New Podcast: Birds, Beers and Life in Lockdown, with Robin Smith

In May 2020 Naturetrek’s general manager, Andy Tucker, interviewed Rob Smith – an ex-Naturetrek member of staff who previously set up our thriving Tailormade division and has since moved to Colombia to start a birding and wildlife operation there. During the interview, Rob chats about several Naturetrek Colombia tours that he leads, and we hear about the country’s exciting wildlife and about Colombian life in general – a country that has changed dramatically for the better in recent years. However, since making this podcast it has become clear that many members of the bird watching community in Colombia (local guides living and working in remote regions, as well as small privately-owned reserves that protect vitally important habitat) have hit upon extremely hard times, having seen their incomes collapse due to the COVID-19 crisis and the subsequent and abrupt halt of international tourism. 

Consequently, Rob and his Colombian partner, Claudia Diaz, have been instrumental in organising a campaign (involving other local operators) to raise funds in order to assist 150 of the most vulnerable members of the birding community and their families, to make sure they get through this extremely challenging period. Although some regional lockdowns remain, the signs are positive as the country slowly opens up to domestic travel, and we're hopeful that international travel will again bring income back to these remote locations in the near future. However, in the meantime, this important campaign, which aims to raise US$ 75,000, will make sure these vital members of the birding community can continue their important roles as local conservationists and guides when tourism resumes. We hope you might consider supporting it with a donation (no amount is too small!), which will be gratefully received and will help struggling birders and naturalists in one of the world’s most biodiverse countries.

Click here to donate.

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