Through shared learning experiences, participating students form friendships across the border, understand how they can contribute to the protection of birds on both their nesting and wintering sites, and share their new knowledge in their communities. Students become advocates for birds and their conservation. Alison Quoyeser is the director, projector coordinator, and educator for the program in the United States, while Fabiola Favela serves those roles in Mexico. Together, they work with 18 schools and hundreds of young participants.
Alison is the Co-Founder (with Martina Gögelmann) and Co-Director of Amigos Alados. She works with students along the Pacific Flyway to raise awareness of birds and their habitats, watershed ecology, and environmental restoration, as well as to instill cultural appreciation of our friends in Mexico who share the same migratory birds. Alison received a B.A. from Smith College, a Master of Architecture from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and an elementary teaching credential from the University of California at Berkeley. After working as an architect for 10 years, she taught second and fourth grade for 28 years, and with her students designed and planted a campus habitat garden to attract birds and beneficial insects. Creating hands-on curriculum, project-based learning opportunities, and musical/theatrical performances to teach about the environment, Alison focused on the rainforest ecosystem as a second grade teacher and then local watershed ecology and ornithology as a fourth grade teacher. Since retirement three years ago, she has worked full-time on the Amigos Alados project. She is also a faculty member of STRAW (Students and Teachers Restoring a Watershed), which is the educational arm of Point Blue Conservation Science.
Fabiola is a graduate of the University of Guadalajara as an Engineer in Natural Resources and Agriculture. She is currently finishing the Masters in Management of Natural Resources in this same department. She has worked mainly in the private sector for organizations such as Foundation of the Coast of Jalisco, Eco-Occidente: Ecological and Environmental Services of the West, and the Nature and Development Society, acquiring experience in the implementation of projects related to the integral management of natural resources and the monitoring of birds in the Sierra de Manantlán Biosphere Reserve and as the Military Macaw (Ara militaris) in the neighboring states of Zacatecas and Aguascalientes. Likewise, she has participated in several projects that seek to implement birdwatching in rural communities as a tool that fosters the care of nature at local and regional levels. One of her most recent achievements has been the publication of a book, “Guide to the Common Birds of the Las Joyas Research Station, Sierra de Manantlán Biosphere Reserve,” during the International Book Fair 2017 headquartered in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico.
Environment for the Americas supports Amigos Alados, along with partners at the University of Guadalajara, Point Blue Conservation Science, and West Marin Environmental Action Committee. You can support our work too through your donation.