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.
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.
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.