Eliot has worked for over a decade in the non-profit sector in Latin America. Prior to working with Runa Foundation, Eliot served as Executive Director of Finca Project, a reforestation and environmental education initiative in Costa Rica. He has worked as an environmental consultant and advisor to climate change negotiations at the United Nations. Eliot received his masters degree in environmental management from Yale University where he studied tropical forestry and conservation finance. Eliot brings to Runa his expertise in agricultural cooperative development, tropical forestry, and non-profit management. He is a professional adventurer and a good cook.
Ian joins the Runa team after working for the last two years in Indonesia doing conservation, concession valuation, sustainable supply chain mapping and REDD+ development. He is a graduate of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies specializing in GIS, remote sensing and tropical forest management and has prior work and research experience in Honduras and the Peruvian Amazon. Ian likes to argue politics, make maps and play soccer.
Raine started as an intern with Runa Foundation in the winter of 2014 and has since been directing Runa Foundation’s Fair Trade activities with guayusa producer cooperatives, as well as working with indigenous communities in the creation of sustainable enterprises, and of course helping out to guide and support Runa’s intern and volunteer program. Though she grew up in Montana, and loves going home, she enjoys the excitement, the unexpected, and the “go with the flow” attitude that comes with living and working in the Amazon. She attended Seattle University and has a B.A. in International and Environmental Studies. Raine lives in Tena and in her free time she loves to travel, play soccer, read, and is always down to dance.
Sydney works with Runa Foundation and partner organization Rios Nete launching our activities in the Peruvian Amazon. Sydney has spent much of the last 7 years working and travelling throughout Latin America. She has worked as an independent consultant in Mexico and Guatemala, and travelled throughout the continent carrying out community development projects in Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Bolivia. She received her Master’s in Development Practice from the University of Florida, where she was President and Fellow of the Tropical Conservation and Development program. She is way better at cooking than Eliot and also likes to read books and listen to music.
Carlos is a Kichwa local from the community of Tambayaku. Carlos is studying to recieve his Bachelors in Business and working with the Foundation. In his free time Carlos loves to play Ecua-volleyball and Basketball. Carlos is fluent in both Kichwa and Spanish. His father is a member of a guayusa cooperative and he still holds to the cultural traditions of drinking guayusa tea in the early hours of the morning with his family.
Prior to joining Runa, Leonidas worked for the Ministry of Environment as a guide and forest ranger. During that time he summited Sumaco Volcano a number of times often leading tour groups. Leonidas is fluent in both Spanish and Kichwa and is currently learning English. He is a true forest expert with extensive knowledge of the plants, animals and landscape that makes up the Napo-Galeras region. He is currently working to implement a number of activities including the creation of new agroforestry value chains, eco-tourism development, participatory wildlife monitoring and sustainable forest management in his home community of Mushullacta.
Felix is a primary school teacher from Mushullacta-community, which is a part of Kichwa-town called Rucullacta. After working as an intern for 3 months, he started to work full-time for foundation in April 2016. In Runa, Felix works as a field technician and takes care of the logistics and practical arrangements in community meetings. On his free time, Felix enjoys swimming in the river and cycling through the spectacular views of the Amazon.
Daniel is the newest addition to our team, having joined Runa in February of 2016. He lives in the Kichwa community of Puni Kotona, where he is working to promote sustainable forest management and to create new value for crops found in agroforestry systems with members of his community. When not working with Runa, Daniel serves the community as a substitute teacher and as a singer/songwriter of Amazonian Kichwa music.
Carmen is Kichwa local from Napo province. She speaks fluent Kichwa and Spanish. Carmen works for Runa fundation part-time. On her free time she enjoys playing football, traditional dancing, singing and running. For Carmen, the best experience in working with Runa is to work with different communities, since it gives her valuable experience for future studies. She also enjoys Kichwa traditions of making Guayusa and Chicha, a fermented drink made from yucca and palm-tree.