Jon L. Dunn and His Love for Cuba

Jon L. Dunn and His Love for Cuba
Fecha de publicación: 
28 April 2024
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A dozen times in Cuba and the possibility of meeting and interacting with inhabitants from almost the entire country - he only has yet to visit the eastern region and the Isle of Youth - allow the American Jon L. Dunn to form a complete opinion about this nation, which recognizes multiple landscape values and the ability of its people to overcome difficulties, without losing the smile or kindness that characterizes them.

He confesses to being in love with the natural wonders of Cuba, a feeling that emerged during his first visit, in 2007, motivated by bird watching, an activity he has carried out since 1962 and which has earned him recognition in the scientific field, where they classify him as an expert with extensive knowledge to identify these animals in their environment and refer to their distribution.

After repeated tours through Cuba, the author of seven editions of the National Geographic Field Guide to Bird Watching, points out that it’s impossible to spot new species; however, he is attracted by the desire to meet his friends and enjoy a well-preserved environment.

He comes, especially, to see Doctor of Science Luis Manuel Díaz Beltrán, herpetologist and curator of the National Museum of Natural History of Cuba, who teaches him about lizards and amphibians, while he transmits his knowledge about birds, and so on. They learn together, he recently told the Cuban News Agency, during the most recent bird watching in Cayo Guillermo, integrated into an extensive itinerary in Jardines del Rey.

In the northern keys of Ciego de Ávila he observed important transformations, particularly in Cayo Paredón Grande, which he visited before the infrastructure for tourist activities was developed.

For Jon it’s important that people know how to appreciate the natural values of spaces like Jardines del Rey and Cubans are very well educated in that regard. However, he insisted on protecting the environment of these islets, as it constitutes an essential motivation for visitors.

The Coco, Guillermo and Paredón Grande keys, he expressed, have many potentials for ecological tourism, therefore it’s necessary to reinforce the work of environmental education and disseminate the knowledge captured in books or other media, so that people increasingly know the wealth of these areas and help in their preservation.

He also added the recommendation to always listen to the criteria and heed the suggestions of specialists in environmental issues.

When travelers return to their countries, they comment on the multiple riches of this archipelago; it is precisely what he does when returning home from Cuba or Thailand, his two favorite places.

In a complex context, due to the restrictions imposed by the United States government to travel to this Island and, close to turning 70, Jon aspires to return at least five more times to enjoy its natural beauties and the friendly treatment of its people.

Translated by Amilkal Labañino / CubaSí Translation Staff

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