Beyond Belief Network Guides: EcoViva



BBN EcoViva is Foundation Beyond Belief’s (FBB) 2015 Q4 Natural World beneficiary in our Humanist Giving program. As with all FBB beneficiaries, EcoViva was chosen based on compatibility with the FBB mission, program effectiveness, financial responsibility, and an innovative approach to solving a problem. EcoViva’s mission is to develop and encourage sustainable fishing practices among fishermen in southeast El Salvador. You can use this guide for service event ideas to help EcoViva’s goals.

EcoViva’s Work

EBlumenfeld EcoViva is focused on creating a secure revenue stream for fishermen along the Lempa River in the Bay of Jiquilisco in southeast El Salvador. The mangrove forests in the area are a vital part of the ecosystem providing a local stable food source, a critical habitat, a flooding solution for the region, and a breeding ground for young fish that will maintain the staple of fishermen incomes in the area. Although some fishermen use blast fishing, an approach that uses homemade explosives to stun and kill fish, local fishermen and community leaders are working to educate them on the value of sustainable fishing. EcoViva’s four-pronged approach to this program includes fisherman education, environmental stability (creating proper environments for fish spawning), increased enforcement patrols to limit the use of blast fishing, and creating a local fish cooperative to gain access to additional markets.

Event Ideas

These suggested ideas are intended to inspire Beyond Belief Network teams looking for potential events.

  1. Vacant Lot Cleanup. Does your community have a piece of land that’s largely regarded as an eyesore? Consider a beautification project to clean up the area. Advertise for additional volunteers. If possible, see if the area could be transformed into a community garden. Community gardens in additional to farmer’s markets and U-pick farms represent sustainable community food sources, similar to EcoViva’s goal of teaching sustainable fishing.

  2. Planting Green. An area in your community or town may benefit from more trees. Check out sites such as Arbor Day Foundation to find out which are the right trees to plant in your area. Contact the relevant authorities to obtain permission to plant, if needed.  If possible, ask a local environmental or wildlife expert to speak to your volunteer group. Learn about the native flora in your area and the dangers of planting invasive species. An invasive species is a plant (or animal) species that is not native to a specific location. Their spread can cause environmental and economic damage, which can interfere in creating a sustainable source of food.

  3. Fundraise for EcoViva and Foundation Beyond Belief.  Host a party with a river (or other natural) theme. Organize kid-friendly games to match your theme such as Go Fish or Number the Duck. While entry to the party can be free, request a minimum donation. If your volunteer group is part of Beyond Belief Network and donates the proceeds to EcoViva, the event would be considered as a Foundation Partners Program event, which means it will count as two events. Perfect for teams looking to quickly raise their BBN team level! If donations are sent to Foundation Beyond Belief, please attach a note of where to allocate it.

Follow EcoViva and their work through their website, Facebook, and Twitter.