PUERTO RICO – Animals, marine ecosystems and conservation efforts in the Caribbean and Central America (CCA) will all benefit from Ford Motor Company’s Conservation and Environmental Grants program.
The program provides funds to nonprofit organizations as part of the company’s efforts to support grass-roots level initiatives that protect and preserve the environment and natural resources. Over the past 13 years, more than 140 organizations throughout the Caribbean and Central America have received Ford grants. Globally, the program has awarded more than U.S. $5 million in grants to hundreds of environmental projects in more than 60 countries around the world.
This year, grants were awarded to organizations in three countries in CCA – Guatemala, the Dominican Republic and Honduras.
Guatemala’s Association of Friends of Animals received U.S.$20,000 for educational initiatives and its abandoned animal rescue programs. It seeks out animals that have been abandoned or abused and that are in need of medical care or a good home. The organization’s goals include reducing the number of abused and neglected animals.
In the Dominican Republic, the Blue Life Foundation works to save marine ecosystems and is putting programs in place to educate future generations about the importance of caring for the environment. Its efforts earned a U.S.$22,500 award from Ford’s Conservation and Environmental Grants program. Blue Life Foundation Director Patricia Cardona says the organization will seek to continue developing new projects that contribute to sustainable development. “We appreciate the recognition we receive from Ford, since it drives us to achieve new goals in the field of environmental education.”
The Association Produccion mas Limpia in Honduras, which received a U.S.$22,500 grant, works toward the implementation of cleaner production and management systems. Director Daniel Ayes says the funds received will help reduce fuel consumption by at least 30 percent and allow the organization to improve solid waste collection systems.
Previous winner honored with exhibition
One of the recipients of last year’s environmental grants program, Panama-based Albatros Media Foundation, was selected to exhibit its photographs of humpback whales, taken during their annual migration in the Americas, at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport beginning in November.
The foundation seeks to increase awareness about sustainable development. Its display, “Journey of Giants, Whales in the City,” is a compilation of years of work by foundation photographers.
It’s expected some 250,000 people daily will pass by the exhibition, which is also making a stop at 11 Latin American countries.