Facts about THF

Start Date: 4 May 2010
Country: Hong Kong
Directors: Daniel J. Groshong, Grace Ho, Julian Walsh & Brian Francisco
Honorary Member: H.E. Dr. Jose Ramos-Horta
Email: info@hummingfish.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/hummingfishfoundation/
Twitter: HummingfishHK
Phone: +852-9383-1153
Mailing address: 2310 Dominion Centre 43-59 Queen’s Road East Wanchai, Hong Kong

The Hummingfish Foundation

If a community’s members are involved in a nature-based tourism business, then they have a financial interest in ensuring that the asset that their business is based on remains as rich and plentiful as possible. The more fish, birds, big game, and beautiful landscape they have, the more nature-loving tourists they will attract. Those nature-loving tourists are going to stay in guesthouses, eat in restaurants, take tours, and buy souvenirs, injecting money into that community during their visit. This is what we refer to as “adding value to nature.” You can’t sell tourism without pictures.

The Hummingfish Foundation

Dili, Timor-Leste – Two spear fishermen from nearby Atauro Island in East Timor prepare to fish while standing on the beach near the capital of Dili. Photograph by Daniel J. Groshong/Tayo Photo Group

The Hummingfish Foundation (THF) is a Hong Kong registered charitable organization since May 2010, with a mandate to protect the earth’s unspoiled natural environments by adding value to nature itself.

The earth’s natural environments are at risk and humanity’s lust for natural resources has driven biodiversity to the brink. Poverty is one of the most destructive forces against nature, especially in developing countries.  When forced to choose between good environmental practices and survival, people will always choose the latter. THF believes that through sustainable community-based nature tourism (diving, birding, trekking, etc.) and the support of naturally sustainable green products, we can add economic value to UNSPOILED nature.

Since 2010, THF has helped change the lives of many people who once lived without hope in a slowly deteriorating landscape and poverty.  Through initiatives such as the Ai-Funan all natural hand-made soap and Maubere Mountain Coffee projects, THF has helped communities develop production methods which ensure a high quality product is being consistently produced, worked closely with the communities to develop compelling brands which have enticee consumers around the world and finally, THF and its dedicated team has created relationships for our brands with some of the world’s most innovative global companies, such as Cathay Pacific Airlines, Agnes b and Homegrown Foods.  When THF initiatives are successful, we create a win-win-win scenario. The communities win from the sale of their  successful green products.  The customers win by consuming healthy, sustainable and meaningful products and finally, the ecosystem wins because it has become the communities most valuable asset.

A dollar earned by Green Entrepreneurs is a dollar of value added to the ecosystem in which they live and to further support and encourage the fragile communities we work with, 100% of profits of all product sales go back to the communities that produce them.  This business model has not only helped the communities and added more value to their ecosystems, it has also proven to be a strong incentive for our customers.  Individuals and corporations know that with each purchase, they are not only getting a world-class product, but are also putting money directly into the pockets of the people who need it.

The THF model has shown impacts beyond our initial projections and as our products have become well known, many communities in Timor-Leste and around the world have reached out to THF for help. People in developing countries are eager to find high-value green solutions if they can and THF stands ready to help them.

Daniel J. Groshong
Founder and CEO
The Hummingfish Foundation

Dili, Timor-Leste – A young Timorese woman enjoys a spectacular panoramic view, looking east towards Hera, as seen from the top of the Cristo Rei monument near Dili. Photograph by Daniel J. Groshong/The Hummingfish Foundation

The Hummingfish Foundation has seen how compelling photographic imagery, well presented, can have a powerful effect on potential nature-loving tourists.  Using strong visuals is the single best way to brand and promote community-based heritage and nature tourism. Yet, despite this fact, most developing nations have little or no photographic archive with which to promote themselves.

The Hummingfish Foundation is committed to helping compile a database of high-end photographic imagery of a community-based ecotourism (CBET) destination’s heritage and nature tourism assets, archiving those images into a readily accessible photographic database, and then helping them to use that resource to educate potential heritage and nature-loving tourists about the beauty of that destination.

The Hummingfish Foundation has direct experience in doing this. Daniel J. Groshong, the founder of The Hummingfish Foundation, worked on a project starting in 2003 to help promote Timor-Leste, Asia’s newest nation. With a USAID grant of nearly US$90,000 and boundless personal commitment and perseverance, Groshong conceived and completed a project to undertake extensive photography of the country’s landscape, nature, and culture, thereby creating a photographic archive, now housed in Timor-Leste (and online using Photoshelter).

Dili, Timor-Leste – Views of a dive site called Tasi Tolu, which is located just west of the Timorese capital city of Dili. Photograph by Daniel J. Groshong/The Hummingfish Foundation

The photographic archive created during the project, housing some 700 rolls of film and 10,000 digital images, is now used for the ongoing promotion of Timor-Leste and has led to the publication of the first ever “coffee table” book on Timor, Timor-Leste Land of Discovery, depicting Timor’s landscape, culture, and underwater wonders.

Over the years, the imagery from Timor-Leste Land of Discovery has helped to portray Timor-Leste in a positive light around the world and has given the Timorese people a valuable resource through which to promote their tourism industry.

Nusa Penida, Bali, Indonesia_ Crew members have a laugh on a dive boat operated by Blue Season in Sanur Bali. Photograph by Daniel J. Groshong/Tayo Photo Group

Groshong’s branding and promotional efforts have been of such value to Timor-Leste that he was contracted by the government of Timor-Leste to produce all of their promotional materials for the Shanghai World Expo 2010, the first ever World Expo participation of independent Timor-Leste. Although it is impossible to correlate directly cause and effect, Timor-Leste had its best ever year for tourism in 2009: EcoDiscovery Tours, a locally owned and operated company, reported a 200% increase in business compared to the previous year. Dive Timor Lorosae, Timor’s largest dive operator, has also reported a significant and ongoing increase in business.

The most critical thing that The Hummingfish Foundation can do with a project is assist a local community in branding and promoting a sustainable nature-based tourism asset, thereby adding value to unspoiled nature itself. This gives local people the economic incentives to protect that natural environment, or, as we like to call it, “adding value to nature.”

To learn more about community-based ecotoursim, please visit our “What is CBET” page.



Daniel J. Groshong

Daniel J. Groshong with his son, Agos Patrick, while on a nature walk in Hong Kong. Photo taken by Groshong’s 4- year- old daughter, Anna May.

Daniel J. Groshong, a native of Oregon, has been working as a professional photographer since 1986, covering some of … Read more


Brian Francisco

Brian Francisco is one of the three founding directors of The Hummingfish Foundation.  Brian not only brings his vast experience in business and non-profit management, but his expertise and love of the oceans as an underwater photographer.  His international experience includes work in Solomon Islands,… Read more

Jenny Leung

The Hummingfish Foundation would like to thank Jenny Leung for being such a great help.

Jenny expertise in advertising, her hard work and her charm are all great additions to the Hummingfish team.

Jenny Leung has worked in advertising and marketing for around 15 years … Read more


Grace Ho

Grace has been incredibly helpful to The Hummingfish Foundation with her assistance drafting countless proposal, business plans, and important emails.

This is the hard work that needs to be done to make the foundation professional and sustainable.

Grace is a great adviser and her guidance … Read more


Honorary Members

H. E. President Dr. Jose Ramos-Horta

José Ramos-Horta is the 4th President of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste since the country’s unilateral proclamation of independence from Portugal in 1975 and the 2nd since the restoration of the independence from Indonesia in 2002, after 24 years of occupation (1975-1999). He was Prime… Read more

Isabelle Demenge

Isabelle Demenge is a native of Paris and New York City, where she has lived many lives. Student, finance lawyer, mother of three boys and world traveler.  A graduate of the University of Chicago Law School and the University of Paris II, she dabbles in … Read more


Michael Golafshar-Research Coordinator

The Hummingfish Foundation is proud to announce our newest member, Michael Golafshar. Michael is our Research Coordinator, and he compiles the statistical data to help us find the facts necessary to develop healthy models of community-based nature tourism.

Michael is an educator and researcher born … Read more