Our Team - Comunidad Inti Wara Yassi (CIWY)

Our Team

The Founder

Tania ‘Nena’ Baltazar Lugones was born in the Yungas region of La Paz. She studied biology at the University of La Paz when, in 1992, she founded CIWY together with other activists to carry out activities in defense of the environment and wildlife. She has made CIWY’s mission the work of her life, having dedicated herself to the organization since she was 18 years old. Her commitment to CIWY and her love for animals makes her an inspiring leader for the organization.

In 1996, Nena, Juan Carlos Antezana and Milka Gutiérrez founded the first wildlife sanctuary in Bolivia for the care of animals rescued from illegal trafficking. Nena spent fourteen years as General Director of Machía Sanctuary and was instrumental in the expansion of CIWY in later years. In 2010 she was elected president, her current position.

In 1997 she received the Environmental Leadership Award from the Junior Chamber of La Paz, for her work leading youth in environmentalism.

In 1998 she received the Women’s Creativity in Rural Life Award from the Women’s World Summit Foundation (WWSF) for her environmental work. She is the youngest woman to receive a WWSF award.

Board of Directors

All members of the CIWY Board of Directors have demonstrated a great commitment to the organization and to the care of the environment and protection of fauna and flora. Members are elected for five-year periods and meet annually to evaluate CIWY’s work and to plan future strategies.

Tania 'Nena' Baltazar Lugones


President & Founder, CIWY

Ariadna Alejandra Crispín

Vice President

Veterinarian and Wildlife Specialist

Dr. Jara Cano Vitores

Planning Secretary

Veterinarian and Wildlife Specialist

Rusber Jiménez Zurita

Secretary of Education

Student of Veterinary Medicine, UMSS

Mercedes Baptista


Jonathan Cassidy

Secretary of International Relations

Managing Director of Quest Overseas



Dr. Verónica Gómez Tola, DVM

Advisor to CIWY

Tania 'Nena' Baltazar Lugones

President & Founder

Andrea Benavente Oliver

Director of Communication and Institutional Relations

Parque Machía

Jara Cano

Director / Head Veterinarian

Mercedes Baptista


Claire Gilant

Monkey Coordinator / Volunteer Coordinator

Ingrid Bustos Hernández


Parque Ambue Ari

Marcela Raygadas

Head Veterinarian

Luciano Quintana


Wilber ‘Oso’ Antonio Rasguido

Construction Coordinator

Jenn Messer

Cat Coordinator

Parque Jacj Cuisi

Pilar Rodríguez


Thomas Henry Farthing

Construction Coordinator

Yolanda Burke

Cat Coordinator