New staff member for the Secretariat
The Secretariat extends a cordial welcome to Sofia Méndez Castillo of Honduras, who has been selected to be the new Intern / Assistant Advisor for the Americas region, replacing Ms Nadia Castro. Sofia has a bachelor degree in Biology and a graduate degree from UNESCO-IHE with specialization in Environmental Planning and Management. She worked for three years as a research and administrative assistant with the Building Learning System Programs of the International Development Research Center (IDRC) in Honduras. In this project, Sofia gained experienced in managing projects designed to strengthen development organizations and the promotion of participatory action research in Natural Resources. She also has experience in the administration of construction projects and the organization and facilitation of meetings and events. Her current work involves assessing environmental impacts on wetlands in southern Honduras.
Sofía began her volunteer work 11 years ago with organizations such as AFS exchange programs, which promotes understanding and learning among cultures. Additionally, she has done several environmentally-focused volunteer activities for institutions such as the Hog Keys Protection and Conservation Foundation and the Mesoamerican Society for Conservation and Biodiversity. She is also a member of the Outcome Mapping Learning community of practice which promotes a methodology of participatory monitoring and evaluation on programs and projects; and in 2009 she became involved with the Honduran College of Forestry Professionals and got certified by the Honduran Ministry of Natural Resources as an environmental consultant.
Sofía is a multi-lingual professional with experience working with multi-cultural, multidisciplinary groups on which she has learned to identify priorities. Living in Honduras for most part of her life, she has been exposed to the social and economic implications of environmental degradation. This has grounded her main professional interest around Natural Resources Management; specifically studying how ecosystem services support and condition societal development.
At the Ramsar Convention, Sofía will be Assistant Advisor for America/Intern. In this post she will be assisting in evaluating data sheets and preparing related documentation to accompany the designation process of Ramsar sites, as well as assessing project proposals for the Convention's Small Grants assistance programmes and monitoring projects over their cycle.