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Parrot Pilgrims One and All

Updated: Feb 11, 2023


The parrot pilgrimage starts December 2022 (above and below)



In the dim light of winter, and perhaps of this age and my own age, it seems that we have little power or control to effect any lasting change. Even though sometimes I touch on despair about the best future possible for people and parrots, I am also ever more grateful for the power and possibility of life on this planet. I see evidence of beauty and awe-inspiring moments in each person on our conservation teams, in the community members, in our colleagues and partners, in the parrots and wildlife with whom we are blessed to be in solidarity, and those of us at home supporting our teams in the field, especially our donors. We are saving lives and there is hope in all our projects, and a lot of joy as well, despite not knowing the final outcome of our shared work.


Happy from the first day until the last


Such is the case in Nicaragua. In mid-December we partook in a Parrot Pilgrimage, walking around one of the two volcanoes on Ometepe Island, Maderas. We began each morning with reflections, sharings, and questions to ponder for the day. The questions symbolized how we know not the outcome of the day, the walk, our conservation efforts, or of our lives. But we knew that as we begin each day, we walk with beauty before us, behind us, and all around us. To witness this story for others we carried a variety of signs, such as “Freedom is Beautiful” and “Save the parrots.” We marched with children, elders, nationals, and internationals.





As we marched, we saw beautiful birds flying free, chicks in nests, and the people who are working hard to protect them from the intense domestic and international trade in wildlife.



With each step we strove to be the change we wish to see in the world by connecting and opening to the reality of the parrot trade. Our physical movement amongst beauty and tragedy bonded us together and grew our awareness and commitment to the parrots, people, and Earth.




Every one of us, whether present in Nicaragua or reading this blog, is moving with the world. If we can consider our lives as a pilgrimage - which is a journey where we explore and grow our connection to life and earth - we might just see through to the end our determination to save lives, including our own. By sharing the stories of our lives, we witness to and guard life and become a movement - pilgrims in a new land where none are free until all are free.



End of Parrot Pilgrimage December 2022


Join us for this year’s Parrot Pilgrimage, December 2023!




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