reason behind the wealth of biological exuberance present in this region
is due to its’ remoteness. No highways extend from the interior
of Honduras or Nicaragua into La Mosquitia. Even arriving to La Mosquitia
can be an adventure in itself. Simply put, the remote nature of this
location combined with the rugged geography to its’ west has been
effective at keeping out lots of people! Another reason for the biodiversity
represented here is variety of habitats and high amounts of annual rainfall
Recently a number studies and investigations have been
initiated within the Honduran Mosquitia focusing on anthropology, archaeology,
botany, and zoology. It is amazing that in our day and age of information
and televised celebration of biological hot-spots La Mosquitia has received
Benefits of Saving the Rain Forest
Attempting to express all of the benefits gained from protecting the
rainforest is a topic easily beyond the scope of this web site. Nonetheless,
rainforests world-wide are known as one of humanity's greatest assets.
These regions cover only 2% of the earth's surface. Despite this they
are home to nearly 50% of all known life forms and support more species
of life than any other terrestrial habitat on earth. Rainforest are
simply one of the richest, oldest, most productive and most complex
systems on our planet.
Rainforests play a vital role in influencing global weather systems.
Destroying them is known to dramatically alter hydrological cycles.
Droughts, flooding and soil erosion are all common symptoms brought
on by the destruction of rainforest. Removing forests that have been
a part of the earth for millennia not only changes the earth's surface,
but alters wind and ocean current patterns, and changes rainfall distribution.
Although the land is bountiful unmanaged use cannot sustain the growing
population. Projects promoting sustainable harvest, renewable crops,
eco tourism, and managed forestry practices are in the beginning stages
Rainforests are the womb of life. At least 80% of the world's diet
and 25% of all western pharmaceuticals originated from tropical rainforest.
It is believed that the answers to our struggles with major diseases
of this century lay waiting to be unlocked in the depths of the ancient
The People of the Honduran Mosquitia
Amidst the environmental diversity present in the Mosquito coast of
Honduras are the Garifauna, Miskito, Paya (Pech), and Sumu (Sumo) Indians.
No where else in Central America does such a diverse range of indigenous
people exist. Interestingly many of these people continue to carry out
their day to day lives just as they did hundreds of years ago.
One of goals of the Norma I Love Foundation is to protect the biodiversity
of La Mosquitia by helping local inhabitants establish sustainable harvesting
practices. The traditional agricultural practices currently used by
these people are centuries old. Unfortunately, these traditional practices
cannot fully satisfy the ever growing demand for nutrition and quickly
exhaust the quality of the soil. Implementing sound agricultural practices
that promote sustainable harvest and promoting economic incentives such
as eco-tourism are likely to provide both the people and the environment
much needed stability.
The people of La Mosquitia are in need of help as their traditional
means of existence have clashed with demands and influences from the
outside world. Instead of preserving their environmental treasures,
many of the region’s inhabitants are now forced to exploit its’
natural resources. Intense harvesting of lobsters for American seafood
markets, illegal poaching of wild animals for the pet trade, cutting
down rainforest to clear grazing land for cattle, and unsustainable
harvest of timber have all taken a toll. This toll is paid for at the
expense of the environment and the culture of the people. A fairly recent
factor in the history of La Mosquitia was the Iran-Contra affair. This
bloody incident played out between Honduran Contras and Nicaraguan Sandanistas
during the early 1980s. The conflict was intense and forever changed
the lives of thousands.
A Little Village Called Mocoron
There is a community in La Mosquitia called Mocorón, which serves
as the headquarters for the Norma I Love Foundation. Mocorón
is situated along the northern banks of the Rio Mocorón and approximately
40 miles south of Puerto Lempira. During the early 1980s, several thousand
Nicaraguan refugees resided here. Today there is little visible testament
to the war and the refugees other than disturbed areas of land that
are roamed by cattle. .
When the war ended most of the refugees left the area or returned
to their homes in Nicaragua. However, there were still several who since
had their lives uprooted from the experience, have found a home in Mocorón.
For many families, customs, and traditions were shattered leaving a
new generation of indigenous inhabitants faced with a new and totally
different struggle. Customs from the past are now having to adapt to
those of the modern world. This transition is one that leaves the best
interest of the indigenous population in a precarious balance
No permanent source of electricity or purified water has been established
in Mocorón. Water is most often carried or hauled over long distances
from the river. There are some private wells that hav e been recently
installed, but most are in need of repair. Having clean water is an
important priority for the community. Unclean water is responsible for
many of the health problems faced by people worldwide.
The population size of Mocoron is about 1000 with most of the inhabitants
being children. Life here hangs in a delicate balance. A single failed
crop can bring devastating results to the community’s food supply,
a strong hurricane can destroy homes, and non purified water can spread
disease. These people are simply striving to achieve the basic needs
in life: shelter, clean water, nutritious food, and an education for
How Can I Help ?
Please click on Strategic Plans