Date: 6/19/20 7:35 am
From: Jim Forrester <jimf...>
Subject: [Tweeters] OT: We need your help / Necesitamos tu ayuda - COLOMBIA
I am forwarding this from my friend Diego in Colombia. Coronavirus is tougher on those with few resources, and this is a good reminder of that. The things he says about the local people in Colombia are no doubt true all over the world, and for those of us who have traveled to these destinations meeting these people has been among the highlights.

From: Diego Calderón COLOMBIA Birding [mailto:<diegocolombiabirding...>]
Sent: Friday, June 19, 2020 7:20 AM
Subject: We need your help / Necesitamos tu ayuda - COLOMBIA


… dear COLOMBIA Birding friends and clients, hope you are all doing well and coping with these strange times we all are living; here all is good fortunately, and I have to say spending the lockdown in the mountains above Medellin is not been so hard really… some green, clean air, veggies garden, and some birding. Birding tours totally stopped and are postponed for next year, but that’s another story, and the main purpose of this email is not me, but our LOCAL Colombian people that most of you have been locally guided by, or have showed you amazing birds at their places and fed you delicious meals:

To make a long story short, basically most of the Colombian birding tour companies have been recently talking and we just joined efforts together to make this campaign to help these local people I mentioned above… as you can imagine, with tourism coming to a halt, all the local people that offers us their services (plenty of local guides and drivers, and all the beautiful places that feed the birds and feed us when we visit!), are having really rally tough times these months with no income coming from bird-related tourism… so basically, more than 20 small to medium size LOCAL Colombian birding tour companies (including us of course!) started this crowdfunding campaign to get money and be able to help these people during hopefully some 5 months… we want to send money to around 150 families that will help them with their daily expenses and will allow them to survive this crisis so those sites, and those local guides, will be still available and alive in business for when the crisis kinda fades and we start to re-gain our normal lives and to visit them again and start to crank up the local economies again.

If you are receiving this email from me, is because quite most likely you have already come with me on tours around Colombia; so, for you to have an idea, we are going for example going to help those brilliant indigenous guides like Miguel in Mitu and Pushaina in Guajira, all those local antpitta whisperers like Lucía, Daniel, and the Río Blanco guys, the local drivers like Toño or Cacique that always brings us up to Santa Marta, and also the excellent local driver/guides like Johan and Giancarlo for example; places where we have enjoyed so much the birds, the food and the warmth of those families like Anchicaya’s Doña Dora, the local places we stop at with flowering plants when going up to Santa Marta to get the endemic hummers, Jardin’s Cock-of-the-rock lek of course, and plenty of other small hummingbird and fruit feeders places all over the country we normally have stop at, are all going to receive help from our campaign.

I know these are crazy times and most of us are dealing with the economical mayhem on our lives and for our own businesses, but even a small contribution you could do will count, no doubt!... we have set up this local crowdfunding at Vaki (https://en.vaki.co/vaki/1591551223119) that is a completely secure website and works as any other crowdfunding you have used before… it’s actually used to collect thousands of dollars for local campaigns in Colombia. It is easy and quick, works both in English and Spanish and you can choose any currency you want to use; no worries, your personal info will be safe there and you could even donate anonymously if you prefer so… if for any reason, you feel like you want to send a good amount for the campaign, but that you would prefer sending a bank transfer, that’s also an option and just let me know so we can coordinate the details.

THANKS a lot indeed if you have read all this stuff all the way here… we need you now!, and I do know you are a soul more than happy to give a hand to our most fragile people at the basis of the birding tourism chain in Colombia. You know several of them, you’ve seen lifers because of them; we’ve been fed together by them, or spent the night at their places when going to look for a rare bird in beautiful rural Colombia… and if you haven’t yet, you will when you come birding with me in the future ;-)

Thanks a million again, keep safe and healthy, and I do hope we can go birding soon to all those dreamt places waiting for us…

hugs!,
Diego.

ps. thanks for sharing this with your birding friends and families, and with the people you think could want to help our campaing

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