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Helping our land to be alive.

Photo of Carla Garcia
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Written by

The Garifuna Communities at the Atlantic coast in Honduras are suffering for the climatic changes. Many of those communities may disappear, because the sea is coming into the lands year by year. Is necessary take urgent actions in order to avoid a natural death of the culture, tradition, and daily life. The Garifuna community can use the Can use the wisdom inherited by our ancestors, to make the territory continue to be habitable, giving nature its space and giving back what we have taken away. Returning to the ancestral wisdom and with the support of the elders of the communities, we must return to mother earth, ask for forgiveness by doing sermons, cleaning the pollution caused by the man, planting trees on the banks of the rivers, and conditioning new spaces where The affected people can rebuild their homes and continue with their lives

Explain your idea

Identify the people of our communities who know the sea, the land, the rivers, the phases of the moon and how they affect the earth. Write together with them a plan of community training aimed at young people and children to acquire this ancestral wisdom, put it into practice, and replicate it for generations to come. Document the effort to rebuild our land and life, so that it can be shared with other peoples with similar ancestral practices and enrich with this action the non-scientific knowledge of care of nature between communities.

Who Benefits?

People living in the 47 Garinagu communities, on the Atlantic Coast of Honduras. At least 250,000 people

How is your idea unique?

The Garífuna community is unique in the world, named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a community that preserves, its language, Spiritual customs, way of life in community, dances and gastronomy among others. Uniting all the elements that make up the community and giving this responsibility to the elders we can 1. Learn in our own language 2. Share experiences, documents in languages other than ours 3. Collect the forgotten wisdom and pass it on to the young 4. Reassure the elderly to the life of the community by giving them the respect they deserve. 5. Do unified work for communities to act against what threatens their lives. 6. Reforest and reuse territories that are being stolen by foreigners and / or sold by unscrupulous traders. 7. Encourage the love of nature and offer a source of organic food.

Idea Proposal Stage

  • Piloting: I have started to implement my solution as a whole with a first set of real users.

Tell us more about you

OFRANEH (Honduran Black Fraternal Organization) is a nonprofit grassroots organization that is led by a Board of Directors elected at a General Assembly every two years by representatives of the 47 Garífuna communities in Honduras that defends the rights of the Garífuna community in Honduras, with more than 40 years of existence. The main problem addressed by this organization is the defense of the ancestral territory. Today, as a result of climatic change and the intervention of man to the detriment of mother nature, OFRANEH has extended its work to save communities in danger of disappearing by direct action of the melting of poles or man-made pollution. You can find out more about our work on the website. My name is Carla García, International Relay Coordinator and I live in NY, however the offices and all the work is done on the Atlantic Coast of Honduras

Expertise in sector

  • 3-5 years

Organization Filing Status

  • Yes, we are a registered non-profit.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Carla Garcia

In our language, Wa means our and Mua means Land, so, Wa Mua Life means the life of our land

Photo of Kate Rushton

Hi Carla!

Thank you for sharing the great work you are doing.

I just want to highlight this from your website:

The Honduran Fraternal Black Organization, OFRANEH, emerged in 1978 as a Federation of the Garífuna people of Honduras, becoming involved in the defense of their cultural and territorial rights, with the purpose of achieving survival as a differentiated culture

Would you be partnering with other organisations for the project? How would this project look over 1 to 3 years?

Photo of Carla Garcia

Tanks Kate for your comentary. Your right, about the dates, and the purpose of my organization. Our mission every day is more hard to achive, because the external influences that want to exile the communities, in order to obtain the land, and internal because the culture is in danger. The way of think is that if we as a community care the mother nature aroud aour communities for more that 200 years, using ancestral methodos sharing from generations to generations, and in fact this is the reason of our possible exile from the territories. We as a communiti can come back to our ancestral wisdom, in order to at the same time re incert the culture in the heart of our joung people (as a form to re incert and preserv the wisdom to know the nature) , provide jobs, use the land that may be inactive (ocuppy the territories) gave back the trees that the land need to continue producing life (trees cutted for bussines by people non garinagu) gave to the elder the spaces losted as a authorities in the communities) and for the communities that may desapear because the climatic changes, make possible to tranfer this to another territory (especificly Vallecito, land in recuperation by OFRANEH, that is the porpuse of the recuperation). Also we can recover the wisdom of the medicinal plants and of the planting and harvesting, because in the lands that may are not for reforestation, because is for production of food, as Yuca, ñame, malanga, Coconut etc,
we can make practices in concordance of tha vocation of the land. I can see in three years, a communitie producing again the natural food, a community without less problems caused by the climatic changes or deforestation, and people with a sefe place to live. The idea is trying to impact at least 100,000 garifuna persons. But in 10 years, the wisdom collected and shared can affect not only the rest of the garifuna communities only, also, communities in the Country, and why not in the Central American area with the archive of wisdom that we can collect.
For now we doesn't have any partnership, but we are open to work with others.