Pro-Moskitia Foundation of Nicaragua (PMFN) is a non-profit organization based in Austin, Texas, USA. We promote development activities that respect indigenous peoples’ right to a life of dignity.  We not only consult with community leaders and local authorities in the development and implementation of proposals, we also require their direct participation in developing and implementing our projects. We rely on a support committee comprised of members of the community as well as territorial, municipal and regional authorities. 

Background

In September of 2007 a committee called Amigos y Hermanos de Nicaragua (AHN) was formed, with the help of San Jose Parish in Austin, Texas, in order to administer aid during the emergency caused by Hurricane Felix, which struck the northern part of the Nicaraguan Moskitia on September 4 of that year. This committee was organized under the initiative of Father Melesio Peter Espinoza, a native of the affected region and a resident of San Jose parish, who relied on the support of the parish priest Monsignor Tom Frank, members of the Nicaraguan community in Austin and various friends across the country. Initial results of this action were the implementation of a reconstruction project for houses in the community of Santa Marta, located in the municipality of Puerto Cabezas; the creation of a micro-credit program benefiting women in the municipality of Puerto Cabezas; and a scholarship program for students of limited financial means at the elementary and high school levels. 

Indigenous communities of the Nicaraguan Moskitia have suffered a process of gradual impoverishment which began with the intensive exploitation of their natural resources, the continual invasion of their territories by outside interests and the denial of their rights aggravated in part by a ten year (1980-1989) armed conflict between the indigenous communities and the Sandinista government of Nicaragua. This process aggravated the natural disasters which have struck the region approximately every ten years for the last thirty years (Hurricane Joan 1988, Mitch 1998, Beta 2005 and Felix 2007). These circumstances motivated the Austin-based committee Amigos y Hermanos de Nicaragua (AHN) to form an organization with greater coverage and capacity to respond to the needs of the region. In April 2008, members of the committee created Pro-Moskitia Foundation of Nicaragua (PMFN); a non-profit dedicated to continuing and expanding the work begun by AHN, and began to pursue 501(c) status.