Advocacy and Citizen Participation
Strengthen social movements through organization, education and capacity-building to build a more just and equitable socio economic system
A powerful grassroots social and environmental movement can organize communities to take action and make demands that change views and behaviors, bring about sustainable policies, and benefit all sectors of society. The Mangrove Association strives to build and strengthen grassroots movements so they are more effective at fighting for sustainable change. Collective movements enable communities to become more climate resilient, integrate climate preparedness strategies into existing risk management and disaster preparedness plans, improve long-term infrastructure and water supply plans, and protect natural resources, economic livelihoods, and people from an intensifying climate.
We work with local communities that have been excluded by government agencies, helping them implement their own development initiatives and advocate for more just social and environmental policies. We coordinate directly with local leadership to assist with planning and executing activities and ongoing problem-solving. We provide concrete support to local leaders as they work to resolve conflicts and come to common agreements on how to best manage their natural resources and promote community well-being.
Environment and Climate Change
Contribute to the sustainable management of natural resources through the defense, protection, conservation and environmental restoration of the Xiriualtique-Jiquilisco Biosphere Reserve in order to build the resilience of the population.
Since our work began we have maintained a philosophy that community development must happen in harmony with the natural environment in order to be successful and sustainable. We work with communities to strengthen their resilience in the face of a rapidly changing climate by mitigating the effects of flooding and drought, providing technical assistance to ensure viable, long-term livelihoods, and building local capacity to promote climate-smart communities. Our activities:
- Implement mangrove forest restoration and sea turtle and crustacean conservation initiatives
- Promote and expand the PLAS (Local Sustainable Resource Use Plan), a coastal management tool that enables locally-driven community-based regulations, with agreed-upon catch quotas and restrictions to protect primary nursery habitat for fish, crabs, shellfish, and shrimp
- Promote sustainable fishing practices through education and awareness of our Pesca Limpia (Clean Fishing) guidelines for fisheries management
- Coordinate the Mangrove Alliance, a coalition of conservation organizations, academic institutions, government agencies and communities that convene around the science, economics, best practices, and public policy necessary to conserve Central America’s dwindling coastal ecosystems
Strengthen agricultural production capacities in the Xiriualtique Jiquilisco Bay Biosphere Reserve, with responsible use of natural resources for agroecological production in order to ensure sustainable livelihoods and strengthen food security.
The Mangrove Association provides training and support to help farmers improve soil quality, diversify their crops and increase their yields utilizing sustainable, agroecological techniques. These practices also protect the groundwater from chemical pollution and thereby protect the sensitive wetlands and mangrove forests of the Bay of Jiquilisco.
We maintain a demonstration plot in Ciudad Romero which acts as a showcase for best practices in crop diversification, use of native species and application of organic fertilizers and pesticides. We produce natural worm compost, mineral-enriched natural fertilizers, and pesticides derived from plants to provide area farmers with self-sufficient, low-cost methods to produce their own alternative inputs to expensive and harmful synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. We also grow vegetable seedlings, and fruit trees, and maintain a collection of native seeds for local farmers.
Build creative mechanisms for participation and organization of children, adolescents and youth, by training and strengthening their skills and knowledge to achieve personal and community development.
The Mangrove Association’s youth development activities use education and the arts to engage and empower local youth. Our initiatives promote opportunities for personal growth, education, leadership and service that facilitate the active involvement of young people in their communities.
The Mangrove Association owns and operates a youth-led community radio station. Radio Mangle 106.1 reaches over 200 communities is a critical sources of news, information, and emergency response. The station is run by a group of youth volunteers who create environmental and social programs and share local and national news. They also lead a children’s program, using it as an opportunity to teach local kids about radio announcing. Radio Mangle is an important alternative news source for the communities of the Lower Lempa where young people take the lead to provide exciting programming with a positive social message.
Strengthen the participation and leadership of women through the organization, training, and generation of economic initiatives to advance gender equity and achieve greater social justice.
Women in Central America face an overwhelming number of obstacles, from access to education and wage discrimination to gender-based violence and femicide. Nevertheless, women are fighting back and challenging the structures that perpetuate discrimination and abuse.
History has shown us that women are resilient and continue to fight for their families and communities, despite the dangers and discrimination they face. Promoting and strengthening women’s leadership is essential to generate sustainable social and environmental change. Our long-term goal is to ensure gender parity within our programs and leadership, and address gender equality at all levels of our work.