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Our History

Cayos Cochinos' rich culture and pristine landscape inspired Swiss billionaire Stephan Schmidheiny and a small group of Honduran entrepreneurs to create a bubble around Cayos Cochinos in the form of a Marine Protected Area (MPA) and subsequently an organization that would protect and preserve all parts of this Caribbean Jewel, including the people.


In 1994, after consulting with the Smithsonian Institute in Panama and working with President Rafael Leonardo Callejas, the Honduran Foundation for the Protection and Conservation of Cayos Cochinos, also known as the Honduran Coral Reef Fund (HCRF), was created. 

For decades it endured overexploitation of its resources and showed signs of deterioration and environmental degradation. However, after more than 20 years of conservation efforts, these signs have been reduced, maintained, and restored.

From its signature pink boa constrictor, not found anywhere else in the world, to its shallow and magnificent coral reef topography, and its ability to remain pristine despite facing constant threats from the overfishing and pollution that surrounds it, Cayos Cochinos deserves special care and protection.

In coordination with government authorities such as the Forest Conservation Institute (ICF) and the Honduran Armed Forces, especially the Navy, the Foundation has not only enforced all the measures that have been established, but has achieved substantial support from prestigious international institutions such as the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), the Avina and Marviva Foundations (Switzerland), the Summitt Foundation (USA), The Nature Conservancy (TNC), the World Fund for Nature (WWF) and RARE Conservation, among others.

In 2004, with the support of international organizations, national authorities and communities in the area of influence of Cayos Cochinos , the first Management Plan was prepared and approved, a tool that establishes a whole series of rules and measures that are applied in the protected area.   

On May 8, 2009, the Government of Honduras, chaired by Mr. Manuel Zelaya Rosales, through Executive Agreement No.420-2009, expanded the Buffer Zone of the Marine Natural Monument, increasing the area of influence from 489 to 1,220 square meters, prohibiting industrial-scale fishing in that area and only allowing artisanal fishing for related communities.    

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