Sarah Otterstrom and all the people who help out at Paso Pacifico are awesome. I first heard about this organization when I read about an artificial sea turtle egg which they plant in some sea turtle nests. If the eggs in the nest are poached, the fake egg can help in identifying the perpetrator's location. Ms. Otterstrom has sent me personal hand written Thank You notes. I feel that she really cares about what she is doing.
I send the majority of my donation dollars to Paso Pacifico because I know the dedication of this non-profit to their environmental work in Central America. They have an excellent team of committed staff and volunteers. I particularly appreciate their Junior Ranger program. Encouraging the locals to become a vital part of preserving the environment is an important element of their effots. Ginger Woolley
Dear Ginger, Thank you for giving so generously to helping our planet, and for helping us to build a new generation. Your support really means a lot to us. - Paso Pacifico
I have personally directed a 501c3 non-profit foundation for fifteen years. In my role, I know what to expect from a well-run NGO. Paso Pacifico has the elements which inspire me to donate whenever possible. I've met members of its leadership and they've impressed me with their passion, knowledge of what's happening in the field, and their strong work ethics. I receive regular updates of how donations are being used to help move specific projects forward. Most importantly, I can see how Paso Pacifico is developing programs with long-term impact over choosing showy projects which do not provide substantial value. I know the difference.
I've had the great privilege of visiting many Paso Pacifico projects in Nicaragua. I've watched the women's oyster collective sustainably harvesting, visited the sea turtle hatcheries and protected nesting beaches, watched the junior rangers program in action, visited private lands that have been reforested and were now full of howler monkeys and birdlife, participated in a jaguar camera trap survey, and more. These guys are the perfect blend of science based conservation and community involvement. It doesn't really get any better than this. I'm proud to support them, both as a donor and as a conservation photographer.
Thank you Hal, your talents as a photographer and entrepreneur have definitely strengthened our conservation programs. Thank you for your support and collaboration. - Paso Pacifico Team
I am from the United States i have never heard of Paso Pacífico untill I read an article about police arresting someone who had thousands of turtle eggs. They mentioned a organization who put gps trackers on fake eggs and i immediately had to find out what organization it was i contacted the editors and they referred me to Paseo Pacifico i am impressed by what this organization does to catch these illegal trafficers..
I have been involved in a number of conservation organizations over the past 40 years or so, as volunteer, site steward, and board president. Paso Pcifico came to my attention a few years ago, and I have visited one of its research and restoration sites in Nicaragua.
We are learning that environmentalism cannot focus only on wildlife and habitat, and that caring for human communities is a vital part of conservation in most cases. Paso Pacifico blends those concerns very effectively, and I am proud to be helpful to a small degree.
Few nonprofits manage to involve local communities as effectively as Paso Pacifico. I am happy to support them and learn about the valuable work they do in Nicaragua.
I am a retired National Park Service employee. Because I served in the Peace Corps, I speak passable Spanish. When Paso Pacifico hired its first community-based rangers to protect turtle eggs from being poached and sold to restaurants in Managua and Costa Rica, they asked me to help these first rangers understand what rangers did, how they treated other people and what their role was in protecting the environment. PP is the most grass-roots organization with which I have ever worked. They are changing the environmental consciousness of the next generation of Nicaraguans. All the work is done by Nicaraguans in Nicaragua. PP facilitates the financial support. Their Junior Ranger program is outstanding.
Paso Pacifico is one of the most successful and close organizations to the community conservation issue. Its comprehensive methodology has crossed borders and the commitment and conviction of each of its components is the key to the success achieved over more than fifteen years
I learned about Paso Pacifico when I was in grad school through a friend who was working with them. Learning more about them I started to donate as I was impressed with the mission and the approach to conservation work which focuses with how it actually works on the ground with the local communities. I appreciate the updates via the email newsletter on new projects and their work.
We donate to Paso Pacifico because it is a medium-sized organization that keeps its focus on conservation of local plants and animals together with local human communities. We feel that the organization stays mission-driven and that the work is effective.
In 2017, I was able to go to Nicaragua and tour some of the projects that Paso Pacifico was involved in - reforestation and saving sea turtles in that area. Pictures are attached. To this day, it was one of the best days of my life and is unforgettable the beauty of nature and the amazing work that Paso Pacifico is doing. Although my company has not at this point partnered with Paso Pacifico since it has focused on other projects thus far, I have personally donated and kept up with the work that Paso Pacifico does. Proud to be a very small part of this organization.
We became monthly supporters of Paso Pacifico after experiencing their work in Nicaragua on a recent family trip. It was amazing to see how their programs have been developed and embraced by the local community, and especially the youth taking ownership of being stewards for their local environment and natural resources.
I became aware of Paso Pacifico's conservation work in Central America over a decade ago, in part because my research interests in tropical dry forest (TDF) ecology overlapped with their ongoing initiatives. While many nonprofit organizations are organized and working in well-trodden tourist destinations of the region like Costa Rica, Paso Pacifico has chosen to focus the bulk of their conservations efforts in two countries that are sometimes overlooked by the international NGOs: Nicaragua and El Salvador. They've also chosen to focus on the relatively more endangered tropial deciduous forests of the Pacific slope of Central America, rather than lowland tropical rain forests.
I joined the Paso Pacifico board in early 2020 and have been thoroughly impressed by their professionalism, as well as the breadth and depth of their projects. Whether they are working on overall habitat connectivity or on preserving specific endangered species, they always use the best science to guide their objectives. There is a clear focus on bringing local stakeholders together with research scientists on the ground to jointly develop viable conservation plans that also consider rural livelihoods. My overall impression is that Paso Pacifico is a model of how international conservation nonprofits can help to protect and improve the global environmental commons while simultaneously empowering local communities to reinforce and build their own prospects for sustainability (social, economic, environmental).
I have had the privilege of working with Paso Pacifico for over two years as a volunteer and graduate student and can attest to the terrific work of this organization. From their extensive biodiversity conservation and monitoring programs to their work empowering local communities, women, and children, Paso Pacifico has been a leader in integrative, effective, and socially-minded conservation in the region. Beyond Paso Pacifico's conservation work on the ground, the organization has a strong commitment to fostering the next generation of leaders and change makers in conservation through its Junior Rangers program and support of students and young professionals such as myself. I have truly appreciated the opportunity to work with Director Sarah Otterstrom and the rest of the Paso Pacifico team and thank them for their incredible work!
Paso Pacifico does great work and has an ongoing commitment to protecting ecosystems that is admirable and so very needed. Education in this regard is key, and they go to great lengths to train and educate communities, to convey what it means to truly care for and restore our environment. Thank you for the work that you do!
We have a small foundation and have worked with Paso Pacifico since 2012. We chose Paso because of it's Executive Director, Sarah Otterstrom who works tirelessly to promote environmental education to save and strength the dry tropical forests and coastal ecosystems in the countries of Latin America. They are saving turtles, parrots, monkeys in Nicaragua and El Salvador. We worked with Sarah and Lisa, the country director in Nicaragua, on educational and medical programs in the country trying to enhance the educational program by building a library, donating much needed school supplies to the rural schools and purchasing drugs for medical clinics in rural areas. We could not have accomplished this program without Sarah, Lisa and Henningston. We have worked with other non profits but Paso Pacifico has always been our favorite mostly because of the heart and soul of Sarah. She is an amazing woman who has created an outstanding program. Thank you Sarah for all that you do!
Paso Pacifico has worked tirelessly for almost 20 years to promote their mission. The restoration and protection of the endangered dry tropical forest as well as coastal ecosystems of Mesoamerica’s Pacific Slope has been their unwavering commitment. I am proud to have served on Paso Pacifico’s Board and continue to support their vision.
Paso Pacifico is a science-based, hands on conservation organization that straddles two time scales - it invests in long term, sustainable improvement for ecological systems in Central America while doing immediately impactful work every day in collaboration with the communities who reside there. Many nonprofits choose to work in one time scale or the other but Paso Pacifico successfully conducts actions that protect turtles, moneys, birds, and working landscapes while also building a healthy future for these ecosystems and the people who live in them. I am a donor and a volunteer and can’t recommend this organization highly enough.
I first heard of Paso Pacifico and the great work that they do through a friend. Much later I was fortunate enough to be a conservation intern. Paso Pacifico's team is made up of skilled individuals with so much passion, this includes their team in Nicaragua and El Salvador! All of the conservation project that they do are critical and their approach is affective. By working with local landowners and emphasizing education of local communities Paso Pacifico is making lasting change. Some of the projects and successes I found most admirable include their junior ranger program, this program has reached hundreds of children encouraging them to be active participants in conservation efforts. Paso Pacifico has also established a community ranger program, these rangers collect scientific data, protect turtle nesting sites, setting camera traps and so much more!
I discovered Paso Pacifico on State Farm's Neighborhood of Good, and I contacted them and became a Research and Writing Intern. This has been a wonderful experience; as an intern, I have learned much about the various flora and fauna they protect in their biological corridor and throughout Nicaragua and El Salvador. They work hard to educate the public both in Central America and in the U.S., as well as to involve local communities in ecological protection. One example was that they sponsored World Oceans Day Ventura in 2019, bringing out hundreds of people to appreciate the ocean through speeches by activists, music, and an environmentally conscious raffle. Other key projects include protecting yellow-naped Amazon parrots, protecting sea turtles from poaching, and running a junior rangers program in Nicaragua to encourage children to be environmentally-minded.
This non profit did a great job with their Oceans Day event in Ventura. I had a great time with friends and being able to help with such a great cause was so rewarding. I will definitely be attending any events they have in the future.
I originally heard about Paso Pacifico through an article I read about their Investeggator project that they have been working on. This innovative project led me to look up the company, and I became pretty interested in their mission. I donated and then joined their mailing list, and I have been nothing but impressed with what I have seen.
Over the last few months, Paso Pacifico has led multiple projects throughout Mexico and Central America related to habitat and species conservation of important organisms. These projects all not only help solve an important biological problem, but they also all employ local employees native to the regions they work in. This idea of supporting the environment while also supporting the communities around it is one that many nonprofits like to tout, but few actually follow through with. PP actually actively seeks out opportunities to help in this way, and for that I admire them greatly.
I also have gone through their publicly-published tax forms and they really appear to be sustainably funding their projects and not overpaying or dealing out any huge bonuses to the leadership teams in the U.S. This is one of the main things I look for while deciding where to donate my money, as I see integrity in the handling of money as a sign that there will be integrity elsewhere. They also appear to really be using donations to make important strides with their projects, which makes me happy to know my money is being put to good use.
I first heard about Paso Pacifico on PBS and then checked out their website. I was impressed with the conservation projects they have generated, and told my family about their work. This led to my daughter applying for and getting an internship there this summer.
Through her experience I have seen that Paso Pacifico is incredibly innovative, creative, and truly dedicated to connecting local human populations with the conservation of fragile ecosystems. Locally in Ventura, PP initiated the first World Oceans Day Celebration in June bringing awareness and a fun event to their own hometown.
I have worked alongside Paso Pacifico, beginning in 2009 and spanning over the last decade, as a participant, volunteer and supporter of their programs I have been impressed by their mission, dedication and care for both ecosystems and local communities. Their programs have clear and strategic outcomes and also ripple effects that carry over long into the future. I have no doubt the work they do is powerful, sustainable and positive.
I begun volunteering with Paso Pacifico in 2009 when I volunteered as an English Language Instructor, recently I returned to Nicaragua to collaborate in community guide training and conduct research on access to environmental protected areas (2015- current). I have lived in Ostional, where they have a main office, for over 4 months.
I found that Paso Pacifíco is largely perceived as an organization of good repute among locals; throughout my stay, many community members described it as an organization that consistently demonstrates interest in listening to and responding to local needs and ideas. Additionally, to working in biodiversity efforts, Paso Pacífico truly cares for their staff and local affiliates, it supports small-scale humanitarian work providing food, medical supplies and educational resources to local communities. It has also collaborates in providing training in computer use, English language education and small-scale entrepreneurial capacity building. Nicaragua is one of the most impoverished nations in the worlds- so the impact of going the extra mile by caring for people, as well as a environmental mission, is tremendous.
Having conducted over 20 interviews with locals affiliated directly and indirectly with Paso Pacifico I know the work they do it making a tremendous difference in raising conscientiousness around environmental issues, developing capacity and skills among the communities, and protecting wildlife. Being affiliated with an organization of such repute leads to sustainable environmental projects, the change is already happening.
Paso Pacífico is an amazing organization. I have been a donor, an employee and am now on the Board, and I am proud of the work we have accomplished. It has been incredible watching the organization grow.
Paso Pacífico is a small nonprofit, but with incredible reach within the areas of Nicaragua they work, as well as well respected in the local communities, national level and international. I first learned of the organization through their work on a groundbreaking reforestation and carbon offset project registered through CCBA and Carbonfund.org. The sea turtle conservation program is an incredibly innovative multi-tiered approach with payments for conservation, job creation, wildlife ranger training and ecotourism training. We create jobs in small communities, while teaching about and promoting conservation for a variety of charismatic species
My family has been working with Paso Pacifico for several years. I have had the pleasure of seeing first hand the positive impact the organization makes for both the environment and the wonderful people of Nicaragua.
I have been honered to work multiple times with Paso Pacifico in Nicaragua. They have been a great partner in helping us reach out to rural schools along the Pacific Coast. The organizations contacts with schools and communities have allowed us to help thousands of children and their families. Their help has been invaluable to getting aid to these areas.
Paso Pacifico does amazing work to help wildlife and local communities in Nicaragua. I had the opportunity to visit and see first hand some of the animals that are being helped and the wonderful people of the communities who work to make it possible. We met Junior Rangers, Turtle Rangers, Women Oyster Farmers, people who work w/ Monkeys and Parrots and Landowners, all of whom were so proud to show us what they do to help the environment. Founder and Executive Director, Sarah Otterstrom and her team are the best...Conservationists who work tirelessly and care so deeply for this important mission in this critical area of need, bringing such pride to the people who live here.
I worked directly with Paso Pacifico to support their female-ran collective aquaculture development project in southwest Nicaragua. I travelled to remote locations to consult Paso Pacifico in development of rock oyster growing operations. This NP has a clear goal to provide sustainable seafood options for rural communities, while promoting cultural development and opportunities for women. What a fantastic combination! The team at Paso Pacifico are among the most motivated and hard working people I know, and I look forward to any opportunity to collaborate with them again. Cheers : )
Paso Pacifico is a small nonprofit that has accomplished major conservation goals in Nicaragua, empowering locals to care for their environment through tree planting, wildlife monitoring, entrepreneurship, and many other avenues. Their education programs have reached hundreds of children, encouraging them to become stewards for the environment by picking up trash, exchanging slingshots for birding binoculars, and many other fun and engaging activities. Paso Pacifico has trained former poachers to become turtle rangers, patrolling beaches for illegal activities and providing them with meaningful employment and respectable wages. The organization has also pledged their support to women, creating and supporting female-owned cooperatives and businesses.
I had the great pleasure of working for Paso Pacifico in their US headquarters for several years, and helped create a small spider monkey sanctuary for the organization. I maintain that the Founder and Executive Director, Sarah Otterstrom, is one of the most kindhearted, driven, and passionate women I have ever met. I continue to be impressed by what she and her team are able to accomplish each year.
I am a teacher in Santa Barbara, CA and visited Paso Pacifico in Nicaragua with my family in June 2017. We were very impressed by the extensive work being done at the Mono Bayo reserve to educate others about the importance of protecting the spider monkeys as well as sea turtles and other wildlife. The rangers were extremely knowledgeable, friendly and accommodating to my family and I. We left feeling very confident about the important work being done by Paso Pacifico to protect Nicaragua's wildlife .
I am the founding board president of Paso Pacifico, a conservation organization dedicated to protecting and restoring the Pacific slope ecosystems of Central America. From its inception, Paso Pacifico has been clear about its mission, has collected passionate followers, talented and skilled staff and the commitment and involvement of local communities. Crossing the three program areas of Science, conservation and education, this impressive organization has developed innovative models and programs to study and protect the needs of all the species in this biological hotspot. Flagship species include the back-handed spider monkey, the yellow-naped Amazon parrot, four species of endangered sea turtles and jaguars.
The projects are implemented by dedicated staff and volunteers, which include college students, community leaders and seasoned scientists.
The unique and creative programs developed by Paso Pacifico have been recipients of many awards and accolades from the conservation community for providing viable tools for addressing biodiversity loss and climate change. Most recently, a Hollywood special effects artist worked with a Paso Pacifico ecologist to create fake sea turtle eggs that are actually GPS-enabled decoys. These decoys have enabled Paso Pacifico to track the eggs from the beach to market and help put an end to illegal poaching networks.
I am continually inspired by environmental programs targeting the youth through education to ensure the commitment and dedication of conservation for the future. The Junior Rangers, ages 8-14, engage in regular workshops focused on environmental knowledge and stewardship. The students earn badges for each educational module and then serve as proud ambassadors for conservation in their communities. The Junior Rangers also engage in bi-monthly monitoring of birds and primates in forests neighboring their farms and communities. It is so inspiring to watch these youngsters gain skills in data management, wildlife observation and cooperation with their peers.
I have no doubt that Paso Pacifico will continue to make a difference to people and our planet in transformative ways.
Even before it was founded, I wrote about Paso Pacifico's founder, her research, and the needs this NGO addresses. At the time, I was producing environmental education curricula in the Czech Republic for a non-profit I eventually directed. I was genuinely inspired by the founder's story and how clearly she saw the tough choices faced by conservationists in the developing world. A few years later, after spending time in Central America and growing passionate about the need for economic development and biodiversity conservation in the region, I grew more involved with the organization.
Paso Pacifico is a U.S.-based 501c3, but it has genuine community buy-in throughout Nicaragua. The first time I visited the Paso del Istmo, everyone I met would use the pronoun "we" to talk about Paso Pacifico's work. These were not employees or even volunteers. These were local farmers, fishermen, landowners, entrepreneurs, and kids who were bursting with pride to be a part of such an important movement in their part of the world.
I know from my time in Washington, D.C.'s world of public policy that a lot of the big environmental NGOs spend your donation dollars on lobbyists. Paso Pacífico, on the other hand, puts my donation dollars directly to work in the field, protecting critically endangered wildlife habitat and empowering local communities.
At other organizations, I have been disappointed by financial impropriety, philosophical inconsistencies, incompetent leadership, arrogance, or a lack of dedication. This is NOT at all the case at Paso Pacifico, where people are honest, dedicated, passionate, humble, and responsible stewards of their resources.
Everyone at Paso Pacifico listens to the children and other community members in the areas where they work. Paso Pacifico researchers stay on top of cutting-edge research in conservation science, bringing technology to bear in remote parts of Central America, and using insights from the social sciences to build successful programs that respect people and protect endangered species and wildlife habitat.
I could not be prouder to be a longtime Paso Pacifico collaborator and contributor.
I have volunteered with Paso Pacifico since 2014, first assisting with the native stingless bee keeping program, then leading a project to inventory native bee species in the Paso del Istmo, the region of focus for Paso Pacifico. I have also helped with compiling the data generated by Paso Pacifico's Audubon Christmas Bird Count, which it has organized since 2015.
To me, what is most exemplary about Paso Pacifico's work is how it creates opportunities for local community members to learn, achieve, and contribute in the realm of conservation. This means investing considerable resources in training local people and trusting them to carry out responsibilities like counting sea turtle hatchlings, tracking Yellow-naped Amazon Parrots with radio telemetry, taking care of hundreds of planted trees, collecting specimens of obscure insects, following spider monkeys through rugged terrain, and leading the way in oyster farming on Nicaragua's Pacific Coast.
Paso Pacifico's patient, persistent investment in people, on the ground, demonstrates a long-term vision and commitment to biodiverse, ecologically intact, prosperous, sustainable communities. Perhaps Paso Pacifico's greatest conservation success is its Junior Ranger Program, which affirms the idea that conservation of ecosystems in Nicaragua rests firmly in the hands of the young generation of Nicaraguans.
Conozco la labor de Paso Pacífico desde hace algunosa años, entre otras tareas deseo destacar la preocupación por la capacitación de las personas vinculadas al Proyecto. Particularmente los Guardaparques, que han sido enviados hasta... Argentina! Y la formación ambiental de los niños para lograr adultos ambientalmente comprometidos. Felicitaciones
I am a spatial ecologist with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, with many years of experience working in Central and South America. Having had the opportunity to work with Paso Pacifico staff and student researchers, I highly support its mission and focus on fundamental conservation issues in a key portion of the Central American isthmus. Paso Pacifico's reforestation efforts and initiatives to protect endangered wildlife species and habitat with strong cooperation of Nicaraguan citizens is a testament to their successful approach for conserving areas of high biodiversity. I look forward to future collaborations with them.
Review from Guidestar
I admire Paso Pacifico's effort to engage community members, Nicaraguan staff, students and biologists, as well as international collaborators to conduct local-regional level biodiversity conservation work very much. After doing ecological research in Latin America for years, I have come to the realization that action-oriented conservation that involves participatory mapping/research is badly needed. Paso Pacifico is an excellent example of how citizen science in conservation is applied in the real-world problem-solving contexts.
I am a retired employee of the US National Park Service. I have had extensive experience in Latin America as a conservation consultant. Paso Pacifico is the most grass-roots organization with which I have ever worked. All the work it does in the fields listed above is almost exclusively done by Nicaraguans in Nicaragua. I worked on training their rangers who were selected from communities near beaches where marine turtles annually come to nest. These rangers have revolutionized the villagers' attitudes toward turtle egg poaching. On one beach, for 25 years, no baby turtles crawled to the sea. All the eggs were dug up and sold. Last year, due to the ranger's protection and their educational efforts in the community, thousands of turtles made it back to the Pacific Ocean. These rangers have becone leaders in their communities, demonstrating that the sustainable use of resources is a viable way to feed, clothe and educate their children. Paso Pacfico's work in all areas of conservation is ourstanding.
Review from Guidestar