So you are a young kid in Mexico. You like birds. You've got some cool birds flying around your house. So you go to your local library to look for a book about the birds in your yard. What do you find? Probably nothing.
On my recent trip to Mexico I was doing some research in the big city library in Villahermosa, the biggest city in Tabasco. I looked on the shelf for bird books. All they had was one book...on penguins! In their reference section there were three old Time Life books on birds, but nothing that would help the aspiring kid birder identify the birds in his neighborhood!
In the smaller city library in Nacajuca, we were looking for Chontal Mayan texts and I thought I'd take a look at the bird section there.
Here's what I found.
Not a single bird book. Hardly any animal books at all, and those old black books in the middle of the section jump straight from amphibians (anfibios) to mammals (mamiferos).
Hard to get excited about birds if you can't even find a book about them. On the other hand, maybe this is a huge opportunity for the American Birding Association's Birders' Exchange Program. Do we need to get a Spanish language bird field guide into every public library in Latin America?
Is that a vision you can get excited about? Future generations of Latin American birders--and the birds they will save--are at stake!
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