A vital aspect of the PIF Awards is making them accessible to nominees across the Western Hemisphere. Once award winners are selected, there is always the challenge of how to get the physical awards to our esteemed colleagues in Latin America or the Caribbean. We’re always looking for couriers who can hand-carry an award to the recipient, either in that awardee’s home country or another country where the recipient may be attending a conference or workshop.
One of those couriers for a 2022 PIF Award was Jesús Franco with the American Bird Conservancy, the Assistant Coordinator for the binational Rio Grande Joint Venture based in McAllen, Texas. Carol Beidleman, Chair of the PIF Awards Committee, had reached out to Humberto Berlanga with CONABIO in México about needing a courier for the 2022 PIF Public Awareness Award for Museo de las Aves de México (MUSAVE) in Saltillo, Coahuila. Humberto recommended Jesús, who has close ties and physical proximity to Saltillo. Jesús had graduated from Antonio Narro Agricultural University in Saltillo before completing his M.S. in Range and Wildlife Management at Texas A&M University. Thus, these were his old stomping grounds. Ever the generous-hearted PIF’er, Jesús jumped at the opportunity to provide this important service to bring the award to Saltillo and help honor his Mexican colleagues.
Jesús communicated his offer to the MUSAVE staff, who then decided it would be a great opportunity to hold an award ceremony at the museum. On June 3, 2023, Jesús Franco presented, on behalf of Partners in Flight, the 2022 Partners in Flight Public Awareness Award to the Museo de las Aves de Mexico in the City of Saltillo.