WORK

TEAM

BOARD


SIBYLLE FELTRIN


ROBERTO 
ARTAVIA


GIAN 
CASTILLERO

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR


KATHERINE 
ARROYO

STRATEGY ADVISOR


JORGE 
JIMÉNEZ

CO-INVESTMENTS


ALEJANDRA
PACHECO

COMPLIANCE


EMMANUELA DAZA

PROJECT FOLLOWING


ANDREA FALLAS

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY


MELQUISEDEC ORTIZ

ADMINISTRATION


MARTHA 
NAVARRETE


YANELA
CEDEÑO


EDNA
SILVA 


ÉDGAR 
ARAYA

SCIENCES


JUAN MANUEL 
POSADA


ANNISSAMYD 
DEL CID


MANUEL 
VELANDIA


RAQUEL ROMERO


JUAN
DÍAZ


FRESIA VILLALOBOS


LORNA MARCHENA


GABRIELA
MORA


ALLAN DARIO SEGURA

COMMUNICATIONS


KELLY
ROJAS


MELISSA 
ÁLVAREZ


MAGDALENA 
VELÁZQUEZ


MARIELLY PIEDRAHÍTA

JENNIFER
MARINEZ

ESTEFANÍA
PRIETO

POLITICAL INCIDENCE


MAGIE RODRIGUEZ

VICENTE
DEL CID


ANA 
ÁVILA


ALBERTO
QUESADA


FÉLIX
FONSECA


TANIA 
AROSEMENA


IRENE JOSEPHY

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JULIANA VALDÉS

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CINDY
LOTE

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GLORIA GONZÁLEZ


MARÍA
MEDINA

SIBYLLE FELTRIN

REGIONAL

Director of Asuera Stiftung since 2019, a Swiss foundation that is committed to sustainable development and creates opportunities for people to improve their living conditions through their own efforts. Served as a member of the Board of Directors of Avina and as secretary of the Viva Trust.

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ROBERTO ARTAVIA

REGIONAL

President of the VIVA Trust and the Latin America Possible Foundation.

He was the rector of the Central American Institute of Business Administration (INCAE) Business School, and founding director of the Latin American Center for Competitiveness and Sustainable Development. He is a member of the board of directors of INCAE and the World Resources Institute in Washington. He is a co-founder of the Digital Strategy project of Costa Rica and a member of the Competitiveness Commission of the Chamber of Commerce of Costa Rica. He is also a co-founder of the Central American Leadership Initiative and director of several international companies in the region.

He holds a PhD from Harvard Business School, a master’s degree in business administration from INCAE, and a bachelor’s degree in naval and mechanical engineering. He is the author of several books and dozens of articles and case studies on sustainable development, strategic management, nonprofit strategy, agribusiness and corporate social responsibility.

He has provided advice to corporations, nonprofit organizations and governments in Argentina, Paraguay, Chile, Colombia, Brazil, Ecuador, all Central American countries, Dominican Republic and Mexico. He has been invited as speaker at major forums on sustainable development in Latin America, the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia.

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GIAN CASTILLERO

REGIONAL

MEMBER OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF THE MARITIME UNIVERSITY OF PANAMA, THE PLAZA AMADOR SPORTS ASSOCIATION AND THE EXECUTIVE BOARD OF THE WTT FOUNDATION

He is the chairman of the subcommittee for the project to modernize Panama’s marine-commercial legislation. He is the president of the International Bar Association, and a member of the presidential committee for the protection of international and financial services in Panama. He is also a member of the International Maritime Committee. He was head of the Panamanian Association of Maritime Lawyers.

He holds a master’s degree in commercial law from the School of Economics at the University of London, and a bachelor’s degree in law and political science.

He has been a partner at the law firm Arias, Fábrega & Fábrega since 1994. His main areas of work are commercial, corporate and maritime law. He is a private advisor in several fields of expertise: asset management, management and structuring of foundations and trusts, and philanthropic entities, tax planning and corporate consulting. He is also a professional advisor to several NGOs in Panama: MarViva, Avina, América Latina en Acción Solidaria (ALAS), Fundes, Latinoamérica Posible, Red Forum Empresa and Un techo para mi país.

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KATHERINE ARROYO ARCE

COSTA RICA

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Katherine is a lawyer with a specialization in environmental law, with advanced studies in climate change, international law and international relations. In 2016, she received the Fernando Soto Harrison Award, granted by the University of Costa Rica in recognition of the excellence of her thesis “Public participation in environmental issues: The case of the Councils of the National System of Conservation Areas”, which is considered the most outstanding graduation thesis of the School of Law in 2015.

After a decade of experience, she has recently worked in areas such as sustainable development, green growth, international trade and climate action. She has also mediated in the process of inter-institutional coordination of the Costa Rican environmental sector, in view of the country’s incorporation into the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. She has also coordinated volunteer projects in Protected Wildlife Areas and their surrounding communities.

For her, it is important to study the relationship between environmental and economic policies, and how these can be mutually supportive. MarViva has allowed her to work in favor of the right to a healthy and ecologically balanced environment, promoting the improvement of our environmental legal framework, encouraging the sustainable use of ecosystem services of marine-coastal resources, supporting the generation of sustainable productive activities and calling for responsible consumption habits.

She enjoys music, practicing the guitar, studying international politics and getting to know different places.

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JORGE JIMÉNEZ RAMÓN

COSTA RICA

REGIONAL STRATEGY ADVISOR

Jorge holds a PhD in marine ecology. His extensive experience in the field has made him a researcher at the School of Biological Sciences, a member of the Postgraduate Academic Committee, coordinator of the Mangrove Forest Ecology and Management Program, and a member of the University Council of the National University of Costa Rica. He has been a visiting professor at institutions in the United States, Latin America, the Caribbean, Australia and Europe. He has also worked as an ad-honorem professor of the Postgraduate Studies System and as an associate researcher at the Marine Research Center of the University of Costa Rica.

Before joining MarViva, he worked with the Tropical Agronomic Research and Teaching Center (CATIE) as a specialist in management of mangrove and wild areas. At the Instituto de Forestería Tropical, Puerto Rico, he served as an instructor of the Tropical Forest Management course, and as an instructor in postgraduate courses of the Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS), where he is also a member of the assembly and the board of directors. He was director of biological inventories at the National Institute of Biodiversity (INBio), director of scientific programs and general director of the OTS.

His experience in mangrove ecology is summarized in several publications, including maps, technical reports, scientific articles and books. His book “The Mangroves of the Central American Pacific” stands out.

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ALEJANDRA PACHECO

REGIONAL

REGIONAL DIRECTOR OF CO-INVESTMENTS

Alejandra has extensive international experience in the public, private and nonprofit sectors. She holds master’s degrees in project management from the University for International Cooperation and in business administration from the INCAE Business School.

Since joining MarViva in 2010, she has been responsible for the creation of alliances and fundraising in favor of marine conservation and sustainability initiatives promoted by the foundation in Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia and the Eastern Tropical Pacific.

Previously, Alejandra was a collaborator in the Costa Rican Coalition of Development Initiatives dedicated to attracting foreign direct investment from North America, Europe and Asia. She served as a diplomatic representative for the Government of Costa Rica in Spain and held international promotion functions in the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Tourism. She also held executive positions in multinational companies based in the United States, Spain, Mexico and Argentina.

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EMMANUELA DAZA SECCO

COLOMBIA

REGIONAL COMPLIANCE MANAGER

Biologist from Universidad Javeriana de Bogotá, Colombia, with a Master’s in Sustainable Management of Aquatic Resources and a PhD in Aquatic Sciences from the University of Jyväskylä, Finland.

She has more than 15 years of experience working for natural resources as a researcher in bio monitoring projects, particularly analyzing the impact of human activities on aquatic ecosystems, as a teacher in schools and universities, and in recent years, as a project manager in organizations dedicated to the protection of the sea, its resources and the human communities that interact with it. She is a devoted mom and culinary apprentice who enjoys books, physical activity, the beach, the mountains and good wine. Her greatest professional motivation is knowing that her work contributes to the sustainable development and progress of the region. Through the projects she works on, she seeks to ensure the fair and sustainable use of marine resources and to reduce social gaps. She sees in MarViva the opportunity to connect the diverse areas of knowledge represented by the excellent professional team, to develop transdisciplinary projects that address the problems of coastal communities and to ensure the protection of the oceans in a comprehensive manner.

“All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change.” Mahatma Gandhi.

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ANDREA FALLAS HENRÍQUEZ

COSTA RICA

REGIONAL COORDINATOR FOR PROJECT FOLLOW UP

Andrea has a Bachelor’s Degree in Forestry Engineering and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Project Management.

From an early age she developed a strong awareness of environmental issues and a concern for the impact of society on nature. She began her professional career collaborating with local associations and ASADAS, on the conservation of protected areas for water resources, as well as on environmental awareness and education activities.

She completed her undergraduate thesis on the topic of economic valuation of ecosystem services, which was awarded Summa Cum Laude. Since 2018 she has worked in different NGO’s, where her work focused on the southern part of Costa Rica – the most biodiverse area of the country, but also an area with significant social and economic deficiencies. During this time Andrea developed projects related to environmental education, forest and mangrove ecosystem restoration, livelihood studies, regenerative agriculture, among others, related to community empowerment and sustainable local development options.
As hobbies, she enjoys walks in the forest accompanied by her dogs, making handicrafts and reading.

The new stage in MarViva represents for her another opportunity to work for sustainable development, this time, working in marine ecosystems and their communities, being the person in charge of closely following the execution of each of the projects implemented by the Foundation.

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MELQUISEDEC ORTIZ

REGIONAL

TECHNOLOGY MANAGER

Melquisedec es Licenciado en Ingeniería y está especializado en Desarrollo de Software, de la Universidad Tecnológica de Panamá. También cuenta con una especialización en hacking ético, pruebas de penetración, análisis de vulnerabilidades y seguridad de redes. Tiene vasta experiencia en la parte tecnológica de la Fundación, ya que desde hace varios años trabajó como outsourcing en la oficina de Panamá y desde hace casi tres (3) años ha estado brindando soporte técnico a nivel regional.

 

Fuera del ámbito laboral, sus pasatiempos incluyen disfrutar del atardecer en la playa, la investigación de nuevas tecnologías y la participación en competencias de hacking ético. Disfruta de la oportunidad de enfrentar nuevos desafíos tecnológicos y aplicar sus conocimientos para mejorar la seguridad y eficiencia de los sistemas informáticos. También le apasiona poder brindar soporte técnico y soluciones a los usuarios, ayudándoles a resolver problemas y facilitando su trabajo.

 

Trabajar en MarViva implica, para Melquisedec, contribuir a la conservación y protección del medio ambiente marino desde una perspectiva tecnológica. A través de su experiencia y conocimientos, espera poder fortalecer los sistemas y la infraestructura tecnológica de MarViva, garantizando así el cumplimiento de sus objetivos de conservación y sostenibilidad marina.

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MARTHA NAVARRETE ROBAYO

COLOMBIA

ADMINISTRATIVE COORDINATOR

Martha is a Certified Public Accountant, who graduated from The Ideas University, with a specialization in commercial and financial law conferred by the Catholic University of Colombia.

She worked for more than 18 years at IFF Multinational in the financial sector; she started as an assistant in the administrative department and was the Accountant of the company. Additionally, she worked as an Accountant in several companies in the commercial and services sector.

She joined MarViva in 2017 and since then has overseen the administrative and financial departments .

She is very interested in interpersonal relationships, is a believer and looks for opportunities to improve in every aspect. She enjoys family life very much and spends her free time with her relatives. She lives with her father, sister, son and two pets.

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YANELA CEDEÑO VEGA-AYALA

PANAMÁ

REGIONAL MANAGER OF ADMINISTRATION AND FINANCE

Yanela Vega-Ayala de Cedeño holds a degree in accounting from the University of Panama and is an Authorized Public Accountant (CPA). She has a postgraduate degree in senior management and two master’s degrees in business administration, one with an emphasis on business management and another with an emphasis on human resources, from the Latin University of Panama. She holds a PMD Pro1 Development Project Management Certification, awarded by APM Group Ltd, Buckinghamshire, England.

She worked for more than seven years in the private banking sector of Panama, and was recognized by the Banking Association of Panama with the distinction of Distinguished Employee of the Bank of Colombia in 1994 and later in 1997.

She worked as an Accountant at Crea Consulting, S.A., obtaining experience in financial reporting, budgeting, accounting for nonprofit organizations, administration and human resources. In 2006, she joined Fundación MarViva as Administration and Finance Manager.

She has participated in financial seminars of international organizations, as well as courses by Franklin Covey and John Maxwell on leadership, teamwork, emotional intelligence and interpersonal relationships, among others.

 

She enjoys reading, and spending time with friends and family.

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EDNA SILVA OBANDO

COSTA RICA

ADMINISTRATOR

She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with a specialization in Finance, Banking and Stock Exchange, from Universidad Veritas. She has a Diploma in Accounting from the Technological Institute for Business Administration (Instituto Tecnológico de Administración de Negocios).

With more than 13 years of experience as a financial analyst, she worked for 6 years in private banking and for 5 years in the largest national savings and credit cooperative in Costa Rica. Through this work she obtained experience in both the complete processes of credit analysis, investment portfolio management, preparation and filing of taxes with the Ministry of Finance, customer service, personnel management, and payroll processing.

She has also studied leadership, emotional intelligence, teamwork and interpersonal relations.

Edna is a family woman: she enjoys the company of her children and husband, she loves to cook to please her family. She loves to garden and go to the beach. She is passionate about listening to the stories of older adults, for whom she feels great affinity and respect.

“If God blesses us every day with the gift of life, we should positively impact somebody by being kind, empathetic, giving a smile and taking an interest in the needs of others.”

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ÉDGAR ARAYA SOLANO

COSTA RICA

ACCOUNTANT

Edgar has a Bachelor’s degree in public accounting, and nearly 20 years of experience working with administration and accounting teams.

He worked as a BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) Supervisor in Asesores y Consultores Empresariales, a company of Public Accountants with international representation of the Geneva Group International firm based in Switzerland, which is a worldwide network of independent professional companies whose main activities are in the fields of external auditing, accounting, taxes, and business consulting. He has been a consultant for labor, taxes, accounting, finance, auditing and accounting software implementation.

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JUAN MANUEL POSADA

PANAMÁ

EDITORIAL COORDINATOR AND REGIONAL SCIENTIFIC ADVISOR

Juan M. Posada was born in 1959, in Caracas, Venezuela; he is the son of Spanish immigrants (Asturias). He is a biologist who graduated from the Central University of Venezuela (1984), with a PhD in biological oceanography from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez University Campus (1996). His first professional steps were with the Los Roques Scientific Foundation as a resident biologist at the Dos Mosquises Marine Biology Station (1986-89). He worked for 14 years as a professor and researcher in the Department of Biology of Organisms of the Simón Bolívar University, and is currently the Editorial Coordinator and Regional Scientific Advisor. His area of interest has always been linked to marine fish biology and the management of artisanal fishery resources. He is proud of the 24 students who have completed their undergraduate or postgraduate studies under his mentorship, and has published 22 articles in indexed refereed journals and another 57 in conference reports, book chapters and technical reports. During the last few years, he has developed an interest in the massification of scientific knowledge, through the production of documentaries, press articles and the creation of electronic information pages. He is married and has two children. He likes good food, traveling with family and taking care of his friends, despite the time and distance.

“Fighting not to end up as a forensic biologist of marine fishery resources” -Juan Manuel Posada.

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ANNISSAMYD DEL CID GONZÁLEZ

PANAMÁ

SCIENCE MANAGER

As an environmental biologist, with a specialization in coastal ecology, coastal marine resource management and higher education, Annissamyd is fully dedicated to the conservation of marine life since the start of her professional career, with experience in marine resource assessments, management plans, impact studies and environmental monitoring for private companies, universities and NGOs.

In MarViva, the most rewarding work for her is working with coastal communities, strengthening the knowledge of various users of the resources, including fishermen, who she identifies as an important ally to promote conservation and bring about changes in the actions that lead to more sustainable practices in the use of marine resources — “fishermen are the empirical marine biologists”.

Annissamyd has a constant vocation to continue researching and learning alongside fishermen; she has interests in the areas of fishing technology, marine pollution and fisheries bioeconomy. Her hobbies include going to the beach, scuba diving and going to the cinema.

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MANUEL VELANDIA DÍAZ

COLOMBIA

SCIENCE COORDINATOR

Manuel is a geographer, with a master’s degree in geography from the National University of Colombia.

He has more than four years of experience in the environmental sector and in the management and administration of geographic information of the coastal marine environments of the Colombian Pacific. He has been a contributor to several publications such as “Towards the declaration of a new marine protected area (MPA) in the Gulf of Tribugá, Pacific North Chocó”, “Results of the Participatory Fisheries Monitoring for the Exclusive Zone of Artisanal Fisheries, ZEPA” and the “Coastal Marine Atlas of the Colombian North Pacific”, among others.

Since he arrived at MarViva, he has stood out for his creativity in the implementation of digital alternatives for the construction of tools to raise awareness about conservation issues; this is how he has developed the Story Maps (counted maps) of the Mangrove Management Plan of the Gulf of Tribugá and the declaration of the DRMI Gulf of Tribugá – Cabo Corrientes.

His work has been recognized nationally with the 2015 CCU National User Conference ESRI Award.

MarViva has given him the support to develop his creative potential and to work on innovative processes in line with the foundation’s mission. Likewise, thanks to his work, he has discovered new ways of seeing and relating to nature.

Because conservation is directly related to environmental sustainability, it guarantees the livelihoods of populations and seeks a balance between biodiversity and development. A geographic view of conservation allows the integration of all social, cultural and environmental spheres of the society.

In his free time, Manuel enjoys hiking through ecological trails and is always accompanied by his camera.

” In order for something to become clean, something else must become dirty.” — Imbesi’s law on the conservation of dirt

“But you can get everything dirty without cleaning anything.” — Freeman extension.

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RAQUEL ROMERO CHAVES

COSTA RICA

GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS COORDINATOR

Raquel is a biologist and geographer graduated from the University of Costa Rica (UCR), where she managed to combine these two passions by obtaining her master’s degree in Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing.

She has over 12 years of experience in this area, mostly as a researcher at the Center for Marine Science and Limnology Research of the UCR, which has given her extensive knowledge in the development and execution of research projects focused on the conservation, administration and management of different fishery resources, ecosystems and vulnerable or threatened species in marine aquatic environments.

She fervently believes that science is more efficient if it is made available to society, to provide solutions that support the well-being of all, including the sea. To achieve this, she believes that the first step always has to come from within oneself. This is where MarViva offers her the opportunity to contribute to the construction of a society that lives in harmony with the sea and where everyone is a winner.

She is a daughter, sister, friend and dog mom. She enjoys yoga and morning walks. She considers herself a beginner gardener, a self-taught jeweler and a puzzle expert. In particular she is a lover of the sea, big earrings, bright colors and the aroma of coffee in the mornings.

“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.

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JUAN MANUEL DÍAZ MERLANO

COLOMBIA

PROGRAMS COORDINATOR

Juan was born in 1955, in Bogotá. He is the son of Spanish immigrants. He is a biologist who graduated from the University of Los Andes, Bogotá (1979), with a master’s degree (1982) and a doctorate (1985) in natural sciences from the Justus Liebig University, Giessen, Germany. He was researcher and coordinator of the Biodiversity Program of the Institute of Marine and Coastal Research – INVEMAR – (1986-2003), coordinator of the Conservation Biology program (2004-06), deputy director (2007-09) of the Alexander von Humboldt Biological Resources Research Institute and associate professor of the Department of Geography of the National University of Colombia (2010-19). He was a consultant for The Nature Conservancy (2007-08) and the United Nations Development Program, UNDP (2009). He also participated as a representative for Colombia in the South American Committee of the global initiative Census of Marine Life (2004-09), and is a member of the Colombian Academy of Exact, Physical and Natural Sciences since 2002. In 1994, he was awarded the National Prize for Marine Sciences of the Colombian Ocean Commission. His main areas of interest have been related to the biogeography of marine mollusks, the ecology of coral reefs and underwater meadows, and the conservation of biodiversity. He is the author of 65 articles in indexed journals, 11 chapters in scientific books, and 13 scientific and informative books. He has been linked to MarViva since 2010. He is married and has two daughters. He enjoys traveling, hiking and sailing in his expedition kayak.

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FRESIA VILLALOBOS ROJAS

COSTA RICA

SCIENCE MANAGER

Biologist with a specialization in Aquatic Resources from the Universidad de Costa Rica (UCR) and Protected Areas Management and Ecoregional Development from the University for International Cooperation (“Universidad para la Cooperación Internacional”, UCI). She is currently studying Project Management at UCI.

She worked for 14 years as a researcher and project coordinator at the Fisheries and Aquaculture Research Unit (UNIP) of the Center for Marine Science and Limnology Research (CIMAR) of the Universidad de Costa Rica. During that time one of the tasks that inspired her the most was to represent the Universidad de Costa Rica in Inter-institutional Commissions whose function was to provide inputs for decision-making in the management of aquatic resources.

Her main areas of research interest are taxonomy and reproduction of aquatic invertebrates (mollusks, decapods), management of commercial species and invasive alien species, and the study of the presence of microplastics in aquatic species for human consumption.

She believes that despite the fact that Costa Rica is 90% sea, most Costa Ricans live with their backs turned to the sea. In MarViva, she hopes to continue having the opportunity to contribute with her experience and to improve marine management. In addition, she is excited to work in an integral way, in conjunction with other disciplines, so that we can all continue to enjoy the ecosystem services provided by marine environments.

She loves to visit new places and spend time with her family. She enjoys painting, gardening and visiting rivers.

“There is nothing more sacred in the world than the ability to respond to our circumstances with joy, acceptance, laughter and love.” Anonymous.

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LORNA MARCHENA SANABRIA

COSTA RICA

FISHERY COORDINATOR

A biologist graduated from the National University, Lorna has more than 20 years of experience between land and sea, working in projects on management, characterization and management of fisheries in international and regional organizations (FAO, OAS, OIRSA, OSPESCA, among others), government entities (INCOPESCA) and non-governmental organizations (WWF, CI).

She has also worked as a fisheries analyst in platforms specialized in tracking and monitoring of fishing vessels and traceability of fishery products.

At MarViva, she likes the freedom she has to be creative and innovate, making technical and scientific knowledge accessible to improve the quality and livelihoods of coastal communities and, in general, of the people who use and enjoy natural resources. In addition, she has the opportunity to make visible the work of women throughout the fishing production chain, which together with the education and the rescue of historical memory, considers to be essential tools in the effective management of fishing.

Lorna aspires to sow a seed that will gradually germinate into a new vision of fisheries management at the national level, so that in the future we can have healthy, modern and inclusive fisheries.

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GABRIELA MORA CAMAC

COSTA RICA

COASTAL DEVELOPMENT COORDINATOR

Gabriela is a Biologist graduated from the Universidad de Costa Rica, with a specialization in neuromarketing. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Administration and a Master’s degree in Design, Management and Project Management.

She is a professional consultant in biology on projects related to ecosystem analysis of environmental services from the perspective of local populations, and has been a government advisor. She has developed her career alongside her own entrepreneurial pursuits, both from her own company and as an advisor to other women entrepreneurs regarding digital marketing, e-commerce, and customer service.

She enjoys watercolor painting, hiking, swimming, and walking her dog. She loves to have bullet journal notebooks; either to draw in them or to take colorful notes.

She is most passionate about her work is sharing her knowledge with others and learning from the communities she works with. To her, MarViva has always been a reference point as an NGO that does real activism in the country.

She hopes to generate a change that will last over time in the coastal communities thanks to real economic alternatives. Her goal is to help them have a better quality of life and that future generations in coastal areas have more opportunities.

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ALLAN DARIO SEGURA PICADO

COSTA RICA

ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

Allan Dario is an economic planner and social promoter graduated from the National University of Costa Rica (UNA). He has worked as a consultant in strategic planning for various organizations and for the Vice Ministry of Political Affairs and Citizen Dialogue.

He enjoys the mountains and hiking, so he spends his free time hiking.

Working for MarViva represents the opportunity to contribute his knowledge and skills to make a significant impact on marine life conservation.

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KELLY ROJAS CORREA

COLOMBIA

COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER

Kelly is a social communicator and journalist with a master’s degree in organizational communication management. She has experience in public relations, communication strategies and outreach for resource conservation, and is passionate about working with communities.

MarViva has been a great learning center on environmental issues and conservation of marine resources, a way to get closer to the communities of the Pacific coast of Chocó and to learn firsthand the reality of many populations in the country. Thanks to her work with the foundation, she has been able to raise awareness among her family and close friends about the importance of the sea, its species and artisanal fishermen.

She is constantly updating on different news through social networks. She is always cheerful and loves music.

“Only when the last tree is dead, the last river poisoned, and the last fish caught, will you realize you can’t eat money.”

 

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MELISSA ÁLVAREZ BARQUERO

COSTA RICA

COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER

Melissa is a journalist with a bachelor’s degree in media production and a master’s degree in digital communication from the University of Cantabria, Spain. She has more than 10 years of professional experience in public relations, strategy development and organizational communication. She also has experience in private companies, government and international cooperation agencies. Being part of MarViva is an opportunity and a challenge that she assumes with great enthusiasm since she combines in an integral way her passion for communication and respect for the environment. With her knowledge, she hopes to contribute to the work that the foundation does to conserve marine resources. She enjoys reading, music, exercising outdoors, and traveling to get to know new places and cultures. She also loves a good conversation with friends and family.

“Look deeply into nature and then you will understand everything better.” — Albert Einstein

 

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MAGDALENA VELÁZQUEZ JAIMES-FREYRE

PANAMÁ

COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER

Magda has a bachelor’s degree in marketing and a master’s degree in business administration, with more than 15 years of experience in marketing strategies and event coordination in companies such as McDonalds and Nissan. For more than nine years she has been working to help create marine conservation awareness.

Her work at MarViva has allowed her to learn about interesting topics such as the importance of sharks, and the need for the oceans to be protected from the bad practices of our species. She is happy to be part of a luxury team and considers her work to be fun and very enjoyable.

Passion is essential to develop this work because every day we see how we take advantage of our planet; being able to make a difference fills her.

“If you want to, you can.”

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MARIELLY PIEDRAHÍTA

COLOMBIA

COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR

Marielly is a social communicator, holding a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Cauca, and a specialist in Marketing Management from Sergio Arboleda University. Her expertise encompasses a wide array of soft skills including assertive communication, differential focus, and hard skills such as website and social network management, media monitoring, style correction, content creation, and event coordination.

At MarViva Marielly is motivated to contribute to Afro-Colombian, indigenous, and armed conflict victims within a sustainable development framework, her commitment extends to supporting environmentally friendly initiatives and promoting the sustainable use of resources for the benefit of all species on the planet.

Beyond her professional pursuits, Marielly is a dynamic and extroverted woman who approaches life with enthusiasm. Her love for good music and books reflects her vibrant personality.

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JENNIFER MARINEZ

REGIONAL

OPERATIONS ASSISTANTES

Jennifer has a BA in International Relations. She also has extensive work experience in Public Management, where she earned her Master’s degree from the Universität Potsdam in Germany as a scholarship recipient of the COLFUTURO-DAAD program.

Her professional experience has been focused on the public sector, addressing administrative, operational, and logistical tasks through strategic planning, partnership management, contract supervision, and auditing processes. Furthermore, she has provided support to government authorities at both local and regional levels. She has worked in the ICT sector as a logistics officer in Nairobi, Kenya, enhancing her skills in dynamic and intercultural contexts.

For Jennifer, the operational management of a project involves diligence, attention to detail, listening to others, and teamwork promoting an innovative and strategic vision. Therefore, she believes that working at MarViva will provide her with the opportunity to put these strengths into practice. It will also allow her to learn and contribute to the sustainable socio-economic development of the Colombian Pacific, with a comprehensive approach that integrates the environment, communities, and science.

Afro-Colombian culture and traditions form an integral part of Jennifer’s identity and personal philosophy. Therefore, she is highly motivated to contribute through her professional role to the preservation and enrichment of this cultural heritage.

Jennifer is passionate about dance, Colombian folklore, and gardening.

Her personal motto is “to explore, to find, and to feel”.

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ESTEFANÍA PRIETO

REGIONAL

TRAINING COORDINATOR

She is a sociologist currently completing her master’s degree in Rural Development at Pontifical Javeriana University. She has worked supporting productive and associative processes in rural environments with communities like reintegrating individuals, peasant communities, and women entrepreneurs.

She has experience designing and implementing methodologies to strengthen social and community capacities, applying gender perspectives in projects and organizations. She has also worked on the economic empowerment of women through gender education.

She is trained in qualitative and quantitative research tools, as well as in implementing Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) strategies in various projects, and identifying lessons learned and best practices.

She enjoys working at MarViva because it provides her with the opportunity to learn and understand conservation comprehensively. This includes recognizing the impact of processes and local initiatives in communities that have lived in these territories for years.

 

For Estefanía, being part of MarViva means dedicating her experience and future learnings to the conservation of marine resources. She firmly believes that transformations and awareness generation cannot be achieved without the participation of all stakeholders influencing this process. Therefore, she recognizes the importance of creating spaces for knowledge exchange, that contribute to a comprehensive approach to conservation, where collaboration and collective awareness are essential.

In her free time, she enjoys cooking, tending to her plants, walking around the city, and visiting the countryside.

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MAGIE RODRIGUEZ

COSTA RICA

POLICY ADVOCACY MANAGER

Magie Rodriguez is a lawyer graduated from the University of Costa Rica, with an emphasis in Environmental Law, she is a specialist in marine conservation, trade and environment. She is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Energy Law and Energy Transition at the Universidad Internacional de la Rioja. With more than eight years of experience, she has been dedicated to the conservation of marine ecosystems through the use of international and national law. Her background includes participation in international treaty negotiations, mainly on issues related to the World Trade Organization’s Fisheries Subsidies Agreement and circular economy.

Although she is a lawyer, she has always been a science buff and working on conservation issues has allowed her to reconcile the two. Working at MarViva allows her not only to learn more every day about the sea, the organisms that inhabit it and its benefits for the surrounding communities, but also to be an active part of the efforts to preserve one of the lungs of the planet.

In her spare time, Magie enjoys painting watercolors, watching TV shows and read science fiction.

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VICENTE DEL CID MENDOZA

PANAMÁ

RESPONSIBLE PRODUCTION AND CONSUMPTION MANAGER

Vicente is an engineer in agricultural development, with specialization in administration, project design and sustainable tourism management. He has more than 17 years of experience in the management and coordination of social development projects, microenterprises, and green businesses with national and international organizations.

His work at MarViva has allowed him to be more creative in producing ideas that contribute to the sustainable development of marine and coastal resources, which has allowed him to grow as a professional intrapreneur and social entrepreneur.

Vicente is passionate about working on conservation issues because he believes that if we do not conserve the natural environment, it will have direct effects on our lives. In his free time, he enjoys reading, hiking in natural areas, and responsible sightings of terrestrial and marine wildlife.

“An informed consumer has power.”

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ANA ÁVILA MIRANDA

PANAMÁ

PROJECT ASSISTANT

Ana has more than 15 years of experience working with NGOs in the environmental sector, and private and public sector associations and companies, providing administrative and logistical support for the development of projects with international entities such as the Inter-American Development Bank and the European Union.

At MarViva, in addition to facilitating and assisting with the work of the market management and other teams of the organization, her work has allowed her to put into practice her training as a sociologist through contact with members of coastal communities involved in tourism and fishing, local and national authorities, members of NGOs and representatives of the private sector.

She loves nature and believes that it marks our origin and provides us with life, food, beauty, mystery and adventure. Walking is one of her favorite hobbies, getting to know new places in her country, and going to the beach in the afternoons and enjoying the sound of the waves. Her greatest strength is her family.

“In all things in nature there is something wonderful”. Aristoteles

 

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ALBERTO QUESADA ROJAS

COSTA RICA

REGIONAL MARINE POLLUTION ADVISOR

Alberto is a political scientist from the University of Costa Rica, with an MBA from FUNDEPOS, and is currently a student at the Faculty of Law of UCR. Working at MarViva has allowed him to channel his values with his professional practice. It has also allowed him to grow professionally in an area that he is passionate about, where he also creates synergies between his studies and his previous professional experiences.

He is passionate about working in conservation because for him our passage through the earth is instantaneous, we are guests and as human beings we have a social function to protect the environmental conditions that allow us to live, and beyond that, to ensure that these conditions are maintained for future humanity. For Alberto, working in conservation is the best way in which one can fight to guarantee a space of dignified development for all, to impact society in a positive way.

He enjoys going to the movies and listening to music and playing musical instruments such as the guitar. He likes reading genres such as science fiction and detective novels and discussing national and political reality.

“If I am to live, it will not be by begging for my culture and for what I believed If I must fall, it will be at least fighting because they don’t hijack my freedom.”

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FÉLIX FONSECA FONSECA

COSTA RICA

COMMUNITY ADVISOR

Felix Fonseca is a professional in social sciences, a student of law (bachelor’s degree) at the Universidad Latina de Costa Rica, with a humanistic and ethical formation, an environmental conscience and great social responsibility.

He has experience in business plans, international cooperation and project development, with three years of experience in working with various community organizations in Costa Rica. He also has teamwork skills, excellent interpersonal relationships and a vision on social and environmental protection and is working in communities with social and environmental problems.

Over the last two years, he has served as the President of an ASADA and as a consultant for community organizations of the Nicoya Peninsula, mainly ADIs and ASADAs.

“The MarViva Foundation has allowed me to develop in a work environment that has taken me to new frontiers of knowledge and learning for a better development in my professional and working life.”

For him, it is important to conserve coastal marine resources because they provide an enormous biological wealth for our planet, and they are also sources of food and livelihood for coastal peoples.

I love coffee, the environment and reading. I like to spend time with family and friends.

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TANIA AROSEMENA BODERO

PANAMÁ

ADVOCACY MANAGER

Tania is a lawyer with a specialization in maritime sector development and has postgraduate degrees in environmental impact assessment and higher level didactics, and technical training in ecology and project management.

She has more than 15 years of experience in the environmental legal field, both in the nongovernmental sphere and in civil society organizations at the local and international level.

Promoting actions for the improvement of regulations and processes, as well as promoting bridges between the different actors involved in the management of marine and coastal resources is part of her work at MarViva.

Tania is very aware that achieving a better environment and the sustainability of natural resources is a challenge that concerns us all, and she is enthusiastic about MarViva continuing to contribute to the protection of the marine and coastal resources of the Eastern Tropical Pacific.

“Knowing and appreciating what our seas offer us, allows us to value and take responsibility for our environment.”

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IRENE JOSEPHY HERNÁNDEZ

COSTA RICA

ADVOCACY ADVISOR

With a degree in Political Science from the Universidad de Costa Rica, Irene has been part of the MarViva team since 2021.

Her professional experience, both in the public and private spheres, has allowed her to put into practice the two areas she is most passionate about: politics and environmental protection. She believes that environmental management is influenced by the decisions made in the political arena, so it is essential to be able to have an impact there that is in favor of the protection and sustainable use of natural resources.

For Irene, working at MarViva represents a great satisfaction on a personal and professional level. Through her work at the foundation, she hopes to be able to contribute to a better future for the marine resources of the Costa Rican Pacific coast.

She enjoys spending time with her loved ones, traveling and going for walks with her dog Kala.

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JULIANA VALDES PEREIRA

COLOMBIA

LOCAL GOVERNANCE COORDINATOR NORAD – MARVIVA PROJECT

Social anthropologist from Universidad del Rosario. She is currently completing her master’s degree in Rural Development at the Universidad Javeriana. Her professional experience has focused on the protection and defense of the human rights of historically marginalized communities, and on the research about the forms of local governance regarding natural resources in strategic ecosystems in Colombia.

What she likes about working in MarViva is that conservation is thought of as a participatory process in which management proposals are constructed with the communities that have generated multiple relationships with the territory, and that the objectives of conservation are not solely to guarantee the environmental sustainability of the territory but also the sustainability of the life projects of the communities that inhabit it.

Working in MarViva means advancing in the recognition of community work in these processes and in the construction of conservation models based on social, community, environmental and climate justice. It also means learning from multiple actors in the territories and opening the field of research, public policy and environmental care to the contributions of all interested parties.

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CINDY LOTE RAYO

COLOMBIA

VALUE CHAIN COORDINATOR NORAD – MARVIVA PROJECT

Public Administrator and Economist from the Universidad Nacional de Colombia with experience in research, technical assistance and strengthening of value chains of ethnic communities of the Colombian Pacific region. She is convinced of the importance of generating conservation strategies hand in hand with the coastal communities of the country, allowing them to build their own models of sustainable local development.

Addressing local value chains from the perspective of sustainable use of marine-coastal resources implies working permanently in the transformation of community practices and customs that affect the survival of their ecosystems. This is a progressive and long term task, but it is full of learning and small victories, and that is precisely what is most significant about working with MarViva: adapting, learning, unlearning and perceiving firsthand the impact of the actions that are undertaken.

Being part of the MarViva team, being a professional in the area of economic sciences, has given her the satisfaction of putting the economy at the service of nature and the improvement of people’s quality of life.

She enjoys having the beach and the sea as her office, the communities that inhabit it as her work team, and measuring her time according to the tides.

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GLORIA GONZÁLEZ GUTIÉRREZ

COLOMBIA

FISHING COORDINATOR NORAD – MARVIVA PROJECT

Environmental Administrator from the Universidad Distrital, completing a Master’s degree in Environmental Sciences from the Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano.
Gloria has more than 10 years of experience in the interdisciplinary environmental, social and economic approach. She has extensive knowledge in issues related to marine spatial planning; analysis of artisanal and industrial fishing activities, including monitoring, project follow-up and project management, work with Afro-Colombian and indigenous communities and productive associations.

In her work, she enjoys having the opportunity to get to know new places, learn about the cultural and environmental richness of the country, as well as the opportunity to combine technical knowledge with the ancestral knowledge of the communities and contribute to their sense of appropriation.

Working in MarViva means a lot, it is a goal and a great challenge because of its mission of conservation and participatory work and because of the learning it has given her; she wishes to contribute her knowledge in favor of the projects it works on.

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MARIA ALEJANDRA MEDINA

COLOMBIA

POLICY ADVOCACY MANAGER

Professional in Government and International Relations, Master in Sustainability. She has experience in political advocacy, strategies for participation in public policies and positioning of social and environmental issues in local, national and international public agendas. With expertise in research, monitoring, multi-stakeholder dialogues and analysis of the political situation. Activist in different social and environmental causes.

In her free time she enjoys books, podcasts, series and exploring nature. She likes to contribute to directing evidence and needs into accurate regulations and better public policies for the sustainable management of the seas. Bringing key stakeholders in environmental protection and marine resource conservation closer to decision making in innovative and creative ways. Support and promote public decisions that have environmental sustainability at their core with a focus on human rights, inclusion and social justice.

Working in MarViva means learning from local communities, academia, the team, allied organizations, and ecosystems to awaken new sensitivities and dialogue regarding environmental protection and to make calls to action to the competent entities and stakeholders.

“What do I care about the sea if I live inland? Our way of life has an impact on the ocean, but what affects it, also affects us all”. – Cristina Romera Castillo

Professional in Government and International Relations, Master in Sustainability. She has experience in political advocacy, strategies for participation in public policies and positioning of social and environmental issues in local, national and international public agendas. With expertise in research, monitoring, multi-stakeholder dialogues and analysis of the political situation. Activist in different social and environmental causes.

In her free time she enjoys books, podcasts, series and exploring nature. She likes to contribute to directing evidence and needs into accurate regulations and better public policies for the sustainable management of the seas. Bringing key stakeholders in environmental protection and marine resource conservation closer to decision making in innovative and creative ways. Support and promote public decisions that have environmental sustainability at their core with a focus on human rights, inclusion and social justice.

Working in MarViva means learning from local communities, academia, the team, allied organizations, and ecosystems to awaken new sensitivities and dialogue regarding environmental protection and to make calls to action to the competent entities and stakeholders.

“What do I care about the sea if I live inland? Our way of life has an impact on the ocean, but what affects it, also affects us all”. Cristina Romera Castillo

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