“Heroes of el Triunfo” Nature Camps

Full Solution
Campamento 1
Héroes del Triunfo

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.

Last update: 14 Dec 2020
Challenges addressed
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

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.

Scale of implementation
Temperate evergreen forest
Wetland (swamp, marsh, peatland)
Access and benefit sharing
Health and human wellbeing
Traditional knowledge
Outreach & communications
educación ambiental
Mapastepec, Chiapas, México
Central America
Summary of the process

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

Building Blocks

Jaqui's leadership is crucial to motivating children and parents to go to these camps. 

Enabling factors

1. Good relationship with institutions working in the natural protected areas. Some of them provide training on environmental issues so that the information provided in the camps is accurate. 

2. Jaqui is a person who inspires trust, and that trust is key to carrying out her work.

Lesson learned

Good relations with local governments are crucial to obtaining support and permits to visit these natural areas, as these governments manage these areas.


In order to manage the camps, the Heroes of El Triunfo must receive ongoing training, both on pedagogical and technical issues.

Enabling factors

Jaqui is a skilled communicator and radio broadcaster, so she has many skills that she shares with her team.


Partnerships with training organizations.

Lesson learned

Evaluations should be requested after each camp to identify areas for improvement.  

Resource management

Although each child pays a fee to attend the camp, this fee is less than the actual cost of the camp, so it is essential to seek additional donations.

Enabling factors

Partnerships with non-profit organizations to provide access to donations.


Lesson learned

It is important to publicize information about how the camps are doing in order to attract donors to provide additional resources. 


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.


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.

Sustainable Development Goals
SDG 4 – Quality education
SDG 5 – Gender equality
SDG 11 – Sustainable cities and communities
SDG 15 – Life on land
Jaqui NatureforAll

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.

Connect with contributors
Other contributors
Jacqueline Briones
Héroes del Triunfo
Ana Mandri