Austin, Texas

The charter of the Pro-Moskitia Foundation states that the Foundation shall exist for the purpose of expanding opportunities available to low-income residents of the Moskitia region of Nicaragua and Honduras to obtain housing, health care, employment, sustenance and education and other benefits and to promote the human rights of migrants from Nicaragua residing in the USA. To accomplish this last objective Pro-Moskitia Foundation works with Nicaraguan immigrants living in the USA, specifically Austin and Port Arthur, Texas and Miami, Florida.

Father Melesio has frequently traveled to Miami and Port Arthur to consult with Nicaraguan immigrants living in those two cities. In both places he organized committees of community leaders who work with the Pro-Moskitia Foundation to develop programs that address their most pressing needs. These committees are in the early stages of development and both their form and purpose are as yet largely undetermined.

The needs that seem to be most pressing are immigration issues and access to education. It has yet to be determined how the Pro-Moskitia Foundation and the local committees will address these issues. Immigration issues are driven by national and state policies while access to education differs by locality and state. Our strategy to deal with the immigration issue has been to cooperate with other organizations to keep the local Moskitu communities abreast of changing immigration policy and to locate local immigration attorneys and agencies that would assist Nicaraguan migrants to obtain immigration papers. Access to education could be improved in similar ways by providing local Moskitu communities with information about scholarships available to their children. A more ambitious strategy would be to form clubs and associations whose purpose would be to provide scholarships to children of the ethnic Moskitu community.

The three slides on this page show a meeting of the Amigos y Hermanos de Nicaragua in Austin, Texas in March 2011. Amigos y Hermanos de Nicaragua began to work in Nicaragua after Hurricane Felix struck the Moskitia-region in September 2007. The group provided funds to incorporate the Pro-Moskitia Foundation of Nicaragua. Casta Calderon who is associated with the non-profits Plenty and Soy Nica, was a key organizer of the Austin-based group. Amigos y Hermanos dissolved in 2014 after the Pro-Moskitia Foundation was incorporated.