“WHY HONDURAS” by Wilmer Fernandez

2017  OCT 3, 7:00 p.m. at

Beth El Synagogue,

5224 W. 26th Street,

St Louis Park, MN  55416

 “WHY HONDURAS” by Wilmer Fernandez

This presentation will highlight the connections between Minnesota and Honduras related to the migratory birds that are common here in our Spring/Summer but spend Winter in the Central/South America region.

It will also showcase various opportunities for birding and adventure travel as well as local conservation efforts to preserve habitats in the country. Honduras offers several habitat types, from rainforest, pine-oak forest, mangrove, sandy beaches to cloud forests. That diversity in ecosystems explains the huge variety of birds, nearly 800 species have been observed in the country.

The purpose of my presentation is getting you excited about birding, conservation and to make you realize the connections between Minnesota and Honduras to the point that you would include Honduras in your list of potential birding destinations.

“Why Honduras” will focus on:

Overview of topographical regions and climate

Birding maps

Minnesota/Honduras Connection – sample migrants

Example of local conservation efforts – PANACAM and Fuente de Vida

Birding tours examples

and How to get to Honduras

BIO:  Wilmer Fernandez is a business analyst in the Project Management department of Rosemount.  He is a birding enthusiast living in the metro area for more than 20 years, but grew up in Honduras, in a banana plantation in the northern coast of Honduras where his dad worked for Chiquita.  He grew up enjoying the outdoors there – mostly hiking in the Sula Valley and the nearby mountains.  Wilmer came to this part of the world to finish his undergraduate in Economics at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, and later a Master’s degree at the University of St Thomas.  In the last four years he has been spending more time outdoors birding, learning more about conservation, bird habitats and logging his observations in eBird.  Wilmer and his wife Shanelle travel to Honduras every year to visit family and friends and to go birding when time allows.  As part of his professional career as a consultant, he has traveled extensively; having visited around 30 countries.  One of his current hobbies is the promotion of birding and specifically birding in Honduras where he has partnered with his friends to bring groups down to see the wonders that Honduras has to offer.  He is more interested in the one-to-one exchange/transfer of ideas and knowledge related to birding and habitat conservation between local communities here in the US and those small communities in Honduras.

When he is not at the office, other hobbies include soccer and volunteering; He is currently a teacher assistant for English as Second Language (ESL) classes with North Metro Adult Basic Education programs.

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