MASTA (Moskitia Asla Takanka – “Unity of La Moskitia”) was founded on the 26th June 1976 in the community of Awas, in the territory of BAMIASTA. It aims to strengthen indigenous autonomy and governance in La Moskitia, revitalising indigenous culture and guaranteeing the legalisation, administration and collective control of Miskitu lands, territories and natural resources. MASTA develops initiatives around indigenous rights, defense of territory and natural resources, climate change, indigenous autonomy and bilingual education.
In 2015 MASTA was awarded the Equator Prize, an international award that recognizes outstanding local achievement in advancing sustainable development solutions for people, nature and resilient communities. The award recognised MASTA’s work “to protect indigenous territorial rights and culture, strengthen local governance and natural resource management and improve regional health and education systems.” It also applauded MASTA’s use of “social mobilization, skillful negotiation, creative communications strategies and alliance building to secure titles for Miskitus territories. MASTA is the first indigenous organization in Central America to develop their own “bio-cultural protocol” as a mechanism to defend the collective right of the Miskitus to free, prior and informed consent on proposed development projects in their territories.”