Mark Rivas

Country of Origin: Nicaragua

Board Member de Yatama (indigenous organisation in La Moskitia, Nicaragua) and lawyer. Mark represents the youth on the Board and is also secretary of Yatama.

I am miskitu, originally from the community of  Bihmuna, Tawira territory. We are a people different to other Indigenous Peoples as we were never conquered in the era of the conquest of America. Moreover we had a kingdom, the Kingdom of the Moskitia, whose king was Miskitu. It is because of that that we consider that the spaces and rights that the Nicaraguan state give us is very little compared with what we are really due.

My inspiration is our history, our past, the fight and the achievements of our ancestors. This motivates me to keep fighting because I want to see my people excel, live in peace, develop according to our customs, choose our leaders in our way and not remain oppressed, that they don’t exploit our resources because it is our heritage, that our communities live in harmony, equality and freedom. If achieving this means giving my life, I would do it without thinking, just as many other Miskitus feel and think that.

My role in our communities is to raise awareness, unite them more, work hand in hand to bring their voices and demands wherever I go and to accompany them in all processes when I am there.

Environment Defenders