PEN Hosts Colombia Training Workshop in Primate Education

Primate Education Network (PEN) led a two-day training workshop entitled "Promoting Primate Conservation in Colombia Through Training and Collaboration in Education" on April 12th and 13th.  This training workshop was held at the Botanical Garden in Bogota, Colombia and supported by the World Wildlife Fund and Zoo Miami's Zoological Society of Florida.

PEN's workshop was conducted in collaboration with our Colombian partners, Asociación Primatologica Colombiana (APC) and Fundación Proyecto Titi.  Participants traveled from the Caribbean, Andes, Amazon, and Orinoquia regions to take part.  They represented various organizations and institutions, including the Fundación Maikuchiga, Fundación Entropika, Fundación Proyecto Primates, Fundación Herencia Natural, Fundación Primates Colombia, Spider Monkey Conservation Project, Unidad de Parques Nacionales, Universidad de los Andes, Universidad de la Amazonia, and the Universidad Distrital F.J.C.

This workshop was an exciting opportunity for primatologists to build relationships, gain hands-on training from experts in primate education, share stories and lessons learned, and plan for future collaborative opportunities.  APC's President Diana Carolina Guzmán Caro said, "Working collaboratively will help us achieve our goals faster and more effectively, and I’m really happy that we have PEN to support and work with us in the process."

Our workshop filled a critical gap in building the capacity of primatologists in Colombia.  The participants learned about how to design and evaluate a primate conservation education program and solved case study challenges.  They also identified their challenges and needs and worked collaboratively on designing a national plan of action for their region.

Fundación Proyecto Tití's participation was extremely beneficial for the participants to understand how primate education works in Colombia.  Johanna Vega, Proyecto Tití's Head of Education, shared her in-country experience and expertise in primate education.

PEN distributed customized Educator Toolkits with templates and a CD with Neotropical primate education materials from our Resource Library.  Proyecto Tití donated cotton-top tamarin educational workbooks, pins, bracelets, and bookmarks (with conservation messaging). Conservation International donated Marmoset and Tamarin Pocket Identification Guides.  Other in-kind support for our kits were provided by the Asociación Primatologica Colombiana, Spider Monkey Conservation Project, Associação Mico-Leão-Dourado, and PEN's Regional Coordinators for Mexico!

Post-workshop, PEN Executive Director Amy Clanin, PEN Regional Coordinator for Colombia and Venezuela Xyomara Carretero-Pinzón, and PEN Regional Coordinator for Brazil Patricia Mie Matsuo visited the field site in San Martín where Xyomara conducted her master's research to reflect on our training workshop, observe four different species of monkeys, and exchange regional experiences.  During our visit, Xyomara said, "Exchanging experiences is very important for us as Regional Coordinators because it helps us to build relationships and work together better."

In collaboration with our partners, we look forward to building on our work in Colombia and Venezuela through facilitating the action planning and delivering more training workshops in the region.  PEN will apply our lessons learned to improve the model and adapt for regional differences at future training workshops in other parts of the world in Latin America, Africa, and Asia.  The results of our Colombia training workshop will be presented by Amy and Xyomara and at the International Primatological Society Congress in Hanoi, Vietnam in August 2014.  We hope to see you there!

View photos from our training workshop...

Special thanks to the World Wildlife Fund and the Zoological Society of Florida's support of this important training workshop.

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