Birdwatching Workshop Developed to Strengthen Tourism Services in San Marcos

It occurred at the Refugio del Quetzal in San Rafael Pie de la Cuesta.

by Pamela Contreras

San Marcos, by AGN.- The Guatemalan Institute of Tourism -Inguat- trained the tourism sector to improve birdwatching in San Marcos. The workshop was held at the Refugio del Quetzal in San Rafael Pie de la Cuesta to provide practical and theoretical information about birdwatching in the territory.

The institute reported continuing to train the tourism sector to diversify the tourism offer and improve services in the department.


The training benefited 20 people from the Highlands Coast and Bocacosta. Participants learned more about how to identify birds, the correct use of equipment, birdwatching tips, and how to handle groups of tourists during a tour, among other details.

Refugio del Quetzal

It is a protected area in San Marcos, with a surface area of 43.50 hectares, registered in the Guatemalan System of Protected Areas since 2015. It has a cloud forest representative of the region; it has flora with at least 72 shrub and tree species identified.

The area also has 14 water sources, two of which supply nearby communities, where at least 3,000 families benefit from medicinal plants from this important protected area.

Bird species

There are 12 bird species registered in A1 categories, globally threatened species according to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, such as Penelopina nigra, commonly known as the black chacha.

There are also species in category A3 (species restricted to a biome). There are 160 species of resident and migratory birds. However, the quetzal stands out among all the birds registered in the protected area because of its beauty and cultural importance.

Other conservation elements protected in this forest include species of bats, fruit bats, short-tailed bats, and long-tongued bats. Also, species such as the micoleón, cacomiztle, wild cat, pizote, armadillo, yaguarundi, tacuazín and several species of amphibians.

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