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Chiapas Birding Adventures is launching a brand new 9-day birding and ancient cultures tour of Chiapas, Mexico: the first of its kind to use Chiapanecos as expert bird guides. Travelers will stay in cabins, partake of the rich and varied cuisine-a marriage between the pre-Hispanic ingredients and those brought by the Spaniards, visit the archeological sites of Palenque, Yaxchilán, and Bonampak, and engage with the local culture in a trip that genuinely contributes to local communities and draws on local expertise.
The new trip is also a unique opportunity for birding enthusiasts to see the Scarlet Macaws, the Chiapas countryside being the only remaining area in Mexico where these brightly colored birds can be seen in the wild. The Scarlet Macaw in Mexico has been officially classified as “in danger of extinction.” Observers can also see Ornate Hawk-eagles, Great Curassows, puffbirds, toucans, antbirds, manakins, woodcreepers, jacamars, White Hawks, King Vultures, tanagers, and many other dwellers of the Lacandon rainforests. In the highlands around San Cristóbal, one can see the endemic Red-faced and Pink-headed Warblers, the Blue-throated Motmot, and visit the surrounding ethnic villages where the inhabitants have preserved their ancient culture.
Brock Huffman, a retired criminal defense trial attorney from San Antonio, Texas, with the assistance of the American Birding Association-Birder’s Exchange of the United States, and Pronatura Sur, A.C., in Chiapas, Mexico, has promoted the training of bird guides in Chiapas; specifically the areas of Palenque, Yaxchilán, Bonampak, Las Guacamayas, and San Cristóbal
These local guides know and love the birds because they live with them, but now for the first time they have learned the English names of the birds. Most of these people have been nature or archeological guides, so guiding is not a new experience for them. They do know where the fruiting trees are located, what unusual birds have been sighted recently, where the good trails are located, and what birds are on our checklists.