There is nothing more valuable to a birder visiting from another country than to have a local bird guide who knows the best spots to see birds and can identify all the unfamiliar species for you!  In many Latin American and Caribbean countries, there are efforts to train community members to learn how to identify birds in their area and become an accomplished bird guide.  Through these programs, locals find a way to support their family while increasing their professional skills and becoming part of the solution to protect the habitats their communities and the birds need to survive.  And if you belong to a non-profit organization interested in protecting birds in your country, it will benefit your goals to engage local community members in this effort.  Such programs are dependent on the generosity of donors, in making binoculars/spotting scopes and country-specific or regional bird field guide books available to the trainees.  So, if you are going to Latin America or the Caribbean for birding opportunities, make sure you check on getting a local bird guide…and bring extra field guides and optics with you.



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