'Our Voices' Utila, Bay Islands, Honduras

Our Voices is a community-led film and documentary project about Utila that aims to unite conservation efforts and local cultural history.

Utila is an increasingly popular tourist and environmentalist destination for its affordable diving excursions, vibrant landscapes, and ecological diversity. The rise in tourism has impacted the environment and cultural livelihoods on the island in a multitude of ways. Through this video series, we aim to highlight the history of changes Utila has undergone, and how locals are fighting to preserve their connections to their tradition, culture, and the natural resources on the island.

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Our Voices is a collaborative project with the Bay Island Conservation Association (BICA) , Dr. Suzanne Kent of the Colorado State University and Dr. Keri Brondo of the University of Memphis. This project emerged from a collaborative conservation program sponsored by Colorado State University’s Center for Collaborative Conservation.

Headlining the project are also two Project Associates, both from Utila, Safi Jackson and Megan Bodden! Their role on the team is to use ethnographic interviewing techniques to help them design and conduct interviews. Through these interviews they will collaborate on storyboarding and producing local film footage regarding the island's unique cultural heritage.

Safi, age 20, is passionate about Utila's tranquility, safety, and beautiful clean beaches and reefs. Her hobbies include soccer, volleyball and baseball.

Megan, age 17, is eager to learn more about her home's history and culture, so that she can pass on this proud heritage to future generations. She enjoys going to the gym, learning and teaching others about the island's environment, and working with BICA.

Suriel Duenas is the coordinator of the Reef Leaders Program and BICA liaison.

The project is in the funding stages, and if you would like to help make it a reality you can visit the following link to make a donation: Our Voices: GoFundMe

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