Hola tod@s!

Greetings from Bolivia
Hola tod@s!
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My name is Andrea, I looooove mountains, wildLIFE and outdoor activities. I am an environmental engineer leading a small community conservation initiative called "Jucumari Program", aimed to protect Andean Bear with local communities. I am exited to be part of WildHub and I am thrilled to connect and get inspired by people from different backgrounds and experiences.

I have been a stone collector since I was a child, I have so many "special" pieces in my house that I often give a "stone tour" to new visitors (poor victims!).

Beside my project, I am interest in finding creative and effective ways to inspire people connect with nature. 


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Go to the profile of Lize Gibson-Hall
about 2 months ago

A warm welcome to WildHub Andrea. I am unfamiliar with the job role of environmental engineer and would love to know more about it. 

If you have any questions about WildHub please get in touch or use our QandA page. 

Go to the profile of Andrea Fuentes Arze
about 1 month ago

Hi Lize, so nice to meet you, I am really excited to connect with this community!

I think the main characteristic of an environmental engineer is that we have a broad perspective on environmental issues and a strong focus on sustainability. At the beginning of my career, I wasn't sure about my contribution to wildlife conservation, I just knew that I wanted to work in that field.


In 2013, while doing my undergraduate thesis, I was monitoring the water quality parameters in Lake Titicaca to protect the critically endangered giant frog. We used to work with a couple of families who helped us collect data like the number of frogs that landed in the fishing nets. One day we came to the community unannounced and saw a fish tank with about 8 frogs, ready to be sold for $1.5 per frog. Personally, I was very disappointed and frustrated, because we have been working with this family for a long time and we believed that they would not do something like that. That experience moved me and I realized that I needed to put more energy into working with people (something that seemed a bit boring until then), and understanding their vision and needs to help solve wildlife problems. This is how I see my role in wildlife conservation now, as a connection between people and wildlife, promoting sustainable practices to help increase coexistence and reduce conflict between people and nature.

Go to the profile of Lize Gibson-Hall
about 1 month ago

Thank you for sharing such a powerful story Andrea and its great that you took away from that rather than being too disheartened. It sounds like a super interesting career I look forward to hearing more about what you are up to. 

Go to the profile of Lara Reden
about 2 months ago

Welcome to WildHub, Andrea! I love that your goal is to find creative ways to inspire others to connect with nature. If you have the time to create a virtual stone tour, it could be a fun presentation to share :)

Go to the profile of Andrea Fuentes Arze
about 1 month ago

That is a great idea! I will do it this days!

Go to the profile of Thirza Loffeld
about 1 month ago

Welcome to our community, Andrea! It's wonderful to have you joining us! Can you explain to us your role in the Jucumari Program? Sounds like an interesting job to be an environmental engineer and would love to learn more what this means. 

Go to the profile of Andrea Fuentes Arze
about 1 month ago

Hello Thirza!

Well, this small project started in 2021 thanks to a grant from the Prince Bernard Nature Fund, which recently ended with positive results such as the partial reduction of the negative perception of the species and the identification of textiles as a sustainable economic alternative for women. I currently coordinate the project and lead 6 committed volunteers from different areas: a social communicator, a biologist, a photographer, a junior environmental engineer, a GIS expert and an educator. I am currently responsible for many things, including fundraising, research design, delegating roles and responsibilities, coordinating with authorities and institutions.

Now we are trying to find more resources to continue with the next stage of the project to address the human-bear conflict with the communities and promote a sustainable textile initiative with women. As coordinator I want to expand our network outside of Bolivia and try to make some alliances with other institutions to increase our capacities and achieve financial sustainability.

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Go to the profile of Grace Alawa
about 1 month ago

Welcome Andrea, it would be lovely to see your stone collections. Looking forward to the different ways we could work together for nature. Cheers

Go to the profile of Andrea Fuentes Arze
about 1 month ago

Hello Grace, how are you?

I'd love to show you my stone collection as soon as I get home!

I am leading a small conservation project in Bolivia and working with local communities to protect the Andean bear. It's beautiful and challenging work and I try to focus a lot on sustainability. What do you work on at Grace?

Go to the profile of Grace Alawa
about 1 month ago

Great. I work mostly with farmers and communities in the wetlands; enlightening them on the ecosystem services provided by biodiversity and teaching them how to conserve instead of use up the resources in the environment. I also teach wildlife, ethology and biodiversity conservation courses at my State University.