ELLAS Progress Report: Challenges & Achievements

This month we’re reflecting on our ELLAS program, and the commitment we made to the community at the Clinton Global Initiative.

Empowering Women Economically 
Throughout our existence, but this past year especially, we at Paso Pacifico have watched rural women in Central America’s poorest country empower themselves economically through ecosystem services. We have watched women learn to lead tours and teach others about their region’s biodiversity. We have watched them manage busy restaurants and other geo-tourism businesses. We have seen thecare and attentiveness with which they protect turtles and nurture seedlings. The joy of watching these women grow confident in their successful new endeavors is immeasurable.

Helping Women Find Their Voice 
One challenge remains, though, and that is to bring these women out of their shells. Because such a large measure of success is the extent to which environmental leaders are able to communicate the importance of their work and their goals, getting these quietly proud women to share their stores with a larger audience is key to our long-term success in the region. In a region where the rural population has struggled for so many years and where women, especially, have had a hard time finding their voice, this challenge is very real. 

Helping Girls Become Environmental Leaders 
Thanks to the fine examples these women are setting as role models benefitting the environment and their communities, however, we have great hope for the future. Building on the enthusiastic participation of young girls in our existing environmental educaiton programs, we are very excited to launch our new outdoor education program for adolescent girls. It is this generation of leaders we expect to continue the important work of mitigating the impact of rapid development and climate change while championing the efforts of themselves and of those who came before them.

pasoblogELLAS Progress Report: Challenges & Achievements