Nearly two years ago, I posted a blog with the title: “Question: ‘Is Finca Cántaros Environmental Association (FCEA) focused on birds?’ Answer: ‘Yes AND no! No AND yes!’”
At the time, I was resistant to embracing birds as an official focus of FCEA, despite the many bird-focused activities we have been running since day one of this “start up” adventure.
Why would I be resistant when I have invested countless hours of both my personal and professional life into enjoying birds and pursuing bird-focused environmental education work?
It’s not because once upon a time I overhead someone say about me: “She likes birds? That’s soooo creepy!”
In 2020, as I transitioned from my role with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to founding and directing FCEA, I wanted to establish my own organization’s identity as being separate from birds. And as an environmental educator, I did not want to be “pigeonholed” into one area.
But as we head into 2023, I’m changing my tune. I’m leaning in. I’m embracing birds as part of me, and as part of FCEA’s identity.
Even if some people think it’s creepy.
Let me be clear that one thing won’t change: environmental education is at the core of everything we do. (Always has been. Always will be.) Our target audiences, including women, as well as youth and their families, won’t change either.
But our two pillars—our two main vehicles for conducting environmental education—will now be birds, along with forest restoration.
Going forward, we will strive to engage the community in ongoing environmental education activities focused around birds and trees, trees and birds, birds and trees, trees and… you get it. We will also continue to build out our research projects in these two areas.
Going forward, if someone asks me or you, your friend, family member, or dog, “Is FCEA focused on birds?” the answer can be:
“Yes AND yes!”
We invite you to stay tuned, and since it’s Giving Tuesday, to support us going into 2023.
Photo of local youth birding at Finca Cántaros by taken by Randall Jiménez