Fatima Alicia Villarroel Solis
Fatima, a native of Cochabamba, was born on November 12th 1974. She completed her secondary studies at Esclavas del Sagrado Corazón de Jesus before attending the University of San Simon where she earned a degree in Public Accounting. After graduating, Fatima moved to London, England where she studied English for three years and computing for an additional year at the English College. Fatima has a range of personal and professional experience in both Bolivia and abroad. At the age of 24, she was elected city representative of her home town Sacaba. For three years she helped organize the international and ecological fairs in Cochabamba. She worked as a supervisor and manager of a cleaning and maintenance company in London. She also worked as the Director of Finances for another non-profit institution before joining Sustainable Bolivia. Fatima was essential to starting Sustainable Bolivia and making sure it was a success. Unfortunately she left the organization in 2008 to peruse other career interests as well as take care of her son David. We are, and always will be, indebted to Fatima for all her hard work and dedication; without her Sustainable Bolivia would have never have been possible.
Tiffany graduated from the University of Southern California in 2007 with Bachelor Degrees in International Relations and Theater. She credits a semester abroad in Managua, Nicaragua for her love affair with Latin America- a love affair that eventually led her to accept a position as the Assistant National Director of Sustainable Bolivia. Tiffany’s efforts helped Sustainable Bolivia’s website grow from 30 to 108 unique visitors a day and she also established connections with universities making SB a legitimate group destination. Tiffany looks back at her time in Bolivia very fondly, acknowledging it was one of the best times of her life. She ate 2-4 santeñas a day and hasn’t eaten that well since. Currently, Tiffany is living in New York City and working for a men’s apparel company called Bonobos. Bonobos attracted Tiffany with all the same tricks that Sustainable Bolivia used- a start-up environment where small achievements are still exciting, where passion is necessary, and where your colleagues are your family. She spends her free time complaining that the only place in New York to get salteñas is in Queens.
Kristina was born in Phayao, Thailand on 12th October 1982 but grew up in Dubai, U.A.E. She completed her secondary studies at Luostarivuoren Lukio in Turku, Finland before moving to Brighton, England where she earned a degree in International Relations and Spanish from the University of Sussex. This also included a year of study at the Universidad Anahuac del Sur in Mexico City. Kristina’s main focus in the final year was on Global Politics and Violence and she wrote her dissertation on the genocide in Rwanda and Western intervention. Since graduating in 2005 Kristina has travelled extensively and also spent time teaching English in Thailand. Future plans include studying for a MA in Humanitarian Action. In her spare time Kristina enjoys listening to music, swimming, dancing and traveling.
Miranda Sheild Johansson
Miranda graduated with a degree in Social Anthropology from the University of Edinburgh in 2005. In 2006 she started a PhD in Anthropology at the LSE. She spent 20 months in Bolivia, between 2007 and 2009, doing fieldwork towards her PhD. Her work was based in a rural area of Cochabamba department – a village called Piakayma in provincia Bolivar. Sustainable Bolivia was her home whenever in town, where her boyfriend, Mac, and dog, Boris, lived, where she took her Quechua lessons and made many special friends. Miranda is now back in London writing up, unable to blame her hangovers on altitude and crap communication skills on ‘no hay sistema’. She will be back in Bolivia soon to satisfy her intensifying craving for chuño. Miranda and Mac were married in 2010 and have a beautiful baby girl together.
Thomas (Mac) MacGregor
Thomas (Mac) MacGregor, graduated Edinburgh college in 1999 of Art with plenty of enthusiasm and bad sense of direction. In August of 2005 he met an amazing girl (Miranda) who was planning a stay in Cochabamba for fieldwork so Mac decided to go too. He landed on his feet, found Erik and sustainable Bolivia, then a studio and Gallery space in Caja Verde; through this he got to know Orlando and Alejandra. Mac and Miranda bought Boris, the dog, and our life was complete. Nearly two years down the line Mac says his life is so much richer. He has three decent Solo exhibitions under his belt, a huge number of friends and contacts and the memory of the experience of a lifetime. Its not the end either… as Mac continues to work with Erik and the team on new Arts residency project and, as soon as humanly possible, Mac will be back for another exhibition and to continue Orlando’s search for the best Guts in town. Through SB Mac has a network of friends across the globe and plans to be sleeping on their sofas soon.
María Paz Coo
María Paz, from Santiago de Chile, has been living in Sustainable Bolivia’s main house since January 2009. She has a degree in Education with a speciality in early childhood from the Universidad Católica de Chile, with which she graduated with distinction. She received her Masters Degree in Community Psychology from the Universidad de Chile with maximum distinction. She has focused her studies on Higher Education system research, university management, and direct teaching and training work with children, adolescents and adults. Since March, 2009, she has worked as a volunteer teacher and trainer at Mosoj Yan, a foundation which works with at risk children and female adolescents who have worked and lived in the streets. At Mosoj Yan she has had an immensely rewarding experience, learning from the foundation’s experience and its model of intervention. Paz has contributed to the remodelling of the spaces of one of its centres, has created a nursery and has run workshops on early stimulation and the prevention of child abuse. Paz also works as an English teacher at a prestigious bilingual school in Cochabamba and is a member of salsa group from the San Simón University. Paz has had a really great experience both in voluntary and paid work in Bolivia, a country which she admires for its cultural identity, strong sense of community, and social participation.
Originally from Minnesota, U.S.A., Kimi received her dual degree in Latin American Studies and Spanish from the University of Minnesota at Morris before working as a journalist for a daily newspaper. Then she attended the University of Denver College of Law, receiving her juris doctorate in 2000. She practiced law in the non-profit sector representing migrant farm workers and also university students for seven years until she quit her job and began to fulfill her dream of traveling the world. This traveling eventually brought Kimi to Cochabamba, and Sustainable Bolivia, where she completed the work necessary to register Sustainable Bolivia as a U.S. nonprofit organization, and she also established a scholarship fund, managed by Sustainable Bolivia, which is making it possible for Lidia, a young Bolivian woman, to attend a five-year nursing school. Kimi continues to raise funds annually to support Lidia’s education, although Kimi is now in Asia. In her spare time, Kimi enjoys yoga, bicycling, reading, writing and traveling.
Dr. Boris Mimi Arthur MacGregor
Son of long time Sustainable Bolivia house residents, Mac and Miranda, Dr. Boris Mimi Arthur MacGregor was welcomed into the Sustainable Bolivia family on March 23, 2008, at two months old. As the Assistant Director of Love, Boris’ duties include such things as snuggling, kissing, eating leftovers, and wrestling sessions. His hobbies include, eating, sleeping, and picking up the ladies. Boris dislikes spinach and cauliflower and loves meat of all varieties. The multi talented Boris also serves as a guest DJ at La Marka, a local bar where he is a crowd favorite. Boris left Sustainable Bolivia with Mac and Miranda to see more of the world and expand his horizons. He had no interest in living in Quarantine for 6 months so he went to live in Greece for a while until he was granted permission to live with Mac and Miranda in London.
In 1973, Gary graduated from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio with a B.S.in Education. He lived five more years in Oxford, becoming Coordinator of a Junior High In-school Suspension Program, and raising organic vegetables. In 1978, Gary moved to San Cristobal, New Mexico, just north of Taos. He lived in the beautiful Sangre de Cristo mountains, working in a variety of jobs: house parenting, landscaping, chef, bartender, electrician, Junior High and High School football coach, and teacher. In 1992, Gary moved to the Mora valley in Las Vegas, New Mexico and worked as a counselor in a residential treatment facility. In 1996, Gary received a Masters degree in Special Education from New Mexico Highlands University. He then began teaching in Cheyenne, Wyoming where he introduced group therapy to the classroom and taught for nine years at East High School in Cheyenne. In 2007 Gary quit his job to travel through South America. He arrived in Cochabamba in January of 2008 and has been with Sustainable Bolivia ever since. Gary has a son, Alastair, that lives in Seattle, Washington. His hobbies are organic gardening and BAKING.
John graduated from Oxford University in 2003 with a first class degree in modern languages. After traveling and volunteering in South America for seven months he trained to be a teacher and worked in London for four years, firstly in teaching and then as a senior adviser in a local government housing department. During this time he furthered his interest in development by gaining a diploma in international development at London University, for which he received a distinction, and volunteering for Save the Children’s Education Unit. In 2008 he received his masters degree in social sciences from London Metropolitan University, specializing in public management, social housing and homelessness. John has traveled extensively and has a particular interest in Latin American history and culture. He is an avid reader and speaks five languages. He worked as Sustainable Bolivia’s National Director for over a year and a half before moving to Santiago Chile to live with his wife Paz and their baby girl.
Eric Di Bari
Eric is from New York State’s capital city Albany, which is located 150 miles north of New York City. He attended the University at Albany, where he received a Bachelors in political science and a Masters of Public Administration in 2007 and 2009 respectively. During his graduate studies Eric held positions in both New York State government and academic organizations, and has worked in both the areas of website development and information system policy development. Most recently he interned in the State University of New York Retiree Service Corps and in the New York State Office of Cyber Security & Critical Infrastructure Coordination. He came to Sustainable Bolivia to gain experience working in the nonprofit sector and also to improve his Spanish. Eric has an interest in foreign cultures, and has volunteered as an english as a second language teacher for political refugees in New York. Outside of work Eric enjoys playing piano, running, and rowing.
Koehler Amalia Briceño: Director of Project Development
Koehler was raised as a Tarheel in the best barbeque state in the USA: North Carolina. Her mom is North Carolinian – born and bred – while her father is a Chapaco from Tarija, Bolivia. Bringing these two dynamic cultures into balance has been an integral part of her life, inevitably leading her to Sustainable Bolivia! After graduating from UNC-Chapel Hill, Koehler spent 6 months traveling from Chile to Mexico; if there was a volcano along the route, Koehler made sure to hike it! After returning home in time to celebrate her beloved bro-cito’s High School graduation, Koehler flew out to musical Austin to spend two years as an Americorps* volunteer for College Forward: a non-profit that works to support low-income and first-generation high school students in achieving their dreams of going to college. She then worked as a Project Manager at KaBOOM!, a non-profit that invokes community building and brings play across North America. Koehler enjoys family time, Bolivian food, rivers, sailing, reading, and wandering around mountains & towns.
Teresa Forbres: Director of Communications and Community Outreach
Teresa was born in France, but lived most of her life in South America. Her parents’ work in agriculture research meant much of her childhood was spent exploring the Ecuadorian countryside in search of wild potatoes (and good hiking and fishing spots!). She grew up speaking French, Spanish and English; spending her summers between her mother’s hometown in southern France and northeastern Ohio, where her father is from. At age 13 she moved from tranquil Quito to the bustling, traffic jungle of Lima where she learned to love the city’s spectacular food and messy mix of cultures. After high school she went to Lyon to study and after a year decided to complete her Bachelor’s degree online. This allowed her to keep traveling; she lived 6 months in Sweden (drinking lots of coffee and picking wild mushrooms!), worked for 2 years in a language travel agency in Santiago, dabbled at jobs in various cities of the south of Chile, and spent a year in France laying tiles and experimenting with sustainable gardening techniques. She loves everything folkloric, vast open spaces, and finding herself in bizarre situations.
Ms. Chuño “Torpe” RatPigDog became a member of the SB family in January of 2013. Her dad Jonathan spotted her at the animal market and was immediately taken by her stylish mohawk and punk-rock “stick it to the man” attitude. Chuño grew from a puny puppy to a big, tough dog who enjoys chasing skateboards, attacking frisbees, and loving everyone except the meter-reader. When you stop by Casa Principal, make some snuggle time for Chuño and you’ll have a friend for life.
Ivana Florecita de Mizque Sanchez
After being abandoned by her mom on the neighbor’s roof, the kitten who would become Ivana cried for several days until a barking Pina startled her in to falling into Casa P’s garden. She was rescued by Ryan and after getting used to human beings, Ivana grew into a very chubby, mustachioed cat. She spends her days sleeping, killing butterflies, and walking all over computer keyboards. Her favorite things are her cardboard box, her giant piece of rope, and waking her mom up each morning at 5 am.
Yara Espinoza was born in Cochabamba on the 23rd of May 1992. She studied and lived in Tarija and later moved back to her birthplace. In Tarija she volunteered for a German project caring for orphaned children. She also volunteered for the Inti Wara Yassi community caring for animals at risk of illegal trafficking. Yara has always been interested in healthy eating and environmental conservation. She works part-time as Resident Coordinator with Sustainable Bolivia, while completing her university degree in Social Communication. In her free time Yara likes bike riding, reading, watching films, cooking, doing exercise and spending time with her family.
Born outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Ryan came to Cochabamba for the first time as a sophomore at Franklin Marshall College, when he was given a travel grant to study development. He lived with a homestay family, volunteered as an after-school tutor, and had a great time -so he decided to come back two years later to work at SB full time! When he’s not doing city tours or planning events, you can find him scouring Soundcloud for new music, writing, and trying to convince people that American football is a decent sport. He’s a devoted fan of his hometown teams and can really appreciate a good craft beer, or a cup of coffee from a local cafe.