We love seeing communities come together to protect their coral reefs. The Roatan Marine Park (RMP) in Honduras is an inspiring example of how conservation efforts lead to great things. The success and growth they’ve shown are tremendous.
Last year, CORAL invested in the sustainability of RMP with a $12,000 grant to hire a sustainable finance coordinator. The new position was designed to help them diversify income streams and build relationships within the private sector. The goal was to increase their capacity so they can expand to new areas of the island and continue to protect Roatan’s unique natural beauty.
With the new coordinator, the RMP has grown its membership base by 40 percent—they’ve built stronger relationships with donors, businesses, and community members. They also helped create a U.S. 501(c)3, which allows them to fundraise in the United States. “A lot of visitors come here and want to make a tax-deductible donation to the park,” says Jenny Myton, CORAL’s associate programs director based in Honduras. “This new 501(c)3 makes that possible.”
As a result of the coordinator’s hard work, the RMP just received a $100,000 donation from a popular clothing brand. The unrestricted donation will support the sustainable finance coordinator position for the next four years and will help pay for necessary marine management, patrols and community development projects.
“The RMP is reaching a new level of independence,” says Myton. “It’s exciting to see that CORAL’s initial investment is paying off. Communities can finance their conservation efforts, and we can use this example as a blueprint for other communities around the world.”