The teacher and alumni Mauricio Álvarez died
The Gimnasio Moderno mourns the profound loss of its teacher and 1984 Alumnus, Mauricio Álvarez Rebolledo. In recent years, Mauricio valiantly battled a painful illness that has ultimately separated him from his family and students.
Mauricio will be remembered as our country’s most distinguished ornithologist. His tireless work as a bird researcher led him to create one of the most important banks of bird songs in all of Latin America.
Interview with Professor Mauricio Álvarez by Santiago Espinosa. Click on the photograph to listen to it.
During his time in school, his affectionate nickname among his peers was “The Tourist,” as he always carried a camera hung around his neck, reminiscent of the way tourists used to carry analog cameras. Driven by his unwavering capacity for wonder, Mauricio captured moments and landscapes, immortalizing the beauty of the world that surrounded him.
From a young age, he stood out for his deep sensitivity and love for animals. After graduating from school in 1984, he pursued studies in biology at the University of the Andes and subsequently conducted research at the Laboratory of Ornithology at Cornell University in New York.
For 15 years, Mauricio was part of the environmental exploration and monitoring group, responsible for conducting a comprehensive national biodiversity inventory of our country. As an ornithologist within the group, he dedicated himself to the study of birds in various regions of Colombia, including the Caribbean, the Amazon, the Orinoco, and the Andes.
Mauricio’s legacy is immortalized in the Environmental Sound Bank of the Humboldt Institute, an institution with which he was affiliated for several years. Throughout his career, he managed to record more than 23,000 songs of different Colombian bird species, establishing himself as one of the pioneers in ornithological bioacoustics in our country.
In 2020, when the discovery of the bird species known as Chamí Antpitta was documented, which resides in the western mountain range extending between Cauca and Antioquia, Mauricio’s colleagues decided to honor his legacy as an ornithologist by bestowing the bird with the scientific name Grallaria alvarezi.
See the full note published by El Espectador.
Professor Álvarez always aimed to convey to his students that the wonders of the natural world far surpass any experiences in video games. However, to discover them, it is necessary to nurture perseverance, dedication, and patience.
In this video, Mauricio Álvarez answers the question: Why educate?, within the framework of the institutional research Flight to the Bicentennial carried out in 2013.
In these moments of sadness, the entire community of the school comes together in solidarity to support Mauricio’s family. May he rest in peace.
This is the biography that his classmates wrote for him for the November 1984 edition of El Aguilucho.