We are a diverse group with different backgrounds and talents. We who walk the green path (Camino Verde) are united by our commitment to the natural world, to the trees and forests that provide life for us all.
Board of Directors & Advisory Council
The Board of Directors is a trusted group dedicated to the strategic planning and support of Camino Verde. We create projects and proposals, identify fundraising opportunities, manage the budget, and carry the organization´s name and mission to the world. The Board meets and posts are elected annually. The Advisory Council is a group of professionals that offer technical advice and professional support for our work. Read more about our Board and Advisory Council here.
Robin Van Loon – Executive Director
Robin is the founder and Executive Director of Camino Verde, and has been based in the Tambopata region of the Peruvian Amazon since 2004. A long-time student of traditional and indigenous agricultural and medicinal practices, Robin’s work has focused on developing community-based reforestation strategies to preserve important endangered plants of the Amazon. He is a writer, regenerative designer, and consultant in agroforestry, reforestation, and sustainable development.
Ursula Leyva – Executive Director, Camino Verde Tambopata
CV’s second in command, Ursula is the executive director of Camino Verde Tambopata, our Peruvian legal organizational branch. Originally from Lima, Ursula has lived in Madre de Dios since 2005. She has worked as the administrator of an eco-tourist lodge, the director of a non-profit organization focusing on environmental education for children, and in the United States as a counselor at an alternative outdoor education program. For over a year, this Permaculture design consultant has managed CV Tambopata’s legal presence and helped keep our reforestation center running exceptionally.
Reforestation Center Field Team
Our team in Baltimori is responsible for ongoing maintenance of reforestation areas, weeding and cultivation. This work is particularly important during the first two years of establishment of new trees. The team also cares for the seedlings in our nursery, as well as sharing the work of tree planting. They maintain all infrastructure, and help orient volunteers and visitors to the Center. The Field Team is composed of local people from Madre de Dios, Peru. We have a total commitment to fair employment practices and fair wages for all of our team.
Miguel Cardicel – Grounds Manager
Miguel Cardicel was born and raised in Puerto Maldonado, the capital of Madre de Dios. Our longest running employee, don Miguel has worked as a fisherman, a lumberjack, a farmer, and a rubber tapper. He is the grounds manager at our reforestation center and for over two years has been helping us keep the trees ahead of the weeds.
Manuel Huinga – Nursery Manager
Manuel Huinga comes from a long line of Tambopata Huingas. Born and raised on his grandfather’s farm on the Tambopata River, Manuel learned a love for the region’s flora and fauna at an early age. Currently an Environmental & Forestry Engineering student at UNAMAD, Puerto Maldonado’s university, Manuel has worked at a tree nursery for the Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT)’s Andes to Amazon project. As part time staff for Camino Verde, Manuel compliments his university studies as the head of our tree nursery and inventories seed-bearing trees in the forests we protect.
Camino Verde´s projects offer temporary employment at fair wages to many local community members. Jobs include construction of infrastructure, transportation (commonly by motorized canoe) of tree seedlings, weed clearing and installation of tree plantations, and more. Our neighbors are seasoned experts in the local terrain and farming activities. These are our teachers and allies.
Though not a part of our permanent staff, Carlos Arimuya is a friend and neighbor who built our new and improved lodgings in 2013. A long time ally and native of the community of Baltimori, Carlos is a perennial visitor and frequent collaborator.
Ever since Camino Verde began, Juan Rafaele has been a good neighbor and great friend. Native to Apurimac in the Andean highlands, Juan has lived in Tambopata for over 20 years. His farm is an extraordinary example of diversified agroforestry systems. In 2012, Juan sold Camino Verde 100 acres of his land as part of a jointly developed workplan that has included the reforestation of over 2000 trees. Since 2014, Juan has been a full time member of our team.