Honduras is one of the most ecologically diverse countries in the hemisphere. While missed by the Pacific Ring-of-Fire, depriving it of the volcanic grandeur of its neighbors, it is endowed with the second biggest contiguous rainforest in the hemisphere bordering Nicaragua, a long and easily accessible Caribbean coastline, and idyllic coffee highlands bordering Guatemala.
As enchanting as this country can be, the challenges it has faced in the past 50 years have only grown more acute, and its institutions are increasingly threatened by pervasive corruption, drug trafficking, and organized crime. Despite these persistent challenges, Honduras has been a proving ground for pioneering advances in sustainable development, climate smart agriculture, fuel efficient clean cookstoves, and renewable energy.
Honduras is facing some of the toughest environmental challenges in its history, but they can’t be viewed in isolation from its economic and social challenges. As the original banana republic, Honduras has seen the consolidation of agriculture for the mass production of bananas, sugar, beef, and African palm oil, displacing tens of thousands of rural families in the process. This has pushed migration to already over-crowded urban areas, and has driven industry deeper and deeper into protected rainforests. The approach of Trees, Water, & People is to improve economic and social stability in rural areas, to strengthen natural resource management rights for rural communities who depend on these ecosystems.