Let us take you on a world class birding and archeological adventure in the beautiful state of Chiapas, Mexico. As one of the last wilderness areas of Mexico with unbelievable archeological Maya sites, we will explore the culture of this highly advanced civilization, as well as observe the amazing species of birds residing here.
Our staff, residents of Chiapas and well-versed in travel in their country, can (and will) identify all of the birds we will see on our adventure. Accommodations are nice, clean, and have hot and cold running water with a private bath. We will be with you from the time you land in Villahermosa in Tabasco, until you depart from Tuxtla Gutierrez, the capital of Chiapas.
We believe that smaller groups (8 guests or less) are ideal for absorbing the rich culture of Chiapas, Mexico. We do not treat guests differently because of sex, age, race, color, disability, or national origin.
Chiapas is the southernmost state of Mexico, with the state of Tabasco to its North, the state of Oaxaca to its West, the country of Guatemala to its East, and the Pacific Ocean to its South.
The state covers an area of 28,297 square miles (about the same size as West Virginia), and has about 4.3 million inhabitants. There are roughly 900 species of birds in the United States, 1150 species in Mexico, and 694 species in Chiapas. The state is filled with wildly beautiful landscapes, rich indigenous culture, and impressive Maya archaeological sites.
Besides observing the beautiful birdlife of Chiapas, we strive to continue learning about the ancient Maya civilization, connecting our knowledge of the past with that of present-day society.
Additionally, we train birdwatchers to become professional guides, as well as help them improve their English, ensuring that they can confidently identify species of birds in English.
Birdwatching is a fascinating pastime, but it is an even more captivating occupation. Our goal is to provide financial aid to local populations by exposing the beauty of birds to visitors, while also actively promoting the conservation of Chiapas’ forests through our ecotourism.
Brock Huffman is the owner and founder of Chiapas Birding Adventures, LLC. A semi-retired criminal defense trial attorney from San Antonio, Texas, Brock began visiting Chiapas 10 years ago, to relearn Spanish. He fell in love with Chiapas and Johanna, now his wife, and moved to San Cristóbal de Las Casas in July of 2010. He received his undergraduate degree in Bachelor of Foreign Service from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. and received his law degree from the University of Texas Law School. His interests in Latin America began early on when he served as a student missionary in Cuba in 1957, and Honduras in 1958. Since then he has visited and birded Mexico and all the Central American countries and many of those in South America.
With the help of Sophie Webb, he produced a field guide for the lowlands of Chiapas, “Aves de la Selva Lacandona de Chiapas,” and also produced a field guide for the highlands of San Cristóbal DLC, “Aves del Municipio de San Cristóbal” with the help of the American Birding Association -Birders Exchange Program- and Pronatura Sur. Brock produced 3 courses to train local bird watching guides. The courses began in 2009, in Las Guacamayas Reserve, then in Frontera Corozal, then in Palenque. Of the 15 students, at least 9 are still active in guiding English speaking birdwatchers – they may not speak much English, but they know the English names of the birds (as well as Spanish). He believes that by involving the local inhabitants in “birdwatching”, their interest in admiring the birds and protecting the birds will not only increase the financial benefits for the local guides and their families, as well as the cabañas, restaurants and souvenir providers, but will also serve as an incentive to protect the forests, the very habitat of the birds.
Meet Our Team
A retired criminal defense trial attorney from San Antonio, Texas, with the assistance of the American Birding Association-Birder’s Exchange of the United States, and Pronatura Sur, A.C., in Chiapas, Mexico, has promoted the training of bird guides in Chiapas; specifically the areas of Palenque, Yaxchilán, Bonampak, Las Guacamayas, and San Cristóbal.
José Raúl Vázquez
Studied Biology at the University of Science and Arts of Chiapas and earned his Masters degree in Science at El Colegio de la Frontera Sur
(ECOSUR), Chiapas in 2011. He is fascinated by birds, both terrestrial and aquatical. However he is especially fond of the birds of prey (eagles, falcons, hawks, and owls). Raúl is a very good birder and can identify almost all birds of Chiapas both residents and migratory by sight as well as by their calls and songs. He also knows the Latin names of our birds. Moreover, he teaches residents working as bird monitors in Natural Protected Areas how to identify resident and migratory birds. Raúl is currently living in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas.
Daniel Olivier Soto Sotres
Grew up in Mexico City but moved to San Cristóbal de Las Casas in 2006. He is a graduate of the Intercultural University of Chiapas (UNICH), where he specialized in nature tourism and computer technology. He also teaches Spanish to foreign students. Daniel has become an avid and passionate birdwatcher; he loves nature so he enjoys traveling around Chiapas and knows the state very well. He also was part of the original team teaching bird watching guides in la Selva Lacandona. Recently he designed workshops for tourist guides at the Chiapas coast and participated as an excellent instructor. He believes that sharing knowledge with the local inhabitants could help to conserve birds and protect the environment, and increase economic benefits to their rural areas.
Is an archaeologist with more than 30 years’ experience in Maya studies. He started as an assistant to Merle Greene Robertson recording art at Palenque, and went on to receive his MA at The University of Texas, Austin, in 1998. He has excavated at Copan (Honduras), Caracol (Belize), and most recently was Principal Investigator for the Grupo de las Cruces project at Palenque (Mexico). During the Palenque excavations, the team found spectacular painted stucco and carved stone panels, the Temple XIX Carved Stone Throne, and Temple XX’s Tomb of the Murals.
Alfonso is also a federally licensed expert tour guide, with over 30 years’ experience leading groups to Maya sites as well as on other historical and ecological expeditions in Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras.
Salvador Flores Lastra
Is a certified general guide in English and specialized in the Maya area. His knowledge focuses on architecture, history, painting, astronomy, flora and fauna of the Mayan world in general.
Has collaborated for more than seven years with NGOs and civil associations in Asia, Europe and Latin America on issues of public health, human rights and migration, environmental conservation, sustainable rural development, food sovereignty and fair trade.