- $26,000 in scholarships over the
past 6 years.
- Scholarship graduates include: 2 University , 1 Teacher's School, 1 Sustainable Agriculture, 4 middle school.
- Currently supporting:
-1 university level student who will graduate in 2013
-3 high school students studying sustainable agriculture,
tourism and education
-2 middle school students
- Established local scholarship advisory board.
- Expanded to serve two remote indigenous communities
in the Rio Platano (Banaka and Las Marias)
- Raised educational expectations in Banaka and Las
Marias among parents and students.
- 2 additional scholars continue progress
towards high school degrees in Trujillo.
- Total number of donors increased
from 12 to 34.
The Río Plátano
Biosphere Reserve is an international Man
and the Biosphere Reserve and World
Heritage Site and one of 35 sites in the world on the
List of World
Heritage in Danger. The 815,000-hectare Reserve is the
largest protected area in Honduras and part of the largest
contiguous rain forest in Central America. Almost nine-tenths
of the Reserve are intact, not yet having experienced the
deforestation, intensive farming, over-exploitation of fish
and wildlife, and human population growth that has damaged
much of the region.
Reserve is inhabited by five peoples: The indigenous Miskito,
Tawahka-Sumu, and Pech peoples, the ethnic Garifuna who settled
the region in 1797, and Ladinos who settled the Reserve during
the past 80 years. These peoples number about 20,000 persons
in the Reserve. Traditionally, they have subsisted by gardening,
hunting, and fishing.
traditional activities in the Reserve have increasingly given
way to a variety of economically transient and destructive
land uses. Timber, agriculture, and cattle operators continue
to deforest the Reserve. Gold miners contaminate the Patuca
and Plátano Rivers. Armed intruders evict traditional
inhabitants and promote environmentally destructive and illegal
acivities. Villagers cut mahogany trees for foreign furniture
makers and work on foreign owned lobster and shrimp boats.
The human toll from these changes has
been tragic. Hundreds of villagers have been killed or paralyzed
in scuba diving accidents while working on the lobster boats.
Traditional social controls have been weakened by alcoholism,
drug abuse, economic disparities, and domestic violence. The
ethnic and indigenous peoples of the Reserve want to maintain
their traditional norms and land uses, but feel powerless
to control these changes and confront the threats to their
livelihoods, culture, and homelands.
We believe that education is a critical
component in an overall strategy to protect these peoples
and the biological diversity of the Río Plátano
Our work is based on the principles
of volunteerism and local involvement. Our organization
is made up entirely of volunteers, most of whom are Río Plátano
residents. This allows us to dedicate nearly 100% of our resources
to project completion.
Also,we are fortunate to benefit from a partnership with
the leading conservation & development organization working
in the Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve.