Rodrigo W. Soria Auza
Rodrigo has a degree in Biology from the Universidad Mayor de San Simón (Cochabamba, Bolivia). He moved to Santa Cruz de la Sierra to work in Armonía between January 2003 and September 2005. During this time, he led a multidisciplinary teams of biologists working to identify the first Key Biodiversity Areas of Bolivia (a collaborative project by the University of Glasgow, Association Armonía, and the Museum of Natural History Noel Kempff Mercado). He also had a key role in identifing the Important Bird Areas of Bolivia. He later developed the Conservation and Research Program for the Horned Curassow, discovering the population of this endangered species in the TIPNIS (Territorio Indígena y Parque Nacional Isiboro Sécure). In 2005, he began his PhD at the University of Goettingen (Germany) and obtained its PhD title in September 2009. Then he continued with a post doctorate at the same university until June 2011. He rejoined Armonía in 2011 as our Conservation Programs Director, and became Armonía’s Executive Director in August 2016. Since September 2018, Rodrigo is member of BirdLife’s Executive Committee for the Americas Regional Council.
Born in Quebec City, Canada, Bennett studied biology at the University of Toronto. He worked in the Congo for one year, before moving to Bolivia where he devoted himself full-time to bird conservation. Bennett has been CEO of Asociación Armonía since 2003 and Development Director since 2016. His work over the years has been very varied – from a field investigator, to coordinator of conservation programs, to supervisor of projects and he now devotes a large percentage of his time in raising and administrating funds. Bennett has produced thousands of successful proposals for Armonía’s conservation programs. He speaks English, French, Spanish and Portuguese.
Sebastian is a conservation ecologist with 21 years’ experience in South America, mainly in Bolivia and the tropical Andes. He studied biology and ecology in his home country of Germany and in California, USA. He has a doctorate in biological sciences from the University of Oldenburg and was a postdoctoral fellow of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). Since 2002, he has been the Scientific Director of Armonía. He has authored or coauthored more than 40 articles published in scientific journals. Since 2008, he has worked as an external investigator for the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI) and has been co-leading two multidisciplinary projects on climate change and its impact on biodiversity and ecosystems of the tropical Andes. On these projects he has lead teams of experts and collaborators, working together with NGOs, academia and relevant governments in the region.
Iván Perez Hurtado
Ivan has graduated at the Universidad San Simón de Cochabamba with Business Administration degree. He worked with young producers from Cochabamba´s tropical Chaparé region supporting fair trade projects to support local farmers.
Later he worked as Technical Director for the Chaco Programme of the Fundación Natura. He was an advisor and administrative director at Centro de Ecología Aplicada Simón I. Patiño, currently he is the administrative director of Armonía
Conservation Program Director
Tjalle was born in Gouda in The Netherlands. He obtained a Master of Science degree in Forest and Nature Conservation, specializing in terrestrial ecology at the Wageningen University and Research Centre in 2014. He cofounded his own arborist company in 2008 but decided to focus on bird conservation after finishing his degree. Since April 2015 he joined the Armonía team as the Barba Azul Nature Reserve Coordinator in charge of the reserve development and its sustainability. He partook in the first ever Blue-throated Macaw global census and led the expedition to find the breeding grounds of the northwestern subpopulation. Since April 2018 he is the Conservation Program Director, supervision Armonía’s conservation actions throughout Bolivia.
Laura was born in Cochabamba, she studied a degree in Tourism in Universidad Privada del Valle and a Master’s degree in Tourism Management and Consultancy in the Universidad Europea del Atlántico. She has over 9 years of work experience in sustainable tourism, theoretical and practical knowledge in various socio-environmental issues and extensive experience working with youth, women and community businesses. For Laura, tourism managed in a responsible way is a fundamental pillar for the sustainable development of society and the conservation of nature. She joins Armonía team in 2019.
Edson López Zambrana
Sustainable Cattle-ranching Coordinator
Born in the Beni Department of Bolivia (San Ramón del Machupo), Edson studied an agriculture and livestock technical degree at the Instituto Salesiano MUYURINA (Montero Santa Cruz). Later he graduated as an agronomist in Santa Cruz and concluded a post graduate course on Sustainable Management of Protected Areas in Trento, Italy. He worked at cattle-ranching entreprises in Italia and bred horses in Madrid, Spain. After returning to Bolivia he worked with indigneous communities of the Amazon region leading productive and sustainable forest managemnt projects. Before joining Armonía, he bred cattle in Beni. Passionate about sustainable cattle-ranching and conservation. He speaks Italian and Portuguese.
Leny Vargas Rocha
Leny has been working for a long time as accountant of several conservation organizations and has a natural passion for outdoors and conservation. She graduated from Gabriel Rene Moreno Autonomous University and has master of science degree in accounting.
Maite Aguilera Villarroel
Maite has a master of science degree in accountancy from UDABOL university in Santa Cruz de la Sierra. Maite always considered to work in conservation related non-profits, as she is keen to contribute with her two cents to the conservation of the Bolivian avifauna.
Yoselin Rocio Saavedra Umaña
Yoselin feels a great passion for conservation. Before coming to Armonía, she worked in the Lomas de Arena Regional Park and was responsible for the interpretation center. She earned a bachelor of science in conservation at Bolivia’s state university.
Born in Hungary, Márton felt a natural passion for wildlife and conservation from the very beginnings. He studied Political Science in Spain, and worked as a freelance journalist in Paraguay and Bolivia. Márton joined Armonía in July 2016 as a communications officer.
Silvia has been a core part of the Armonía team since 2010 and is a nurse by profession. She is always smiling and ready to provide assistance to the management team and all those who visit the office in Santa Cruz.
Luis Miguel Ortega Barbosa
Assistant coordinator Blue-throated Macaw reserves
Born in Trinidad (Beni) and still living in Trinidad. Starting his bachelor for veterinary and previously worked as driving instructor. Miguel started in February 2015 at Armonía, as chauffeur for the Blue-throated Macaw Conservation Program. Here Luis Miguel got into contact with conservation helping out in the Artificial Nest-box program in Loreto and environmental education at colleges. He participated in the Blue-throated Macaw global population census in 2015 and Blue-throated Macaw nest sites searches in 2017. Since April 2018 Miguel is the assistant coordinator for the Barba Azul Nature Reserve and the Laney Rickman Blue-throated Macaw reserve.
Carlos Alberto Roca Atoyay
Park Ranger of the Barba Azul Nature Reserve
Born in Exaltacion (Beni), living in Santa Ana de Yacuma (Beni). Husband of Yuri Vaca. Experience in agricultural and livestock management. Working for Armonía since 1/7/2017. Park Guard of the Barba Azul Nature Reserve and sponsored by the Keepers of the Wild program from World Land Trust. In Charge of patrolling, Blue-throated Macaw monitoring, general maintenance of the reserve, assistance to researchers and students.
“Incredible to see how wildlife is flourishing when protected and ilegal hunting is stopped. Barba Azul is teaming with wildlife”
Yuri Josefina Vaca Yucra
Field House Manager of the Barba Azul Nature Reserve
Born and living in Santa Ana de Yacuma (Beni). Husband of Carlos Roca. Graduated in 2009 studying general accountancy. Yuri has several years of experience in accountancy and administration. Working for Armonía since 1/7/2018. Yuri is in charge of visitor attendance, chef of Barba Azul, responsible for the maintenance of all infrastructure at Barba Azul South. Punctual, on time and organized.
“So much tranquility at the Barba Azul Nature Reserve and incredible to meet so many people all around the world”.
Cesar Flores Aguilera
Park Ranger of the Laney Rickman Blue-throated Macaw Reserve
Born and living in Loreto (Beni) the oldest village of the Beni Department. Working for Armonía since 2009 with the artificial nest-box program in the Loreto area and in the initial phases of the Barba Azul Nature Reserve establishment. Cesar has been monitoring Blue-throated macaw nest boxes for a decade and is has developed tremendous practical knowledge on the species. Since August 2018, he is the Park Ranger of the Laney Rickman Reserve and sponsored by the Keepers of the Wild program from World Land Trust. In charge of patrolling the reserve, nest-box monitoring and general maintenance of the reserve. Devoted to the breeding program.
Hernán López Arauz
Park Ranger Barba Azul East of the Barba Azul Nature Reserve
Born and living in Santa Ana de Yacuma (Beni). Born and raised cowboy in the Llanos de Moxos of the Beni department. Working for Armonía since 2007 in the search of the most important area for the Blue-throated Macaw of the northwestern subpopulation. Since the foundation of the Barba Azul Nature Reserve Hernan was part of the field team and was contracted in 2010. Since July 2016 he is Park Ranger of Barba Azul East. Hernan is in charge of the establishment of firebreaks throughout the reserve, the Armonía tractor, development activities for Barba Azul ranching and general maintenance of the reserve.