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Asociación Ecológica de San Marcos de Ocotepeque (AESMO)



We work in western Honduras, in the management of watersheds and protected areas, in alliance with communities and other local, national and international actors; applying a landscape approach and developing shared governance processes for conservation and sustainable management of water, biodiversity and soil; contributing to improve the quality of life of the population.



AESMO was established in April 1990 by a group of people interested in finding alternative solutions to the environmental problems facing the municipality of San Marcos Ocotepeque in Honduras. In 1993, the execution of projects for the rehabilitation and protection of hydrographic basins in communities of the municipality of San Marcos Ocotepeque began.

As of that date, the Association expands its territories of influence in the western region of Honduras, implementing projects with community participation, to contribute to the conservation of water, biodiversity and soils of several protected areas and micro-watersheds located in this region; among them: Güisayote Biological Reserve, Pacayita Volcano Biological Reserve and six micro-watersheds; all of them located in two UNESCO biosphere reserves: Trifinio-La Fraternidad Biosphere Reserve and Cacique Lempira Señor de las Montañas Man and Biosphere Reserve.

Partnership with WLT


For the years 2007 and 2010, AESMO received funding from the World Land Trust (WLT) partner, IUCN-NL, for the purchase of land; IUCN-NL informed WLT that AESMO needed support for land acquisition for conservation; subsequently, the organization was invited to present a proposal to WLT, after the presentation of the same, AESMO became a partner of WLT in 2011.

To date, WLT has financed the purchase of land in protected areas of Volcán Biological Reserve Pacayita and several micro-watersheds. Currently, WLT provides financial support for the work of the ranger team in the Güisayote Biological Reserve and other micro-watersheds.

WLT funded 'Keeper of the Wild' leads a community tree planting project
Other Activities

AESMO has developed environmental education processes at the level of schools and community organizations in the territories of influence; It has also contributed to strengthening the resilience capacities of the population to the effects of Climate Change, implementing technologies for soil and water conservation, eco-technologies at the family level, reforestation with local multiple-use forest species, among others.

AESMO is a member of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Association of Non-Governmental Organizations of Honduras (ASONOG) and the Board of Non-Governmental Organizations Co-managing Wilderness Areas of Honduras (MOCAPH).

  • Food security and sustainable development, including work with indigenous communities
  • Sustainable agriculture practices at the family level in communities of influence.
  • Improve the living conditions of the community, through the establishment and use of efficient eco-technologies at the family level.

Awards, Achievements and Milestones:

  • 2000: Received the Honduran Prize for Conservation and Environmental Protection, awarded by the Secretary of Natural Resources and Environment (SERNA) and the Cervecería Hondureña S.A.
  • 2003: During the celebration of its 30th Anniversary, the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE) publicly recognized the work it has done with AESMO since the early 1990s.
  • 2009: Received the Environmental Torch Award, granted by the IUCN – ORMA institutions in Central America; This award recognizes excellence in the work of organizations that implement political advocacy processes in environmental matters.
  • 2004 to 2023: AESMO has led the process of purchasing 1,424.92 hectares of land for conservation, in a biological corridor that extends through both UNESCO biosphere reserves, with financial contributions from communities, other local actors and international solidarity cooperation, under A shared governance model for conservation.

Contact Details

CEO/Executive Director: Víctor Saravia O.