Wednesday, July 18, 2007

MINA Hires Their First Executive Director

Hafa Adai, I'm Angelo Villagomez and I am the new (and first!) Executive Director for the Mariana Islands Nature Alliance. Depending on who you ask, I am either a Chamorro born American or an American educated Chamorro. Both are true. Take your pick.

My Mom is an American from the East Coast and my Dad is a Chamorro from Saipan. Although I was born here, I left Saipan when I was 3 years old. I visited a few times over the years, but I can't say that I ever lived here until recently.

This is where I lived just a little over a year ago:

Angelo VillagomezDon’t you just love Japan?

After 24 years living in the US, England, and Japan, I returned to Saipan last April to work on a coral reef outreach project with the Marianas Resource Conservation & Development Council. The goal of the year long project is to involve the local community, especially coral reef stakeholders, in the management of our coral reefs. I also help coordinate an environmental coalition of government, community groups, businesses, and individuals called Beautify CNMI! I am the Chairman of the Beautify CNMI! Restoration Committee. The Restoration Committee plants trees, cleans up litter and illegal dumpsites, and restores hiking trails, and natural, historical, and tourist sites.

I received my Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Richmond in 2000. College was so much fun that I went a second time. I received my second Bachelors in Environmental Policy from Rollins College in 2004. At Rollins College I was the 2004 Environmental Studies Student of the Year.

In my spare time I practice with the CNMI Men’s National Soccer Team, SCUBA dive, promote the We Love Saipan Network, and post to my blog, The Saipan Blog.