Paso Pacifico awarded Grant
Congratulations, Paso Pacifico has been awarded a grant of $18,500.00 to fund 6 women into the turtle ranger program.
Founded in 2005, Paso Pacifico’s mission is to restore and protect the endangered dry tropical forests and
coastal ecosystems of Mesoamerica. In working towards their mission, Paso Pacifico empowers local people
to develop more sustainable livelihoods in eco-tourism, fishing, agriculture, and forest management. They
also look to advance women and children as environmental leaders, while developing strong relationships
with private landowners.
In 2008, Paso Pacifico began a community ranger program whose goal was to protect threatened sea turtles.
The rangers work on 3 priority beaches in southwestern Nicaragua. The program has been a success because
the rangers are staffed by local people who over time, have received a wide range of training opportunities.
Despite the success, the ranger program has been primarily staffed by men due to cultural attitudes towards
women working on beaches.
In 2012, Paso Pacifico began involving local women in their sea turtle program by
constructing a sea turtle hatchery at Ostional Beach. Very quickly the value of bringing women into this
program was shown by the hundreds of nest that were able to be protected. Given this opportunity these
women would normally would not have otherwise, each of them gained a great deal of confidence.
Additionally, women have also stepped into the role of educators and now support the junior ranger program,
providing lessons and field trips to over 200 children since program inception.
To measure success, data is collected on the number of protected nests in these areas, examined to see if
rates are going up or down. Similar data is collected on poaching rates. Additionally, feedback is collected on
skills trainings and workshops attended by women to measure their effectiveness.
I am excited to watch this program as it combines my passion to help women and our environment.