Celeste and Zöövenirs-Perú

This is my friend Celeste Cóndor, yes, like the mighty bird. She is a Biologist and passionate for Environmental Education.

I met her last year, when I was applying to be a part of the Brigada de Fauna Silvestre (Wildlife Brigade) of INRENA, which is a volunteer program to learn and pass on the knowledge of conservation and respect for local wildlife, mostly to kids.

I was able to participate with them in a few events before I started this full time job and had to stop attending the meetings. There was a great one where I had the chance to see Celeste interact with kids and their parents and it was then when I decided I wanted to have her enthusiasm and be 'contagious' like her. If you want to see what we did that day, click here.

A few weeks ago I ran into Celeste and found out she was just beginning a small business. Her project is called Zöövenirs-Perú.

She sells articles that are ready to use and are somehow related to fauna. She handwrites every little information card with details of a particular species.

I got a few, my cell phone now has a hummingbird hanging from it and it looks quite cool!

Anyway, I gave one of these to Diego (7 years old). He's the son of a friend from the office. He asked his mom to thank me and said he really liked reading about the crocodile I sent.

A few days later he came to the office to pick up his mom but I had already left. The next morning I found a surprise on my desk. Yes, I confess, almost made me cry...

He asked his mom for materials to make this, inspired on Celeste's work!! He wouldn't tell his mother what he was doing, he kept saying it was for 'aunt Melissa'...
I sent these pictures to Celeste and she felt just like me! So excited!! This child got her message and reacted in a positive way!
Diego asked me if I had books or information on other animals. Do I??? ;)

GREAT!! He's the example of what we started dreaming of when we met (Celeste and Mel) at the Brigade over a year ago. It CAN happen!! We CAN make a change!! We CAN learn and teach, and help the planet and all its inhabitants in the process.
I am happy. ¡¡GRACIAS DIEGO!!


dAwN said...

Oh what a wonderful story...

Mel said...

Hola Dawn,
It is!! I'm so happy!!

Sekhar said...

Thanks Mel for introducing Celeste.
By the way you people are doing some really good work for bringing a change. And thank God the children are responding.
The cards are really cute and beautiful :)
I always wanted to send hand-made cards to convey my gratitude to others. But that never really happened :( These cards carry a very personal feeling to the receiver rather than those ready made glittering cards in the shops.
Keep on the good work and Cheers.

Kolibri Expeditions said...

That is so cute! Kids are great. Now I got tears in my eyes. (Yes, I am a softy, I admit).
Great work of Celeste. Very inspiring.

Kolibri Expeditions

Mel said...

Hola Sekhar,
We try to do as much as possible. It doesn't always work out the way we wish it did, but we keep on trying.
I like handmade cards too, I usually make some stuff myself (too bad that I have less time now!)

Mel said...

Aaaawww Gunnar!!
Yes, Celeste does a great work. I think she'll create more cool ways to share her knowledge and get more people interested in our beautiful fauna!

Anonymous said...

Dear Mel your blog warms up my day and I would like to give you my 1st award! It awaits for you in my latest post!

Robin Easton said...

This is a wonderful and inspiring story. And the cards are beautiful. Such a great idea. I can see why you and Celeste would be friends. You both have a deep appreciation and love of all things wild. If I lived near you I would join in your friendship and love of the wild. Even though I am far away, I still join in your love of Nature....always.

Your photos here are lovely too. So well laid out. I think I would love making something like this. We have a great store here that sells all kinds of little animal beads that would be useful for a project like this. In fact it sells the EXACT butterflies used on this project. Very cool!!!

Hugs and Besos,

Mel said...

Hola Aluajala,

Querida Robin,
Thank you for you always kind words. They mean a lot! It didn't happen with birder blog friends, but most people around me (office, school friends, even some family) just won't share that, and even think I'm a lunatic... I rather be crazy for nature than for money!

RuthieJ said...

Hey Mel, what a great story! I love that you and Celeste can share your appreciation of nature with everyone, but most importantly the kids who will carry the love of nature throughout their entire life.
I love Diego's little drawing of the bunny--it reminds me of the note my nephew sent me last year with a bird on it too. Aren't those kids just great?
Love from one nature lunatic to another ;-)

Mel said...

Hola Ruthie,
It was great to meet Celeste again after so long, and to be able to help her out with a bit of her cool projects!!
Diego is just too cute! I gave him a book last week (about corn, as he was asking about it) and he came back to my desk at the office a few minutes later with a pen asking me to dedicate it to him!! My boss was laughing out loud and Diego gave him a killer look that made him shut up, lol
Diego is serious about learning!! And he's 7 years old, we have hope!!