“Heroes of el Triunfo” Nature Camps

Héroes del Triunfo
Published: 30 October 2020
Last edited: 14 December 2020
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Mapastepec is a small coastal town located between two Biosphere Reserves of global importance: El Triunfo, the last great remnant of cloud forest in Mexico, and La Encrucijada, a wetland of global importance and a RAMSAR site.

Despite their proximity to the reserves, the population is not familiar with the nature areas that surround them, is unfamiliar with the environmental services that the reserves provide, does not value the biodiversity that exists in their midst, and therefore does not do anything to conserve this diversity.

“Héroes del Triunfo" [Heroes of el Triunfo] is an environmental education group that creates camps where children from the town can get closer to nature, make a connection with it, fall in love with the natural environment and radically change their way of relating to it. For example, replacing the slingshot with a birding guide and sharing what they have learned with their families and friends.


Central America
Scale of implementation
Forest ecosystems
Freshwater ecosystems
Temperate evergreen forest
Wetland (swamp, marsh, peatland)
Access and benefit sharing
Health and human wellbeing
Outreach & communications
Traditional knowledge
Other theme
educación ambiental
Land and Forest degradation
Loss of Biodiversity
Ecosystem loss
Lack of access to long-term funding
Lack of public and decision maker’s awareness
Poor governance and participation
Sustainable development goals
SDG 4 – Quality education
SDG 5 – Gender equality
SDG 11 – Sustainable cities and communities
SDG 15 – Life on land
Aichi targets
Target 1: Awareness of biodiversity increased
Target 2: Biodiversity values integrated
Target 11: Protected and conserved areas
Target 14: Ecosystem services
Target 18: Traditional knowledge
Target 19: Sharing information and knowledge


Mapastepec, Chiapas, México


Lack of knowledge by the population about the natural environment around them.


There is no infrastructure or services to run the camps.


Adequate logistics and leadership to ensure the safety of children at all times.


Funding, bearing in that the children who go to the camps are low-income and their contribution does not cover all the necessary equipment.


More than 100 families: Children, mothers and fathers from the municipality of Mapastepec, who have gone to these camps since 2017. 


Source of employment in the region: People who provide transportation services, boat tours, nature guides.

How do the building blocks interact?

All the building blocks ensure that the camp experience truly brings children closer to nature and makes a life-changing connection for them.


Nobody likes what they don't know, and thanks to these camps, many children in this region can have direct contact with nature, which in this region is very abundant. 


More than 100 children and adults have had the opportunity to spend time in the rivers, wetlands, mangroves and mountains of three biosphere reserves in this region: La Encrucijada, El Triunfo and Tacaná Volcano.


At least 500 families have received support materials, such as environmental comics, bird colouring books and El Triunfo Reserve guides.



Nobody loves what they don’t know, and whoever spends time in nature falls in love with it. Jaquelin Briones is well aware of this. She is a radio commentator, photographer and leader of the Héroes del Triunfo [Triumphal Heroes] project, which seeks to put children on the Chiapas coast in touch with nature in this region. To this end, along with her environmental education group, she is developing camps for children and bringing them close to nature as well as developing educational materials, including a television program. 


Think global, act local. Jaquelin knows this very well, and she realizes that the first people to defend and protect nature should be the people with whom she lives.


Mapastepec, the community in which Jaquelin lives and works is located in a privileged geographical area between two biosphere reserves: El Triunfo and La Encrucijada, which is also a RAMSAR site. That being said, the children of this community are not familiar with these reserves. 


The Héroes del Triunfo and Jaquelin organize many activities to familiarize the children with these two reserves and the environmental services that they give us. These activities are supported by printed materials such as comic books, colouring books with mammals of the Sierra Madre and so on. But the main activity is spending time immersed in nature and in summer and winter camps.


These camps have already become a tradition in Mapastepec and over 100 families wait every year to enrol their children and visit rivers, swamps and forests with them. As they are not easily accessible, the logistics / reconnoitering skills that the Héroes de El Triunfo have learned are required.


Jacquelin is an active member of the CEC of the UICN [IUCN Commission on Education and Communication] and their Héroes del Triunfo group joined the #NatureForAll campaign.

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#NatureForAll IUCN #NatureForAll

Other contributors

Jacqueline Briones
Héroes del Triunfo