P R E S S       R E L E A S E


Belize’s First “Community Bird Guides” recognized

Belize City, Belize, December 7th, 2015 — Belize Audubon Society in Partnership with National Audubon Society and Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), a member of the Inter-American Development Bank group (IDB) recognized forty five (45) community Bird Guides in a ceremony Friday December 4th, 2015 at Monkey Bay Wildlife Sanctuary.

The successful graduates completed a five weeks course entitled “Basic Bird Guide Training” to prepare them for bird guiding as a means of income generation at the local level around three targeted protected areas co-managed by Belize Audubon Society – Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary, Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary and St. Herman’s Blue Hole National Park. The event served as recognition of successfully completing the course and to introduce the graduates to the Bird-Based Tourism market in Belize.

The 10 top performers of the training were recognized at the ceremony and were awarded scholarships to complete the BTB’s National Tour Guide training program. Overall top performer was Jorge Eduardo Ruano. He received a two months bird exposure internship in the USA for his outstanding performance, this is being funded by the National Audubon Society.

The development of the curriculum for the Bird Guide training program was done in collaboration and support with the aim of assisting the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) with their agenda of revising the National Tour Guide Program. The goal is to create a specialization within the tour guide licensing process, to train and build the professional capacity and skills of bird guides in Belize.

This initiative is a component of the regional project “Strengthening Bird-based Tourism as a Conservation and Sustainable Development Tool”, to improve the structure and capacity for bird-based tourism in Belize.

For more information on this initiate please contact Ms. Dominique Lizama or Dareece Chuc—Environmental Education and Communications Director at 223-5004 or by email at education@belizeaudubon.org

~Creating a balance between people and the environment~