Young Family Foundation Grant Helps EcoTravel Provide Binoculars and Field Guides to Students in Cuba
January 11, 2016 — Our most recent EcoTravel trip to Cuba resulted not just in another terrific visit for our travelers but also something for local birders — a rolling suitcase stocked with binoculars and field guides to be used at one of Cuba’s national parks.
Andy Griswold, director of EcoTravel, has been working for some time with the William C. Young Family Foundation on a project to get binoculars in the hands of Cuban students. When Andy led our most recent trip to Cuba, in December, he delivered a kit of birding supplies to the naturalists at Gauanahacabibes National Park on the western most tip of Cuba.
The kit consisted of 10 binoculars, five copies of Aves de Cuba, five copies of Natural Cuba, a copy of Sibley’s Birds of North America and a plastic case for the books, all packed in a rolling suitcase, thanks to a William C. Young Family Foundation grant.
Naturalists at the national park will use the books and binoculars to teach and mentor Cuban students, helping them to find and identify birds in their natural habitat, as well as to understand the importance of conservation so birds and other species continue to thrive in Cuba.
The kit was accepted with great appreciation and ceremony. The binoculars will be well used — the national park not only has students visiting but also hosts an annual bird festival.
Both the Connecticut Audubon Society and the William C. Young Family Foundation are planning to deliver two more of these kits to Cuba in the near future — one in March to a longtime local bird guide and educator in the area of Cayo Coco, part of the northern archipelago east of Havana, and another during a subsequent visit.
It is our hope eventually to link the Cuban students with students here in Connecticut and perhaps arrange a trip for them to meet in person someday.