenance of the this tourist attracion for the long term, as a product that will be important for ecotourism in the coming years.
The YARÉ II Project “Evaluation and Research of Endangered Species in the Serranía de los Yariguíes” by Fundación ProAves, won the Follow-Up Awards 2010 prize by the Conservation Leadership Programme.
With the support of: