Young researchers in El Salvador need your help

El Salvador’s natural resources have been lost year after year. This not only affects global biological diversity but also affects the communities of our country.

Fundación Naturaleza El Salvador,
a Salvadoran non-profit organization, knows this reality and has been working to protect these resources. Unfortunately, at this time, we do not have the financial resources we need to continue this critical work, including studies and conservation programs. That is why I, as a development volunteer for the organization, am asking for your help.

Please help us reach our goal of  funding $3000, which will go directly to supporting three scholarship recipients in El Salvador.

Let me explain a little.

Fundacion Naturaleza's main objective is to promote the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources in El Salvador. As a foundation, we contribute to the sustainable development of local communities in harmony with the environment.

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the foundation’s ability to raise funds, given the dire need many other organizations find themselves in, particularly those focused on health care. Nevertheless, the natural environment in El Salvador remains in crisis, and if we do not focus on supporting conservation efforts, we will all be impacted. The foundation needs your help to keep these critical programs running.

One such program is a grant project for young researchers. Fundación Naturaleza supports young researchers in El Salvador to investigate current conservation problems in the country and Central American more broadly. The program provides educational opportunities that allow students to improve and enrich their research skills through direct hands-on experience. These young researchers are mentored by the foundation’s senior research staff. Through this program, young researchers learn and share knowledge about current environmental problems in the region, and with the information collected, make science-based proposals to address the conservation challenges in El Salvador and the region.

This year the Foundation planned to offer five grants to support five young scientists. Unfortunately, only two scholarships are financed at this time. Melvin Castanea will investigate "Humpback Whales of El Salvador: a Population in Danger of Extinction." Another fellow is William Merino, who will investigate "Tank Bromeliads as Hygrothermal Buffers for Amphibians Threatened by Climate Change in the Fragmented Cloud Forest of Cerro El Pital, El Salvador."


We have more young people who can contribute to the country’s scientific knowledge, and I have a strong conviction that we can still rescue and protect what little we have left in El Salvador. I believe with all my heart that with your help, we can extend the scholarship program. Please help us reach our goal of $3,000, which will go directly to supporting three more scholarship recipients and their expenses, including transportation, lodging, books, and other materials.

Why me?

Last year, I had the honor of helping the foundation raise funds to purchase camera traps to conduct a community survey of large mammals in the Sapo River Basin, El Salvador. Let me tell you what most excites me about this - first, the possibility of documenting pumas and other mammals photographically. Years ago, I was a biology student at the University of El Salvador, and in my zoology class, the best way we had to document mammals was through footprints and droppings. Imagine how excited I was to learn that there was a chance to photograph puma and other mammals in El Salvador, which has been plagued with deforestation and over-development. Second, it filled my heart with joy and gave me hope to think that after the Civil War in my country, the mountainous lands that were bombed and deforested during the war had regenerated their ecosystems. And what excited me the most was knowing that the foundation integrated community researchers into its studies, including ex-hunters that now protect wildlife in the mountains of El Salvador, forest owners, and indigenous researchers from the Kakawira and Lenca communities. The members of these communities are the primary authors of this document and a fundamental part of its research team. To read this research (because it has already been published) and see some photos of the mammals, click here:

A community-based survey of mammals in the Rio Sapo basin, El Salvador 

I believe that if we all give a little bit, we can reach our goal. Your gift will not only empower these young researchers and their communities but also help protect critical habitat in El Salvador for rare and beautiful creatures like the puma. 

We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your support.

If you have any questions about the program, please write to us 
[email redacted] 

You can also visit our website at:
Fundacion Naturaleza El Salvador  
Instagram: @naturalaleza_naturaleza_esa
Twitter: @fundanaturaleza1
Facebook: Fundacion Naturaleza El Salvador

If you want to donate time and energy, please consider joining the fundraising effort! Email me at Bianca Cornejo  Villacorta [email redacted]
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Bianca Cornejo 
Boston, MA
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