We are pleased to announce the upcoming guide training workshop that is being offered in June in Grenada. The five-day training, the Caribbean Birding Trail Guide Training Program: Bird Identification and Environmental Interpretation is the inaugural training of the Caribbean Birding Trail (CBT) guide program, and we are excited for its launch!
The training will be held June 17-21 at the Caribbean House on the campus of St. George’s University. We invite your institution’s participation in the guide-training program, and are accepting applications until June 1. 2013 Application for CBT Guide Training. Upon completion please send application to the attention of Holly Robertson at email@example.com.
The Caribbean Birding Trail (CBT) is a project being implemented by the regional environmental non-profit BirdsCaribbean (formerly the Society for the Conservation and Study of Caribbean Birds (SCSCB)). The mission of the CBT is to create and promote natural and authentic experiences that engage visitors and locals with the unique birds of the Caribbean and connect them to the extraordinary places, diverse cultures and people of each island.
Globally, the tourism market for wildlife watching and wildlife photography is growing, and bird tourism is a significant part of this market. Another growing segment is that of the independent traveler; individuals that prefer to go “off the beaten path” and seek out authentic experiences. The Caribbean Birding Trail seeks to attract these markets to Grenada and the Caribbean as a whole. Integral to this is having well-trained guides on every island that can help connect these travelers (and local residents) with the cultural and natural resources of the island.
The guide training program will cover three major modules:
- All About Birds
– Bird tourism market
– Bird identification
– Bird diversity of Grenada (species, habitat, life cycle needs)
- Environmental Interpretation
– What is interpretation and how does it relate to being a guide
– How to develop and lead an interpretive tour
– Effective storytelling; what and how to share with your group participants
- Caribbean Birding Trail (CBT)
– What is the Caribbean Birding Trail and what can it do for Grenada tourism?
– How does the CBT relate to economic development, bird conservation, and Caribbean heritage?
The training is being facilitated by two trained professionals, Rick Morales and Beny Wilson. Rick became a Certified Interpretive Trainer in 2005 with the National Association for Interpretation to help guides achieve their professional goals and enhance the experience of travelers. In addition, from 1998 to 2010 he worked as a full-time Naturalist and Birdwatching Guide for Ancon Expeditions of Panama, the country’s foremost ecotourism organization. Beny is a fantastic birder and one of the most celebrated birdwatching guides in Panama. He has worked with many top tier tour operators and currently has his own guiding business in Panama. He also volunteers his time with the Panama Audubon Society.
The cost of the workshop is $200 per participant and includes the following:
- Five-day professional training in bird guiding and environmental interpretation, which will include ample time in the field practicing skills.
- Training workbook and materials (e.g., bird identification cards, posters, etc.)
- A pair of 8 x 42 waterproof binoculars
- A field guide to the birds of the West Indies
- Daily lunch and refreshments
Participants will be responsible for daily transport to and from the training facilities on the SGU campus.
Funding support for the training is coming from the Critical Ecosystems Partnership Fund and is being implemented in conjunction with local partners: Grenada Forestry and National Parks Department, Grenada Fund for Conservation, Grenada Dove Conservation Programme and ECO. If the cost of the workshop is prohibitive, please contact us and we can look into options for facilitating your participation.
Please apply as soon as possible to ensure that your organization can partake and be represented in the training. 2013 Application for CBT Guide Training
We look forward to the training and facilitating many more like it throughout the Caribbean!