By Mirna Borrego and Claudia Guzmán
Photos by Mariana Espinosa, Ana Rosa Azuela and Miguel Mayoral
This article was translated by Antonieta Valenzuela and Amairani Márquez
2018 was a great year for the 4th San Quintín Bay Bird Festival, an all-terrain adventure joined by old and new friends. We think of the festival and we automatically feel adrenaline, excitement and a kind of uncertainty for the next one.
This festival was the result of the exchange of experiences in which we participated throughout the year and that also helped us to enrich our development as persons. It triggered many emotions, a lot of teamwork and above all, a lot of inspiration among the attendees. In addition, the festival attracted travelers who, like us, followed the migratory route of the birds.
The 4th San Quintín Bay Bird Festival offered a new proposal; an invitation to explore the nature reserves protected by Terra Peninsular, to learn about the habitats of birds and to enjoy the amazing landscape. On this festival we wanted to share a memorable community experience, and we hope that on the next edition, the spirit of celebration will last in the same way it concluded.
For many, bird and nature festivals provide a first approach to knowledge, a first contact with conservation work and a space for informal learning. The event was like an invitation to our house, with our family and friends, surrounded by nature, in a space that in our foreign visitors caused, in some level, the disconnection of urban activity, social networks and the disturbance of the city.
We realized that working on following the path of creating emotional, memorable and positive experiences is the course we want for festivals; seeking the balance between science, art and community.
Unlike the previous festivals, the idea of extending it for two more days came about thanks to the exchanges of experiences in which we participated with the support of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC). These events have years of experience and, like us, they have diversified their program of activities with the objective of achieving greater community outreach.
We found inspiration in places as far away from each other like Cordova (Alaska), Point Reyes (San Francisco), Vancouver (Canada), Cozumel (Mexico), and other bird related events where the festival has worked as a platform to talk about issues related to conservation and appreciation of nature by performing interpretive walks, as well as workshops, presentations and lectures.
In addition to the influence of the exchanges of experiences, this festival was developed under the 7 principles of Leave No Trace , which means that it is an event of low environmental impact. During 2018, part of the Terra Peninsular staff was trained in the responsible use of recreational areas, and our responsibility is to promote this knowledge with the community and visitors.
Despite the weather conditions of that day, heavy rain and flooding in some areas of San Quintín, on Thursday, December 6, the festival offered attendees a welcome party, toast and sea gastronomy at the Molino Viejo restaurant to celebrate the beginning of the festival and to kick off the 2nd. Bird Watching Marathon. In addition, we carried out the registration of attendees and we provided information about the program of activities, location map and educational materials. We had a great time and the atmosphere felt like a warm gathering on a boat and we had the opportunity to receive friends from Alaska, Washington, San Diego, Tijuana, Ensenada and La Paz. Of course, we needed the members of the community, but they were busy getting ready for the next day.