WE HOPE THAT FELIPE WILL CONTINUE TAKING CARE OF THE BIRDS AT THE META
Felipe Quintero was born in Bogotá in 1983. In 2003, he went to live in the Quindío department where he had his first approach to nature and adventure tourism, as he worked as a rafting guide on the Barragán River. Since then, he has always sought to be close to tourism in one way or another.
In 2014, when he came to the Meta Department to work as a rafting guide in the Guejar River Canyon and in the Ariari River, he met Grupo Alba (Alliance of Leaders in Benefit of Water), who shared their concerns about mining activity and its repercussions on the environment. Sympathetic to the cause, Felipe resolved to support it in his own way. With the camera that he used to sell the photos to the tourists he was guiding in the rafting activity, he began to record all the animal species he found and thus generate an inventory of the biodiversity of the territory that the ALBA group could use as an argument for demand the protection of vulnerable areas.
Although these records were never used for their initial purpose, their work was the way for Felipe to discover his passion and talent for birds. Looking for the name of the records he managed, he began to become knowledgeable about species. Thus he met people from all over the country through social networks, who helped him with identification, gave him books and even received binoculars to support his management. Little by little, he positioned himself as the expert of the region.
Felipe Quintero currently finished his guide course with SENA and leads bird-watching projects. He has also contributed several years to the coordination of the Global Big Day in the Department of Meta, which occupies one of the first positions in numbers of records and lists of birds in Colombia.
How has tourism changed your life?
The change that tourism has given me is to be able to do what I like and earn income for doing it. In addition to being able to travel and visit beautiful places, tourism has benefited me financially and has allowed me to acquire knowledge on many topics of my interest. It has given the communities in which I have lived, economic and educational benefits.
Why do you think it is important to preserve the tourism you do?
The importance of conserving this tourist activity is that thanks to it many people benefit, either because they are guides, they offer transportation and food services or because they offer attractive experiences.
Furthermore, tourism is a tool for the conservation of biodiversity. Thanks to tourism in many places, it is possible to conserve ecosystems by allowing communities to obtain economic resources by conserving forests and conserving resources.
How has this situation affected you?
This situation has totally affected me. All the activities that I had scheduled as a guide for Easter were canceled including several bird watching tours scheduled for later dates.
Due to this situation, I have not been able to manufacture the crafts that I do either because it is not easy to get materials and there is no one to buy them.
Because we have the hope of being able to travel to all corners of Colombia again, we want to give hope to Felipe and other warriors like him who every day, despite any circumstances, get up to continue betting on responsible and reconstructive tourism in Colombia. Today Felipe needs our help to keep going. You can help by buying now a half-day guide to see birds in the Department of Meta. When all this happens, we will help you organize your trip. You can redeem it until December 1, 2021. You can also give it away or donate it.