The Embassy of Honduras in Berlin
Amb. Christa Castro Varela
Amb. Christa Castro Varela was born on September 6, 1977, in Comayagüela, the Central District of Honduras. She is of Roman Catholic denomination and has one daughter.
She studied at the Liceo Franco Hondureño and at the Universidad Católica de Honduras, where she graduated with a degree in environmental engineering with the distinction Cum Laude.
She has a Master degree in Sanitation and Environmental Engineering from the Spanish University of Cantabria and is a climate change expert with many years of experience, including on major platforms such as the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR).
Her mother tongue is Spanish and she is fluent in French, English and German.
At the beginning of her career she worked at the Honduran Foundation for Environment and Development (VIDA), the Honduran Foundation for the Conservation and Conservation of Cayos Cochinos, where she observed sea turtles during her breeding phase, and the Center for Pollutant Studies and Control (CESCCO).
She gained her professional experience in public service, where she worked from 1999 to 2006 in the Directorate General for Environmental Management of the Secretariat for Natural Resources and the Honduran Social Investment Fund (FHIS).
In addition, she taught ecology at the Universidad Tecnológica Centroamericana (Unitec) from 2004 to 2008.
From 2006 to 2013, she held various functions in the mayor's office of the central district; since 2010 as private secretary of the Deputy Mayor.
From 2013 to 2014, she coordinated the Presidential Solidarity Food Program at the Ministry of Social Development.
In February 2014, she was sworn in as the Executive Secretary of the Central American Commission on Environment and Development (CCAD) - Central American Integration System (CCAD-SICA); a body based in San Salvador, El Salvador, responsible for the regional environmental agenda.
In 2016, she was appointed as Delegate for the Presidency for Climate Change and acted as a negotiator for the Republic of Honduras ahead of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
In January 2017, she was appointed Minister of Communications and Presidential Strategy, replacing agricultural engineer Hilda Hernandez (QDDDG). From this position, which she held until March 2018, Ms. Castro coordinated public communication for the Honduran government.
In May 2018, the engineer Christa Castro Varela was appointed Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Honduras in the Federal Republic of Germany. In this position, she represents the interests of the Republic of Honduras and promotes good relations between the two nations.
Diplomatic relations between the Federal Republic of Germany and Honduras were established on 20th of January 1960. Relations have traditionally been friendly. The emergency relief and reconstruction assistance provided by the Federal Government and private German donors in the aftermath of the 1998 Hurricane Mitch disaster and Germany’s ongoing bilateral, regional and multilateral development cooperation are greatly appreciated by Honduras.
Trade between Honduras and Germany is relatively insignificant and subject to strong fluctuations. According to Federal Statistical Office (DESTATIS) figures, in 2015 German imports from Honduras were worth EUR 413 million and German exports to Honduras EUR 141 million. The main Honduran exports to Germany are coffee (which is also supplied to neighbouring EU countries via Hamburg), fish and citrus fruits. Bananas, tobacco and timber are of less significance. The principal German exports to Honduras are plant, machinery and electrical goods, chemical and plastic products, engines and motor vehicles, iron goods and sheet metal.
With regard to development cooperation, Honduras is an important partner country of German development cooperation. Since cooperation began in 1961, Germany has made available a total of some EUR 440 million for development projects and programmes in Honduras, making it one of the country’s largest bilateral donors along with the United States, Spain, Japan and Canada. No other EU member state, apart from Spain, has provided more funding to Honduras. German development cooperation with Honduras focuses on two priority areas: education and environmental policy (including the sustainable use of natural resources and climate protection). In these areas in particular Germany is seen as an acknowledged and influential partner. Finally, a number of German non-governmental development organisations, such as churches, foundations and associations, are active in Honduras.