Facts about Timor

Currency: US Dollars
Tetun, Portuguese, Indonesian, English
Population (2008):
14,919 km2
US$30 One month visa on arrival
Country code:
Airlines: Air Timor, Airnorth, Merpati
Other useful info:
13 Districts, 65 Sub-districts, 442 Sucos & 2,228 Aldeias.
Hightest point: Mount Ramelau at 2,986 meters


Timor-Leste is Asia’s Newest Nation and Daniel J. Groshong, the founder of The Hummingfish Foundation has been working in Timor-Leste since he photographed the reforendum for independence there in 1999. In 2006, Groshong published Timor-Leste Land of Discovery, the first coffee table book depicting Timor’s landscape, cultural and underwater wonders, ever published.

In 2010, Groshong worked on two major projects promoting Timor’s nature-based tourism assets. The first was a year long project designing and producing the promotional materials for Timor’s participation in the Shanghai World Expo 2010. Timor’s first participation in a World Expo as a free nation.

The second major project was the inagural Timor-Leste Dive Photo Competition. This successful event involved 60 divers from from then 9 countries doing 3 dives a day at any of the 10 designated dive sites.

January 28th, 2005-Maubisse, Timor-Leste- The suns rays are captured by the early morning mist, as it snakes it's way threw the valley's floor near the mountain town of Maubisse in Ainaro District. Maubisse, which is located at nearly 6,000 feet above sea level in Aileu district is an important trading post in Timor and is also a major area for coffee production. Photograph by Daniel J. Groshong/Tayo Photo Group

The island of Timor is split by a strip of mountains that runs east-to-west and divides the country in two. The north coast is a generally hotter and has a more irregular climate, while the south coast boasts large plains and milder weather. The country’s highest peak is Mount Tatamailau, also known as Mount Ramelau, at 2,986 meters, followed by four other peaks, all above the 2,000-meter mark: Mount Cablaque, on the border of Ermera and Ainaro districts, Mount Meriquen and Mount Loelaco, near the border, and Mount Matebian, between Baucau and Viqueque.

Homo sapiens arrived in Timor around 42,000 years ago. The first inhabitants lived mostly from the abundant fish and shellfish, as well as plants and the few mammals on the island (mostly bats and a now-extinct species of large rat). The archaeological record also points to early contact with New Guinea, with animals like the cuscus (Phalanger orientalis) and some plants originating there, suggesting people at that time were island-hopping back and forth.

The Portuguese reached the coast of Timor around 1515. They settled at Lifau, now the enclave of Oecussi in the western half of Timor.

When World War II started, the Australians, aware of Timor’s importance as a buffer zone, landed in Dili, despite Portuguese protests. The Japanese then used the presence of the Australians as a pretext for an invasion in February 1942, staying until September 1945.

SEPTEMBER 21ST 1999-DILI, EAST TIMOR- Timores refugees who have been hiding in the mountains for up to 1 month hold an East Timores flag and shout with happiness at the arrival of a photographer. Photo by Daniel J. Groshong/Tayo Photo Group

On November 28, 1975, Fretilin declared the República Democrática de Timor-Leste (RDTL). The RDTL was recognized just by a few countries, mainly former Portuguese colonies in Africa, and was short-lived. Ten days later, on December 7, 1975, Indonesian troops invaded.  Some 60,000 people lost their lives in the early years of Indonesian annexation, contributing to a death toll of about 200,000 for the whole period of its administration. The seizure was condemned by Portugal and the United Nations.

An agreement on a popular consultation for Timor-Leste was finally reached in May 1999, under the auspices of then United Nations Secretary-General

Kofi Annan and in September 1999, the people of Timor-Leste voted overwhelmingly – 78.5% — in favor of independence from Indonesia.

On August 30, 2001, Timor-Leste had its first free elections for representatives who were charged with writing a new constitution and on May 20, Timor-Leste became the world’s first new country of this millennium. (Adapted from the Timor-Leste government web site)



Clean Kids

We are so pleased to launch the Clean Kids Project at EBC Fatuquero School in Gleno of Timor-Leste on 4th February 2016.

The project aims to develop handwashing practice and knowledge on hygiene in school. As a pilot, in the coming three months, we will … Read more


Renaissance Collage year six kids raise $22,236hkd during Hummingfish fundraiser

We would like to thank the Renaissance Collage year six kids for their outstanding effort selling Maubere Mountain Coffee and Ai-Funan all natural handmade soaps at Renaissance College during the week of November 9th, 2015.

As you know, The Hummingfish Foundation is dedicated to the … Read more


Laloran Cummunity-based Ecolodge

At the request of the Laloran community, Hummingfish will be temporarily suspending our development project there.

We wish our friends at Laloran the best of luck and we stand ready to assist them when they are willing and able.

As an NGO, it’s always important … Read more


Maubere Mountain Coffee available in three Hong Kong restaurants

Three of Hong Kong’s top restaurants Linguini Fini, Posto Pubblico and Stone Nullah Tavern, have signed a historic agreement with The Hummingfish Foundation and Maubere Mountain Coffee to serve our organically produced, 100% Arabica coffee to their customers daily starting February 12th, 2015.

As is

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