Ángela Amalia Corvea Martínez, or as we call her, Angelita Corvea, is a Cuban dynamo who founded the nonprofit conservation organization ACUALINA in Havana, Cuba in 2003. The mission of Acualina is “To transmit environmental education to the population, mainly, to kids, to change people’s attitude and mobilize their minds in favor of the health of the environment so they can face the challenges of the current world. ”
Craig and I met Angelita when we arrived in Havana, Cuba, to begin a multi-year coral reef survey of Cuba. She was working at the Cuban Institute of Oceanography and we became true friends. We encouraged and supported Angelita’s growing efforts to provide environmental education and hands-on projects focussed on cleaning up the world. In a remarkable way, Angelita has enlisted Cuban students to become involved in marine debris clean-ups of shorelines in and around Havana, Cuba. She has written numerous articles promoting coral reef protection. Despite great challenges, Angelita succeeded in expanding awareness of the importance of marine biodiversity in thousands of young Cuban citizens through her efforts at Acualina.
To achieve this progress, Angelita has worn many hats: Community Environmental Educator, Coordinator, Member of Organizing Committees and Bearer of Reports in Scientific Events and of Environmental, National and International Conservation; popularization of topics of Environmental Education through the massive means of communication (TV, radio and written press); Consultant and Environmental Tutor as extracurricular activity to primary and secondary schools, local and municipal exhibitions; Talks and Actions with the community and other centers; Member of the Environment Commission and of that of hydrographic basins of the West in the Municipal Government of Playa; Coordinator of the International Campaign “Clean up The World”: Save your piece! in the municipality of Play; affiliated to the Environment Committee of the United Nations, member of the Scientific Committee of the World Underwater Federation and the Cuban Underwater Federation.
Most of all, Angelita has shown the vision and determination to make a difference in her world by spreading awareness and support for protecting the marine environment of Cuba. She has received numerous awards including a Coral Polyp Award for Ouststanding Leadership from Reef Relief and even came to Key West to receive the award at our annual Membership Meeting.