We are thrilled to welcome Yimy Chirinos to Eugene for a 10-week ELAW Fellowship.  Yimy is a newly appointed judge from Honduras who is eager to learn about environmental law.  He started his career as a prosecutor for the Public Ministry and his interest in the environment was piqued when he began prosecuting illegal development of the Honduran coast.

Yimy ChirinosAs a participant in 2011’s Mesoamerican Reef Leadership Program, Yimy is working to realize his vision of all judges and prosecutors in Honduras being trained in environmental issues and, in particular, measures for prosecuting environmental crimes.  He is also very concerned by the fact that environmental crimes often have such a long-lasting impact and that awarding damages may not remedy the problem.

“After a tree is cut down, what good would it do to throw one hundred, or even one thousand dollars at it?” he asks.

Yimy will be collaborating with ELAW staff during his stay to develop his vision for training his fellow judges in Honduras.  Yimy will also be improving his English skills through an intensive course at the University of Oregon’s American English Institute (AEI).

Thanks to dedicated volunteers, Yimy’s visit is off to an enjoyable start and he is already starting to feel at home in Eugene.  ELAW volunteer Killian Doherty interpreted for Yimy during his orientation to AEI and tour of the UO campus, then introduced Yimy to soyburgers at Eugene’s own Holy Cow Café.  ELAW volunteer interpreter Gabriela Perez helped show him the ropes around the UO campus.  If you are interested in volunteering with ELAW as a translator, web programmer, or office assistant please send an email to volunteer@elaw.org.

In addition to our amazing volunteers, ELAW thanks the Summit Foundation and AEI for making Yimy’s fellowship possible.

Melanie Giangreco
Office Manager