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Profile of Ana Lucy Bengochea
Garifuna Emergency Committee is an NGO based on the northern coast of Honduras, initially formed to assist Afro-indigenous Garifuna communities recover from the effects of Hurricane Mitch in 1998. Since its founding, the Committee has evolved into a representative body for Garifuna communities in the region.
Historically marginalized, the Garifuna lived primarily off subsistence agriculture, leaving them vulnerable to environmental degradation. This highly dynamic group is now dedicated to protecting the ancestral lands and culture of the Garifuna by resisting encroachment, reducing poverty and malnutrition through the adoption of more sustainable agricultural practices, providing training in sustainable craft production, and conducting intensive reforestation projects.
Bengochea has 15 years of experience as a community organizer within the Garifuna communities, empowering women through income-generating projects and other community development activities. She has also participated in various global conferences as a result of winning the UNDP Equator Initiative Prize Finalist in 2004. Bengochea has been a leader in bringing the voice of grassroots women and indegenous to the global stage.