FUNZEL is a non-governmental non-profit organization founded in 1989 and legalized on May 18, 1992 by Executive Decree number 43, published in the Official Gazette number 55, volume 318 dated March 19, 1993. Its statutes were reformed and published in the Official Gazette Volume 404, number 134 of July 21, 2014.
1994 - 2000
FUNZEL executed actions in support of the National Zoo of El Salvador, improving enclosures and interpretive trails to enhance the site. It organized the first International Workshop for Endangered Species and held with the international support of AMAZOO and the IUCN expert group on endangered species.
1999 - 2001
During these years FUNZEL ran a program for the compliance of the accords on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in El Salvador, funded by the PROARCA-CAPAS/USAID project, oriented to decision-making levels: Legislative Assembly, Agricultural Quarantine, Environmental Police, Ministries, among others, to make them aware of the commitment to this international instrument signed by 183 countries, worldwide.
1995 - 2001
FUNZEL creates the first Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Center, in support of the CITES Administrative Authority and later in alliance and support to the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources- MARN. With this alliance, large seizures, from Nicaragua and Honduras, mainly of parakeets, parrots, green and black iguanas. The Center was closed after the 2001 earthquakes.
2005 - 2006
FUNZEL, thanks to funding from El Salvador Environmental Investment Fund - FIAES, conducted a baseline study on the “Possession of threatened and endangered wildlife species in the metropolitan area of San Salvador”.In addition, it prepared a CITES Manual Species of El Salvador and published a study on the Monitoring of the Population of the Central American Green Parakeet (Aratinga strenua) in Antiguo Cuscatlán. Based on this study, FUNZEL requested the Municipal Council to declare Antiguo Cuscatlán as "Municipality for the Protection of Wildlife, especially the Green Parakeet (July 2016).
2008 - 2009
A research study by FUNZEL identified the Gulf of Fonseca and the Bay of Jiquilisco as the main sites in the entire Eastern Pacific Ocean where the hawksbill turtle, a species declared critically endangered worldwide, nests and forages. This work was the prelude for the environmental authorities to promulgate, in 2009, the Decree of prohibition to the consumption of eggs of sea turtles and their parts, taking FUNZEL the leadership in the conservation programs accompanying the Decree.
2010 - 2014
FUNZEL ejecutó el Programa Nacional de Conservación de La Tortuga Marina y Mejoramiento de La Calidad de Vida de Las Comunidades Costeras con el apoyo de la Agencia de los Estados Unidos para el Desarrollo Internacional (USAID) y el Ministerio de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales de El Salvador (MARN), realizando una serie de investigaciones vinculadas al tema que han sustentado el manejo de corrales y sitios para reproducción de tortugas marinas. FUNZEL trabaja de la mano con otras ONG, formando parte de la Red Xiuhtic, conformada por las organizaciones que se dedican a la conservación de estos Chelonios. Como resultado se han liberado hasta la fecha 5,095,996 neonatos de tortuga marina.
2015 - 2017
With financial support from alliances with the private sector and banks, FUNZEL has kept managing six nesting sites. It has an Environmental Education Program, offers conservation talks, training to the private sector and the "Clean Beaches" program. Maintains a permanent campaign through the media, social networks, television and radio.
In 2016 it established the first First Aid Station for Sea Turtles, built with funds from the Body Shop Foundation of England.
2016 - 2018
The Environmental Investment Fund of El Salvador - FIAES - has been fundamental for FUNZEL to continue strengthening its conservation programs, financing a Territorial Management Program, together with the communities, at priority areas of conservation of mangrove forests and nesting of sea turtles, integrating the community so that, in parallel to conservation actions, they develop and train in entrepreneurship, supporting conservation of the coastal marine resources and improving their quality of life.
FUNZEL has created alliances with the DAVIVIENDA Bank, and the company TERMOENCOGIBLES, two partners since 2009, supporting sea turtle incubation pens. Other allies have joined the conservation efforts: Usulután Credit Unions, , Sigma Foundation, DIANA Products, Confiteria Americana, Alas Doradas, Tecnutral, together with honorary members and individual contributors have also joined to support ,making it possible for FUNZEL to continue providing its services and maintain a specialized work team.
El apoyo para el MARN es permanente, se ha suscrito un Convenio de Cooperación para el fomento de la aplicación de la normativa de vida silvestre y cuidado veterinario a especies heridas objeto de tráfico y comercio ilícito.