Meeting the Cahills: Part 2

By: Jean Warneke

Now, let me tell you about the campus at Community Cloud Forest Conservation. At our first meeting, Rob showed me some pictures of the buildings but until seen in person, it’s hard to imagine. Two large, undulating buildings have dorm rooms, large kitchens, and classrooms. The center is 100% off the grid, but no comfort is lacking. They have both solar and hydro power, grow much of their own food, use composting toilets, clean their wastewater through leaching fields, and much more. Just inside the front door you will see what appears to be a recumbent bicycle, but they use the contraption to grind freshly roasted coffee beans or wheat (or some non-gluten alternative) for breads.

Then there’s “Guatemala’s best birder.” John Cahill is now 23 years old and has birding and guide skills well beyond his years. John has done a few Big Years in Guatemala, each one bigger than the last. You can read about his big year here.  He has helped train a number of guides in the country, and he continues to add to Guatemala’s list of birds.

John attended university in Colombia for a couple of years and JB Journeys is planning a birding tour with him in Western Colombia for August 2021 (let me know if interested.) He is now studying in Cobán and helping with the running of CCFC.

In January of this year, JB Journeys ran two successful birding tours in Guatemala led by the super team of John and Rob Cahill. As a result of these two tours, one acre of land was put into reforestation and will be maintained for six years, effectively offsetting the carbon footprint of the tour. Another departure scheduled for January 2020 is already full, but we’d like to offer this tour each year in conjunction with Travis Audubon. It is my hope that Travis Audubon will partner with CCFC to support their efforts to educate and reforest the area where some of our own Golden-cheeked Warblers spend the winter.

The Travis Audubon meeting is on Thursday, September 19. Doors open at 6:30 and the meeting starts at 7 pm. Meeting location is the First Unitarian Universalist Church at 4700 Grover Avenue, 78756. The meeting is open to the public.

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