Working with love and respect for life.

We are a US-registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation of Guatemala’s natural wealth and biodiversity, through the Foundation of Defensores de la Naturaleza based in Guatemala.


In 2010, Guatemala was accepted in the group of the world’s 19 mega-diverse countries, which proves our mission more important than ever. 

Since 1987, the Foundation Defensores de la Naturaleza (FDN) has been committed to the protection of Guatemala’s ecosystems, making it the country’s most experienced and qualified conservation organization. In 1990, it became the first non-profit in Latin America to be trusted with the management of a conservation area, the Sierra de las Minas Biosphere Reserve.     


Representing 5% of Guatemala’s territory, FDN currently manages four protected areas in the country: the Sierra de las Minas Biosphere Reserve, the Bocas del Polochic Wildlife Refuge, the Sierra del Lacandón National Park, and the United Nations National Park. In addition, FDN created and now runs private and municipal conservation areas, mainly in the Motagua Valley’s subtropical thorn woodlands.


In total, these areas sustain 80% of the plant and animal species reported in Guatemala. Also, FDN takes an active part in conservation initiatives at the Latin American level.

Our mission is to protect and conserve Guatemala’s natural wealth and biodiversity and to promote the sustainable use of its natural resources as a benefit for future generations. 


We aspire to be the leader in the field of conservation and sustainable use of natural resources in Guatemala. As a consequence, we commit to keeping:

  • An efficient and transparent operation

  • Highly qualified and motivated work team

  • Accountability towards our mission and to the public at large.


  • We have trained more than 2,000 teachers and taught over 300,000 children and teenagers about conservation and in environmental education.

  • Thanks to our programs, 25 municipalities and 150 communities now use the natural resources in a sustainable way, ensuring the local population a better quality of life.

  • We have protected more than 87 different river basins that supply water to over 500,000 people.

  • We developed and are implementing the Water Fund in the Motagua-Polochic area. This is an innovative system in which corporations that use water in their production donate money to the Fund, which invest it into the protection of the river springs to ensure the continuing fresh water supply for 10 municipalities and more than 400,000 people.  

  • In and around the parks we manage we have completed and endorsed more than 200 scientific investigations, which supported our efforts to protect biodiversity.


In addition, we are proud of the following achievements:


  • We have been selected four times for The Nature Conservancy’s Adopt an Acre program, making us one of the program’s leading organizations in the world.

  • We have successfully carried out around 150 projects with the financial support of internationally well-renowned agencies and nonprofit organizations, such as USAID, the European Commission, the Embassy of the Netherlands, The Ministry of Environment of Germany, the World Bank, The Nature Conservancy, World Wildlife Fund, Conservation International, CARE, Oro Verde, and Rainforest Alliance.