One Earth Conservation
In 2010, a leader of indigenous people, Tomás, nearly died for his dedication to the land and animals of La Moskitia, Honduras. This happened when he became tired of the ongoing loss his people experienced and decided to report the names of the robbers who had come to his land for illegal logging, ranching, and parrot poaching. The authorities did nothing to help, but instead stood idle while the nefarious elements that had been threatening his people waited for Tomás one day down at the river and shot him four times. While he was fighting for his life, the villagers fled for their lives, for some had their homes burned and others received death threats.
Just five months later, Tomás returned to his ancestral lands with LoraKim and others to see about helping the Miskito people with their desire to protect their endangered scarlet macaw. Armed soldiers had to accompany them to the nearly deserted village, for the danger was still present for Tomás and the others as well.
Down at the river with parrots flying over, Tomás showed LoraKim his scars and recovering wounds. She asked him why he was willing to risk his life to return to help his parrots and he said, “Doctora, everything is at risk, and I’m willing to risk everything. If the birds don’t make it, neither do my people.” Ever since that day, he and his people have been taking a stand, taking risks to keep their sustainable way of life intact and these rainbow birds flying free.
They now have “parrot patrols” to protect the nests, and take in confiscated parrots from the military and forestry department. They have volunteered to do this since 2010 with very little help in terms of resources or training. They have had to decide when to feed the birds, and when to feed themselves. Yet they continue to care for the birds, isolated to face the challenges on their own.
This is no longer the case!
This year in May of 2015, LoraKim signed an Act to form the Rescue and Liberation center of Mabita with the new Co-Directors, Oneida and Santiago. They did this because the situation is desperate and the government and villagers must have a place to take care of confiscated birds so that they can be liberated in the future.
Oneida and Santiago agreed to take care of all birds that came to them, and One Earth Conservation would in turn pay them a salary and cover all costs for food and supplies. They also need to build a flight/release cage. One Earth did this even though it is not in our budget to do so, and there is not any guarantee that income will be forthcoming. But everyone felt they could wait no longer – it had to be done. And in fact, 13 chicks have come to the village in the last few months. The Co-Directors and other volunteers have already proven they can care for the chicks. For example, they saved Rosa, who came to them as a chick with two broken wings and legs, likely damaged when forcibly removed from the nest. She nearly died, but is alive today, wobbly for sure but able to take short flights. She has a chance to live longer and well thanks to Oneida and Santiago.
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— January, 2016