Edition: May 2011
Conservation in ACTION

Due to loss of habitat and illegal wildlife trading, the Central American Spider Monkey is the region's most endangered primate. This charismatic animal is a symbol of vibrant tropical forests because it disperses the seeds of tropical trees that are necessary to ecosystem health and diversity. Since it depends on connected forest canopies for subsistence, this species has become extinct across most of the human-fragmented jungles of Central America. Paso Pacifico is dedicated to protecting the spider monkey from local extinction in western Rivas, Nicaragua.

Thanks to the support of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and International Primatological Society, Paso Pacifico launched a spider monkey education program with the goal of teaching local children the necessity of protecting this endangered species. More than 250 students are now learning about the life history and ecological role of the spider monkey.

Our goal is to have a lasting impact on local children and their connection to wildlife. We are assessing changes in local attitudes and knowledge before and after the program. Paso Pacifico believes that by connecting young minds to nature we are building a sustainable future.

Paso Pacífico in the News

Every year, Neotropical birds travel thousands of miles during migration only to find their natural habitat threatened by human activity. This environmental degradation has led to an alarming decline in the number of Neotropical bird species, which, in turn, has spurred action to save the land they call home. In 2000, the United States Congress passed the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act (NMBCA) which now helps to protect more than three million acres of bird habitat. Today, the NMBCA makes it possible for Paso Pacífico to protect and monitor birds native to Nicaragua through a grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

This Spring, Paso Pacífico's Executive Director Dr. Sarah Otterstrom attended the act's NMBCA's Ten Year Anniversary Celebration, hosted by the Audubon Society and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation in Washington D.C. Attendees included representatives from the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the Organization of American States and our partners in migratory bird monitoring from the U.S. Forest Service International Institute for Tropical Forestry.

The event recognized the great success of the NMBCA, which has received more than $150 million in private funding to conserve vast corridors of land and reinvigorate Neotropical bird populations. Without it, the health of these species and the ecosystems that help to sustain them would be compromised. We encourage you to remind your Congressional Representative of this act's importance!

Partnerships make it possible

Paso Pacífico recently teamed up with the RageJax Foundation to work toward our shared goal of empowering youth through environmental education. Together, we hope to inspire creativity in the Nicaraguan fishing village of Ostional by organizing local students to paint an environmentally-themed mural. Our efforts will also take us to the community of Colon, an isolated town tucked between freshwater wetlands and lush tropical forests of the Paso del Istmo Biological corridor, where we will reach out to make connections for education.

By teaching environmental values to children at an early age, we hope to foster an appreciation for nature that will bring about a new generation of leaders in conservation.

Paso Pacífico and the RageJax Foundation, both based based in beautiful Ventura County, California share a lot of common ground, most notably in their commitment to youth and the environment. Paso Pacífico looks forward to making a difference with this collaboration.


Team member spotlight

Adelayde Rivas is essential to keeping Paso Pacífico connected in Nicaragua. As a communications and PR leader, she shares our stories and builds awareness among the Nicaraguan public. This past year, she successfully promoted Nicaragua's International Coastal Clean-up event. People listened to her message, and over 8,000 volunteers joined in the effort.

Adelayde's dedication and expertise have been a major asset to Paso Pacífico. We thank her!

During the month of May, Paso Pacífico will dedicate every donation you make to our environmental education program! Paso Pacífico has designed its programs to connect youth to nature and to inspire environmental action. Projects like the Binocular-for-Slingshot Exchange give kids new opportunities to interact with their forests and coasts.

Please DONATE today to build a new generation of environmental leaders!

During Paso Pacífico's humble beginnings just over five years ago, we were graced by the support of individuals who were willing to take a risk for our cause. Since the beginning, Nomi and Fritz Trapnell have given generously to our efforts and have even made the journey to Nicaragua to see our impact first-hand. Paso Pacífico's work is important to the Trapnell's because their roots in Central America run deep; Nomi is originally from El Salvador and Fritz's ancestors traveled to Nicaragua over a Century ago.

We would like to express our appreciation to the Trapnell's for their generous support. We are so glad they are a part of the Paso Pacífico family!

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© 2006 Paso Pacífico
USA Address: PO Box 1244 • Ventura, CA 93002-1244 • Phone: 1-805-643-7044
Nicaragua Address: Km 15 Carretera Ticuantepe, Centro Comercial MercoCentro, Modulo #5
Ticuantepe, Nicaragua • Phone: +505-2279-7258