JANUARY 11 GENERAL MEETING PROGRAM: THE LAND OF THE MAYA- BIRDS, ARCHAEOLOGY, AND CULTURE

Join Fort Worth Audubon on Thursday evening, January 11th at 7:30pm for a presentation of the abundant birdlife, archaeological sites, and the distinct culture in Chiapas, Mexico, with goals to preserve the forests for our migrating birdlife as well as to contribute to an improved quality of life and social equality in Mexico. We will have birding ID class beforehand at about 6:50pm along with social/snack time.

ROCK HUFFMAN is the owner and founder of Chiapas Birding Adventures, LLC. A semi-retired criminal defense trial attorney from San Antonio, Texas, Brock began visiting Chiapas 6 years ago, to relearn Spanish. He fell in love with Chiapas and Johanna, now his wife, and moved to San Cristóbal de las Casas in July of 2010. He received his undergraduate degree in Bachelor of Foreign Service from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. and received his law degree from the University of Texas Law School. His interests in Latin America began early on when he served as a student missionary in Cuba in 1957 and Honduras in 1958. Since then he has visited and birded Mexico and all the Central American countries and many of those in South America. With the help of Sophie Webb, he produced a field guide for the lowlands of Chiapas, “ Aves de la Selva Lacandona de Chiapas,” and also produced a field guide for the highlands of San Cristóbal DLC,”Aves del Municipio de San Cristóbal” With the help of the American Birding Association -Birders Exchange Program- and Pronatura Sur. Brock produced 3 courses to train local birdwatching guides. The courses began in 2009, in the Las Guacamayas Reserve, then in Frontera Corozal, then in Palenque. Of the 15, at least 9 are still active in guiding English speaking birdwatchers –they may not speak much English, but they know the English names of the birds (as well as Spanish). He believes that by involving the local inhabitants in “birdwatching”, their interest in admiring the birds and protecting the birds will not only increase the financial benefits for the local guides and their families, as well as the cabañas, restaurants and souvenir providers, but will also serve as an incentive to protect the forests, the very habitat of the birds.