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Overview

Your bio:

I graduated as Civil Engineer and my life has been enriched by experiences in numerous fields, however I introduce myself as an “apprentice of a good citizen”. With my wife Juanita we founded non-profit Fundación Montecito in 2010, and it’s been our family endeavour since. Our mission is to work on benefit of Andean mounts and wetlands, it’s been mostly at Lake Tota (largest lake in Colombia). 

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My work has focused on improving governance: it is a long-term and complex process. The main achievement my job has brought is to provide a "voice" for Lake Tota with which it is better recognized and respected, however still long ahead to reach sustainability. I have long persevered (from 2012) on leading a designation for Lake Tota as a Ramsar site, since I am convinced on the benefits it could gradually bring to all (lake included) having this recognition on board.

Project name:

Fundación Montecito

One-line project summary:

Family NGO serving as example of civilian constancy to protect wetlands in our region, with governance meant as ethics and commitment.

Present your project.

I am committed on helping to solve (by example) a serious cause for most of our social-environmental problems we face: apathy from civil society to participate on solutions. It is not about occasional activism and protests (which help and are necessary), but rather a persevering exercise of civilian governance understood as ethics and commitment.

I propose as project a family non-profit and NGO (Fundación Montecito), to demonstrate based on a daily basis work with an effort of transparency -our entity and work is published and open to scrutiny-, how we can overcome apathy and contribute on changes that are positive for all.

My project can elevate humanity by calling others to action with showing our own path as a message of "it is possible", offering an explanation of that governance formula to act: ethics as adding knowledge, praxis and human values; and commitment as adding communication, education, participation and awareness.

Submit a video.

What specific problem are you solving?

Fundación Montecito's main focus is Lake Tota (largest lake in Colombia[1], providing consumption water to 350,000 people) by improving its governance. And the source-problem here is a pentagon of factors I am committed to solve[2], that combines:

  1. Lack of protection.
  2. Education failing to increase human values.
  3. Weakness in governability and governance.
  4. Economy injustice for the wetland itself.
  5. Lack of an integrated approach, including consumers.

As a consequence, Lake Tota's basin-and-users are affected by diffuse agriculture pollution —organic and chemical— (mainly onion fields: 2,400 Ha), organic waste from trout aquaculture in cages, in-flowing sewer water untreated (20,000 people), solid waste poorly managed, and increasing constructions out-of-rules. No wonder it received a Grey Globe award from the World-Wetland-Network as a wetland under threat (2012).

It happens in a tense and complex stakeholders map. I first came up with that pentagon analysis when writing a report for the Water Justice Network 2015's meeting, called Communicate about Water.

[1]: Lake Tota´s surface is 60 km2, in a 210 km2 high-Andean basin, globally unique by its "páramo" ecosystem location —this post (2014) relates to its situation.

[2]: My commitment is shown by the governance I lead with our NGO.

What is your project?

My project is Fundación Montecito (since 2010) in which I am its director, it's a family NGO serving as example of civilian constancy to protect wetlands in our region, with governance meant as ethics and commitment. Our main focus is Lake Tota.

It does work applying those governance principles. By ethics, we base our actions in knowledge and seek frequently for best sources; then applying them seeking for practical usage of that knowledge; and maintain conscious levels of good human values in all of what we do. By commitment, we care highly on communication, education, participation, and awareness.

Our path is to lead a process called Causa Tota, and to develop concrete projects in various sectors (water, biodiversity, artisanship, education-and-culture, and tourism). 

It does represent an example of civil society commitment, on a permanent participation to get sustainability for our environment (wetlands in particular, with a highlight on Lake Tota). 

So far we have supported ourselves mainly on volunteering, and have been able to get some external funding for our projects, at a small scale (e.g. this conservation project to help saving an endemic and endangered bird).

And we have been honoured by a number of recognitions.

Who does your project serve, and in what ways is the project impacting their lives?

The community my project serves at Lake Tota is a complex map of stakeholders: a net of multiple sectors.

It was known, far in the past, as a sacred site for our indigenous Muiscas. Nowadays, the vast majority's interest is only productivity - at any cost: pollution, abuse of nature, apathy.

That economic only-like interest is having a heavy social-environmental bill to be paid back. Reduction of nature health is generating increasing human health issues, yet to be investigated.

It's been highly complicated for authorities to intervene (anarchy is king), despite their increased efforts over the past decade.

What we and I do to understand their needs, is a frequent participation in multiple community scenarios, at all levels and with most of them. For later reflections, and study, to try to get a right community picture.

I engage them by constant interaction and debates, in person or other (virtual, social media), no matter how difficult they can be. Always with respect but character. My life has been at risk a few times.

My project addresses their needs by working on that pentagon of factors (above) that are in the origin of the problems, trying to minimise causes.

Which dimension of The Elevate Prize does your project most closely address?

Elevating issues and their projects by building awareness and driving action to solve the most difficult problems of our world

Explain how your project relates to The Elevate Prize and your selected dimension.

Choosing a dimension inevitably put a focus on one and not in others, but I believe my project has connections with those other dimensions too, because it also elevated opportunities to rural communities (traditionally left behind), and seeks people's attitude changes by pursuing sustainability in general.

I chose: "Elevating issues and their projects by building awareness and driving action to solve the most difficult problems of our world" and my project aligns with it because its main component is education, which connects to awareness, but my goal goes further and aims for people's coherence: to be aware and act accordingly.

How did you come up with your project?

Lake Tota and nature in general has been always close to my life, as it has been also to my wife. But this was not enough.

Back in 2003, we had a picnic next to Lake Tota and we got closely engaged with a near-by property, which we could acquire after three years of negotiation.

In 2007 I was approached by a trout producer, requesting me for renting our property for a trout-in-cages industry endeavour. And I did it with a long 15-years contract, motivated only by having an income out of it. After a few months I realised my mistake: it was seriously pollutant to the lake, and I ignored it. But it was late.

Pain-and-shame were then my first stage towards my project.

After contacting authorities to react on that, not only they didn't, but they treated me disrespectfully and I was forced to legal steps to get their attention. Indignation then, was my second stage.

I crossed a 3-year process that finally awakened my awareness with a strong call-to-action to collaborate on that beautiful lake, in its variety of problem-sources aiming for sustainability.

That call became a passion for working on the topic, by creating Fundación Montecito.

Why are you passionate about your project?

When I founded Fundación Montecito with my wife, I felt that high call-to-action as it's mentioned above. Soon after I read "Indignez-Vous!" (Time for Outrage!) by Stéphan Hessel, and I realised how the process I personally entered in, was well described there: Find that in society that makes you react the most, get indignation by yourself, and do not be passive, act and go searching that change you want to elevate awareness and positiveness in your society.

It was a good feeling to find that identity.

Later I found the "Connecting Dots" video-conference by Steve Jobs, and I also got identified with that reflection. I actually felt exactly that when creating Fundación Montecito, to have that sudden feeling of "this is it!" in terms of doing what we get passionate about. It all made sense, my previous experiences, studies, connections and inner affections were, in a way, connected into one clear goal, materialized in our NGO.

By the time being, I understand (and define myself now) that this work pursues a path to be better citizens. It's not only about protecting nature in my region, but rather an integral condition to be better human beings. This motivates myself strongly.

Why are you well-positioned to deliver this project?

To face a complex environment requires a multiple-skills' dose. Working on nature to pursue sustainability is not only about knowing well of a few themes, but rather a challenge of a multi-intelligence skill level.

My academic background and the experiences I was able to have prior to my project, I do believe they altogether helped me have that "I-can-do-it" instinct feeling.

  1. I am a Civil Engineer. It's not only about civil engineering, but rather a capability to analyse complexity and solve problems.
  2. I have travelled quite a bit, and have lived abroad twice: one year in the US (back in 1991), and two years in the UK (back in 1997), this experiences are key when it comes to face cultural differences.
  3. My father was a great example of overcoming difficulties and limitations, being born in an environment of poverty and violence, he faced life in an exemplary manner and I witness how many in my society thought he was an engineer, an architect, a lawyer or many more, admirable because he scarcely went to primary school in his life. My mum in turn, is a lovely example of an energised spirit, nothing seems impossible for her. So that is my family school.
  4. When my father died (1999), our situation was complicated and I had to face numerous challenges to avoid bankruptcy in my family, it helped me become a multi-grade individual.

It all has helped myself building up both strength and social sensitiveness, which are key elements to my project.

Provide an example of your ability to overcome adversity.

My father was an entrepreneur person in the insurance-and-construction business, at a local level. When he died (1999) -and this happened by a sudden, in a car accident-, our family economy was adverse, with a patrimony in the back but having numerous debts and significant obligations (e.g. two important projects on progress). I am the oldest son of three, and I had just arrived from the UK after living there for 2+ years.

When you receive a sudden call of that size and context, it's not an easy challenge. I faced it, it took me nearly ten years of effort (dealing with multiple stakeholders), but I was able to overcome it, with my family solidarity.

In my project, a difficult situation came from the very start of. My project was not listened, I was "too little" for our authorities' perspective. I created an open letter to the President of Colombia and other officials, later we made a nudity protest to call for an answer, and I was able to get Lake Tota win the Grey Globe Award as an international call-for-action on this wetland under threat. It changed the equation, we remain small but now are listened and respected.

Describe a past experience that demonstrates your leadership ability.

I quote a combined action from 2010 to 2012 in my project, that helped our authorities turn their head to Lake Tota with seriousness soon after in 2013 (Presidency, Ministries, regional and local authorities), and a significant international cooperation from Europe to support water management at this ecosystem (EUR 3.4 million).

This combined experience was:

  1. A legal action (2010) against trout-in-cages activities in Lake Tota, it remains active today with no resolution but was a milestone in the start-up of our collective understanding about bad practices and its consequences. Later (2017) it helped to creating a regulation that aims to stop that pollution.
  2. An open letter (2011-2012) to our national and regional authorities, calling for an action to preserve Lake Tota. It was backed with more than 3.000 signatures.
  3. A nudity event (2012) I created and managed, asking for a prompt response to our open letter.
  4. The Grey Globe Award (2012) obtained for Lake Tota through the World Wetland Network, being the one with more votes in that worldwide contest. I went to Romania to receive its diploma.
  5. public petition (2012) to demand from our government a designation of Lake Tota as a Ramsar site, backed by numerous signatures.

How long have you been working on your project?

Ten (10) years, since 2010.

Where are you headquartered?

Sogamoso, Boyaca, Colombia

What type of organization is your project?

Nonprofit

More About Your Work

If you have additional video content that explains your project, provide a YouTube or Vimeo link here:

Describe what makes your project innovative.

The concept and language: Although the using of terms like sustainability, governance, wise use and more, are technical and dense, and do not really help when it comes to discussions with locals, my project has came with a formula to explain it all better: 3+4 = 10 (not quite a formula for an engineer!). With a friend, I had a radio program named just like that.

Ten (10) for the Governance concept (it's the number of letters in it). Three (3) to explain Ethics as an adding of knowledge, praxis, and human values. And Four (4) is to explain Commitment as an adding of a CEPA acronym: communication, education, participation, and awareness. 

That formula is our work's summary, which I constantly use it both to nourish what we do, but also to explain others about its importance to beat apathy and get involved.

Volunteering: The engagement of volunteers (and it has been mostly with international participants) has been truly innovative in our region, and we are recognized for that. In our 10 years of activity we have had nearly 100 helpers from around the world (nearly 20 countries). It's currently suspended for the pandemic, more details here.

A 'monster' to educate: With the legend of El Muyso, we have created a cultural festival to spread environmental culture.

Our own wetlands award: This year (2020) and soon-to-be-public, we created the Múcura Award to motivate children and youth on wetlands conservation in rural areas.

What is your theory of change?

First, and carefully, by having a close attachment to our governance formula as explained above (ethics with 3 elements, and commitment in turn with 4), because we believe how strong -if accomplished- or fragile -if failed- it can be in pursuing ANY purpose or plan.

Second, our activities are divided into processes (or long-term goals), and projects (with more closer and manageable time-frames), and we will continue doing it that way. Our best example is what we do at Lake Tota: we have a long-term process called Causa Tota, equivalent to climbing a high mountain targeting the top with no having a prior path to follow; and we have short-term projects to have early wins, or success stages into that long climb.

And third, our main structural activities (on biodiversity, water management, education and culture, tourism, and private natural reserves) they all are targeting outcomes of increasing awareness, supporting protection measurements, promoting more conservation policies, increasing community participation and knowledge, delivering new economical means in the territories we work in, and involving authorities in harmony with their constitutional obligations.

Concrete outputs from all those activities are a Ramsar designation for Lake Tota, an operation of our ABC Tota Wetland Centre with its yearly calendar of activities, operation of private natural reserves with their own Visitors Centres, influential reports as results from biodiversity and conservation initiatives, and our new Múcura Wetlands Award to motivate conservation actions by children and youth in rural areas of my region.

The level of success in our resources (human, or financial) will determine the size of our influence and the speed of our goals' accomplishments. But I am determined to pursue them all, no matter the size, with perseverance - the bigger and quicker the better though! (urgency in nature conservation is alarming).

Select the key characteristics of the community you are impacting.

  • Women & Girls
  • Children & Adolescents
  • Elderly
  • Rural
  • Low-Income
  • Middle-Income

Which of the UN Sustainable Development Goals does your project address?

  • 1. No Poverty
  • 3. Good Health and Well-Being
  • 4. Quality Education
  • 5. Gender Equality
  • 6. Clean Water and Sanitation
  • 8. Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • 10. Reduced Inequalities
  • 11. Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • 12. Responsible Consumption and Production
  • 13. Climate Action
  • 15. Life on Land
  • 16. Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions

In which countries do you currently operate?

  • Colombia

In which countries will you be operating within the next year?

  • Colombia

How many people does your project currently serve? How many will it serve in one year? In five years?

By the prioritisation that my project has on Lake Tota, what Fundación Montecito does has a potential impact on nearly 350.000 people who uses its water for human consumption, in which we (I myself and my family included) fully depend on that resource for our lives.

I do believe that is the number of people that my project serves on a permanent basis, as an umbrella impact, either currently, or in one or five years. The more we are able to upgrade results with our influence in governance, the better and clearer the impact we can bring to that community.

And Lake Tota is also a site of national importance from multiple perspectives (e.g. it stores 13% of our country's water natural sources, or 44% in volume from all 3 major lakes and smaller lagoons in the country), therefore my project serves a larger -yet undetermined number- of people nationwide, on a permanent basis too.

For instance, a designation for Lake Tota as a Ramsar site (an objective we pursue since 2012 but in which only this year we obtained it to be included as an official item in the Action Plan for our environmental authority), it would have an overflowing effect to serve our Nation.

Besides to that umbrella governance process on Lake Tota (framed through our Causa Tota), our individual projects on biodiversity, education or culture, water and sanitation, tourism or natural private reserves, they all do serve additionally small numbers of people or determined groups.

What are your goals within the next year and within the next five years?

Within the next year, my goals with the project are:

  1. Being able to start operations with an on-site venue as a first-stage of our ABC Tota Wetland Centre, at Lake Tota (abctota.org). This initiative aims to catalyse and boost our influence in that territory, by having our own site as reference for locals, visitors and any interested community in that wetland.

    We are close to finish a small accommodation venue as part of it, and named Hostel Xieti (http://xieti.abctota.org/).

    From ABC Tota, I will be able to develop a calendar of yearly activities, therefore this next year will be the beginning of.

  2. I envision to have one or two more projects of biodiversity on progress, to continue working on bird conservation at Lake Tota.

  3. And I do plan to continue helping to make more progress for a Ramsar designation of Lake Tota.

In turn, within the next five years my goals are:

  1. To have a visitors centre within our ABC Tota Wetland Centre.
  2. To call-as-a-victory the designation of Lake Tota as a Ramsar site.
  3. To have complementary operations on two private natural reserves, having visitors centres on both, one of them will be La Hondura Canyon Natural Reserve - in which this year we started a process for that.
  4. To have a continuity and growth of our Múcura Wetlands Award for youth and children in rural areas of my region, having winners receiving more support in their life plans.
  5. To witness numerous progresses in sustainability at Lake Tota.

What barriers currently exist for you to accomplish your goals in the next year and in the next five years?

I consider as barriers the uncertainties that I face in terms of:

  • Adequate progress from authorities towards decisions framed under the Sustainable Development Goals, thus to facilitate an articulation with my project's own goals.
  • Results from applications to grants or funding for project's development.
  • Level of reactivation in humanity (mobility and interests) once this pandemic situation gets more under control.
  • General response from society to the initiatives my project could offer.

Nevertheless, barriers do not necessarily stop goals, but invite to find other ways to accomplishing objectives, either as planned (following other paths) or by reconsidering the plan in terms of pursuing different goals for similar long-term purposes. I cannot anticipate all this, but I am positive and hope of being able to overcome any adversity if that would be the case.

My project's long-term purposes with the ecosystem of our main interest (Lake Tota) will remain the same: "Recovery and perpetual preservation of Lake Tota and its basin, with a wetland's wise use criteria". And all of our experience gained throughout the years working at Lake Tota is for us a capacity built that will potentially bring benefits to any other cause or territory we work on.

How do you plan to overcome these barriers?

Perseverance in our governance formula: Ethics (knowledge, praxis, human values) and Commitment (communication, education, participation, awareness); and in leading initiatives with creativity and conviction. As I have demonstrated it all as working principles, along my decade of activities at Fundación Montecito.

I do understand by experience how difficult and delayed any accomplishment can be. And I also recognize how complicated it is to work under structural limitations (human resource, funding). But I do also know that perseverance pays off, and I am positive that is the way to overcome barriers.

What organizations do you currently partner with, if any? How are you working with them?

Networks:

  1. World Wetland Network (associated link). With our project we are members of WWN since 2011, I have served as regional representative, and have participated in an international meeting held in Japan (2016), this network helps their members in strengthen capacities for wetland management and participation in the international arena. With WWN we were able to get the Grey Globe Award for Lake Tota (2012).
  2. Living Lakes Network (link). Our project is a member of LLN since 2014, this network encourages an integrated capacity-and-actions towards the protection of lakes, we participate with Lake Tota. I've had the opportunity to attend meetings with them in China (2014) and Spain (2019). With them we participated in building up a Green Filter for Lake Tota (2015), and were able to fundraise a project on beekeeping, at Lake Tota too.
  3. GlobalGiving (link). We became permanent partners of GlobalGiving this year (2020) after successfully passed their Accerelator program, and we currently have one project in bird conservation being crowdfunded with them. GG is a supporting network to increase capabilities for fundraising and networking. They are collaborative and constantly spread up ways of upgrading knowledge in that field.

Donors:

  • The Prince Bernhard Nature Fund, The Netherlands (link). With The PBNF we were granted a support to undertake a project on bird conservation (2019-2020), for which we have a dedicated website. It has represented a significant support both for the donor level, and the possibilities they are opening to us.
Your Business Model & Funding

What is your path to financial sustainability?

We have been operating at my project so far without financial sustainability, supported basically by family philanthropy from savings, but having numerous limitations at work because resources are scarce. 

For our basic sustainability (to sustain a basic team and a secretary) we are aiming to get financial sustainability by:

To work on projects, we rely on fundraising and grants. Our recent example is the conservation initiative to protect endemic bird Apolinar's Wren at Lake Tota, which it was generously supported by The Prince Bernhard Nature Fund from The Netherlands (pbnf.nl).

If you have raised funds for your project or are generating revenue, please provide details.

Grants and fundraising:

  • Type of funding: Grant.
    Supporting organization: The Prince Bernhard Nature Fund (PBNF), from The Netherlands.
    Year: 2019
    Amount: US $ 22.600 (EUR $ 20.000)
    One-year-project: Bird conservation initiative at Lake Tota.
    Project's website: https://a1.abctota.org
  • Type of funding: Crowdfunding.
    Supporting intermediate platform: GlobalGiving (US & UK)
    Year: 2019-2020
    Amount: $ 5.900
    Project: Save Endangered Apolinar's Wren w/ Art & Education
    Link: http://goto.gg/43861
  • Type of funding: Award.
    Supporting organization: The PBNF, Netherlands.
    Year: 2020
    Amount: US $5.800 (EUR $ 5.200)
    Concept: Matching funds offered as incentive for a successful accomplishment on the Accelerator program at GlobalGiving.
  • Type of funding: Microgrant.
    Supporting organization: Idea Wild (US)
    Year: 2019
    Ammount: $ 623
    Details: Equipment to support field work.
  • Type of funding: Microgrant.
    Supporting organization: GlobalGiving
    Year: 2020
    Amount: $ 1.000
    Detail: Covid-19 hardship microgrant initiative (link).
  • Type of funding: Grant.
    Supporting organization: Rapunzel - Hand-in-Hand Funds, Germany.
    Year: 2017
    Amount: US $ 4,750 (EUR $ 4.200)
    Year: 2017
    Detail: Bee protection on the Tota Lake (link), received through our partner organization Global Nature Fund (Germany).
    Project's website: https://www.facebook.com/tochuatota
  • Type of funding: Crowdfunding.
    Supporting intermediate platform: Indiegogo
    Year: 2016
    Ammount: $ 2.050
    Detail: Bees of Lake Tota, Colombia (link).

Revenues: Not revenue sources yet.

If you seek to raise funds for your project, please provide details.

The following numbers are an estimation, for funds needed in next five years to accomplish with main activities planned in my project:

  • Initiative ABC Tota Wetland Centre would require an est. $90.000 to have a visitors centre's venue, a small conference room, cafeteria, infrastructure for activities, and relevant accommodation facilities.
    I expect to raise it by stages, with grants as part of relevant activities in the field in which those stages could play a role.
    Expected to be revenue-generating-operation: Yes.

  • Our private natural reserves in turn would require an est. $60.000 to have a basic infrastructure (a visitor's venue, with basic facilities to host field helpers, camping facilities, treks) and equipment to operate.
    I envision to raise it similarly, with grants as part of certain conservation projects in the reserves, first with La Hondura Canyon where the property is already under our administration.
    Expected to be revenue-generating-operation: Yes.
  • To continue with our Múcura Wetlands Award would require an est. $10.000, to support every year's contest and create ceremony events, during that period (5 years).
    I expect to raise it with microgrants and agreements with certain brands (for the prizes) and supporting entities.
    Expected to be revenue-generating-operation: No.

  • To operate our NGO during that time (5 years) for our generic governance activities, having a basic team (min. x3 people), it would require an est. $180.000, to cover salaries and logistics. So far, we have been able to operate our NGO with many limitations and highlighting volunteering.
    I expect to cover most of this by our operations with revenues.

What are your estimated expenses for 2020?

From that estimated fundraising as explained above in my prior answer, I expect this year to raise at least 15% of it (an est. $40.000).

The Prize

Why are you applying for The Elevate Prize?

Recognition.- I have experienced that international recognition is a powerful tool to convince others at national, regional or local level, and is able to "move the wheel" in ways that not-having-it makes it truly hard. It positively happened with us when we obtained the Grey Globe Award for Lake Tota (2012) with the World Wetland Network, or more recently when we manage to get the Top100 Green Destinations Award for Lake Tota (2017), and the Top3 Americas Green Destinations for Lake Tota at ITB Berlin (2018). It helps to raise project's profile and grabs attention and interest from all.

Therefore, I am confident that The Elevate Prize will upgrade significantly our profile and will cover our project with high levels of trust and belief, that all in one will definitely help to overcome any barrier from apathy both from public or private level. And it will certainly contribute to convince donors or grant makers of the importance to support our project, therefore facilitating scaling up our capacities and resources to operate.

Funding.- That funding from The Elevate Prize will represent an outstanding support that will certainly facilitate the accomplishment of our initiatives, and will accelerate the creation of conditions to get our revenue projects become real sooner, therefore giving us a financial sustainability tools to operate for decades.

Networking and articulation.- This elements will empower our project to scale up from the small (tiny) organization we are now, to elevate results as a mid-size entity.

In which of the following areas do you most need partners or support?

  • Funding and revenue model
  • Mentorship and/or coaching
  • Board members or advisors
  • Monitoring and evaluation
  • Marketing, media, and exposure

Please explain in more detail here.

Funding and revenue models: I need to become more accurate in preparing proposals, be more effective, and increase our success rates. In revenues, I do not want to mess around with what I have in mind, therefore a close advice for the projects we plan would be highly appreciated.

Mentorship and coaching: In generic, having someone with expertise close to us to get frequent advice or debate of ideas, will be always appreciated.

Board members or advisors: I envision that once we are able to grow, we need that board. Our NGO can remain as family but, the bigger we become the better to have more precautions and advice along the way from an external team. This will add in organizational levels, that help both internally and before any third party.

Marketing: We need to build capacity on marketing effectiveness in all of what we do.

What organizations would you like to partner with, and how would you like to partner with them?

One of the main purposes from my project's mission and strategies is to build up knowledge, partnerships, and activities from it that can potentially bring revenues not only to us but, also shared to benefit our local communities.

From that, and considering the uniqueness of the ecosystems in which we have the fortune to work with (a tropical and mega diverse country, a unique lake located in a unique páramowatershed, and an outstanting Andean canyon; I would like to partner with Universities worldwide in which undergraduate or graduate programs might be looking to having a spot like ours for their academic development (to establish alliances for internships and research in our sites), with more organizations working on wetlands and lakes, and with biodiversity entities (e.g. Audubon, or similar) to articulate projects on migratory species.

Since merchandising and equipment is also key in our development plans, I would also like to partner with specialised brands and manufacturers with which we can, at some point, have our own well stocked store and partnerships to support our revenue plans.

Finally, non-motorised navigation is a dream we have to motivate others become attracted to good practices and to raise awareness on wetlands conservation, therefore I would also like to partner with canoeing and other non-motorised boats' manufacturers and enthusiasts, to create alliances that could allow us to have those activities in Lake Tota, and increase an appreciation for our lake from that perspective.

Equipo de solución