EcoViva has made measurable advances in mangrove restoration, emergency response, climate change resilience, rural livelihoods, community-led coastal resources management, and public health infrastructure.
We’ve helped improve national policies on forestry management, sustainable fisheries, and disaster response. EcoViva’s work has been recognized throughout Central America as a model for coastal policy and rural development.
Our Unique Approach
Since our founding in 1996, we have supported a democratic movement for peace, justice and environmental sustainability in the Lower Lempa River Estuary and the nearby Bay of Jiquilisco Biosphere Reserve of El Salvador. With our continual and focused support, this grassroots movement has grown to include over 100 villages with a population of approximately 35,000 people. Together, our partner communities in El Salvador have created a model for grassroots participation in integrated and sustainable community development that may be unparalleled in Central America. They are building a green rural economy, addressing the effects of climate change, and empowering young people with information and education while protecting the largest mangrove forest left in the region.
In El Salvador, we offer direct financial support to our local partner organizations and provide them with ongoing technical assistance with program planning and policy advocacy. We help them build strategic alliances locally and internationally, and recruit skilled volunteers to support their efforts. We bring people from the United States to El Salvador and Honduras on EcoViva Tours to learn about what’s happening and build grassroots support for our work in the United States. We also connect our partners with national policy initiatives and major international funding streams from which they would otherwise be typically excluded.
Our primary partner in Honduras is Red COMAL, a network of small-scale farmers, cooperatives, and community micro-finance associations. Red COMAL provides training programs, facilitates access to credit and markets and helps thousands of Hondurans build a vibrant and equitable alternative rural economy. EcoViva’s work with Red COMAL strengthens resilience among small farmers and entrepreneurs through training and technical assistance, as well as through investments in sustainable, agroecological farms.
We also support the Mangrove Alliance, a coalition of community-based conservation organizations concerned with protecting the mangrove forests of Mesoamerica (Mexico and Central America). The Mangrove Alliance facilitates coordination and collaboration among all the actors who have a stake in the well-being of the mangrove forests of Mesoamerica – first and foremost the local communities who live from the forest, as well as conservation organizations, scientists and other experts, and policymakers. EcoViva assists the leaders of the Mangrove Alliance set agendas, strategize for maximum impact, and plan national and international convenings and technological exchanges.
- We respect the dignity of each person.
- We are committed to social justice, non-violence, and peace.
- We are committed to environmentally sensitive ways to achieve economic self-sufficiency.
- We place the highest priority on projects that can be sustained over the long-term.
- We encourage diversity and inclusiveness in our partners, our leaders, our board members, and all with whom we work.
- We require accountability and responsibility from ourselves and the communities with whom we work.
- Democratic participation at the grassroots is the foundation of our work.