My name is Domingos João Muala. I am from Chinde District in Mozambique and I grew up in a family with seven siblings. I attended public schools before joining the Franciscan Friars following my call to help society. I was fortunate to learn from that educational system and religious wisdom to respect nature and treat everybody as a brother or sister. Later on, I learned that I could still be useful without necessarily being a friar by putting those teachings into practice. I became a teacher in both private and public schools before the Mozambican Ministry of Education assigned me to teach in Villa Gorongosa in early 2002.
Besides teaching, I was always interested in protecting the environment. Almost six years later, I shared my passion with Vasco Galante, whom I met when he was visiting Villa Gorongosa in 2006. When I learned from him that the restoration of Gorongosa National Park also included educating people and that they needed a teacher to help with language skills and liaise with the communities in and around the Park, I joined the team. I first worked as a teacher helping the local, national and international workers with language skills.
However, the local knowledge became very attractive to me and crucial to the management of the Park as well as for the social researchers and scientists who are interested in the life and history of Gorongosa National Park. I joined these efforts and the management team chose me to be part of the Communication Department to assist, write and report many of the important events in the life of the communities around Gorongosa. Ever since, Gorongosa has been very important to me because it has never stopped feeding my curiosity. The Park has broadened my understanding of human relations and their interactions with the wilderness. I profoundly feel proud and grateful to be part of such a wonderful team, which does everything to deepen my knowledge not only to protect Gorongosa, but also to teach others and bring about awareness of the need to take environmental action for future generations.