Osvaldo Munguia, a professional from a wide range of education and extensive work experience. He has dedicated his life to the service of his beloved country, Honduras, especially on behalf of the Indigenous Peoples and the conservation of nature. He graduated from the Forestry School ESCNACIFOR in 1979 and began to work as Supervisor of Silviculture in the Dept. of Forestry Development (COHDEFOR), where he continued expanding his knowledge. He obtained a degree in Forestry Pests, University of Oxford, 1982 (COHDEFOR) and a Masters in Community Development, University of New Hampshire, 1990.
He has served as Technical Director of the Association for Development of La Mosquitia (MOPAWI), 1985-1990, with the leadership of Wilmer Dagen as Executive Director. Since 1991 he has worked as Executive Director of MOPAWI, leading an exemplary team of committed, united and exceptional employees. It is a pioneer organization in the defense of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the integrated and sustainable development of Miskito communities. They also assist in the communities in the governing of the natural resources and land titles in alliance with the Ford Foundation.
He also accompanies the development of local capacities in order to secure water and food sources in alliance with the Inga Foundation who has pioneered the “Inga Model.” Their model contributes to the fulfillment of more than 60% of the Millennium Development Objectives (MDO), including the reduction of Climate Change. It employs good practices of the use of the land and watersheds as well as natural resources, including the implementation of ecotourism to meet human needs based on nature.
The Reserve of Man and the Biosphere of Rio Plátano, a natural area of La Mosquitia, lies within Gracias a Dios, Colon and Olancho, is situated in northeast Honduras. It is the largest reserve with intact rainforest north of the Amazon and was classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1982. It is within this territory one finds the largest wilderness in Central America and consists of mangrove wetlands, lagoons, rivers, pine savannas and tropical rainforest which harbors one of the richest biodiversity indices in the country.
His professional work and calling for service have allowed him to obtain a wide range of personal achievements worth mentioning:
- Seeking of territorial, collective land titles from 1987 to 2016 in favor of the Miskitu, Tawahka, Pesch and Garifuna Indigenous Peoples over an area covering 16km².
- Establishment of the Bilingual-Intercultural Education Program (EBI) Miskitu-Spanish in La Mosquitia from 1988 to 1993 which attributed to establishing EBI for all nine Indigenous Communities in Honduras in 1994.
He has also collaborated with the following:
- The mapping of the use of indigenous lands of La Mosquitia in 1992. Geographic-anthropologic Investigation and training of local investigators by volunteers of the Louisiana University and the Tearfund (UK) under Peter Herlihy and Andrew Leake respectively in conjunction with Mac Chapin from the Center of Native Lands, 1992.
- Establishment of the first butterfly farm in the Rio Plátano Biosphere Reserve, led by Robert J. Gallardo, former U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer. Completed with participation of local Miskitu people who were trained by Robert from 1995-96.
- Establishing ecotourism in the Rio Plátano Biosphere Reserve, led by Arden Andersen and Eric Greenquist, experts from USDOI-USAID, 1996-2001.
- Establishment of cocoa farms in Rio Patuca and Limonales where MOPAWI was the pioneer of these farms since 1985.
- Exportation of batana. MOPAWI was the pioneer in exporting this product to the U.S. and Canada, with significant benefits to the communities of Rio Kruta and the area of Laka Raya.
- Development of infrastructure such as bridges between Puerto Lempira and Segovia in conjunction with USAID under the leadership of the Engineer Sergio Canales.
- His professional vision, ample experience and admirable curriculum have allowed Osvaldo to optimize results on behalf of society in general of this country. Because of his regard and commitment to the environment, sustainable development and social responsibility it has allowed him to offer an important legacy to the region for the betterment of humanity and future generations.
- As well as being part of the Pro Nature Honduras Foundation Osvaldo serves as a member of:
- Vice-president of the Commission for IUCN in Social, Economic and Environmental Politics (CEESP) for Central and South America.
- Member of the Organization for Indigenous Peoples (OPI) in IUCN.
- Representative of the OSC of the Federation FOPRIDEH under the Transparent Extractive Industrial Initiative (EITI-HN), 2014 to present.
Favorite pastime. Time with the family and hiking. He has scaled the Pico Dama (Dama Ilka) in the Rio Plátano Biosphere Reserve. Speaks English, Spanish and Miskito. Cristian.
Osvaldo trusts the vision and goals of the Pro Nature Honduras Foundation as well as the conservation of nature and the economic, sustainable development of the country’s natural resources in order to reduce climate change within social responsibility.