MEET THE ARK
Cliff spent a few years living in Ecuador and fell in love with the people. He also loves kayaking and being outdoors. He can often be found trying to convince his kids to go kayaking with him. Here he is pictured with one of his daughters on the Oregon coast. Cliff founded ARK as a way to help people find joy through the outdoors and improve their quality of life.
Erich loves encebollado so much, he purchased this bowl from his favorite encebollado restaurant in Quito. Erich also helps people. Under an international prisoner transfer program treaty with Ecuador, he trailblazed the way for a lady at the Quito women's prison to return to her home in the US. When he is not doing pro bono work, Erich is surfing, making art, hanging out with his daughters or teaching yoga.
John is the most positive guy on earth. He goes out of his way to make you feel welcome and appreciated. John is also retired after working for 40 years so that may be why he is so positive and welcoming. Besides ARK, John serves on the BOD of TVW Inc. an organization that helps persons with disabilities find meaningful work in the community. If he is not rafting, John is probably flying his Cesna or out sea kayaking.
Priscilla brings a ton of experience and expertise to our board of directors! From working as a professional river guide and wilderness therapy program manager to coordinating grassroots advocacy - she has led efforts for outdoor recreation and conservation policy both statewide and nationally. When she is not in "the office", she can usually be found enjoying the outdoors and traveling with her favorite human - her husband Jacob.
Amazon River Keepers is excited to be teamed with SANTIAGO CANALA-ECHEVARRÍA RAMCKE, founder of Kayak Ecuador and Pacha EcoLodge. Santiago is our eyes and ears in country and deeply connected with the local community. He identifies specific projects that need funding and we work together to help implement solutions. Santi helps assure we are focused on projects that support the local people and the funds are used as intended.
DANIELA CABRERA DARQUEA has a heart of gold. She volunteers much of her time to help out in her local community and works 24/7 so we are very lucky to partner with her. She helps us identify needs in the local schools and prioritizes where best to use our resources.
DANI HOLGUIN is our yoga teacher, life coach, and wellbeing coordinator. Whether it is a yoga session focused on body awareness and breathing or effective communication techniques, she is helping the kids develop stronger bodies and minds--essential for navigating stressful situations on the river, at home, or in the community. When it comes to local education systems, there is a lot to be desired. Dani has taken it upon herself to fill in the educational gaps in areas such as math, geography, language, anatomy, self care and self discovery. One of the things she and the kids enjoy the most is exploring new hikes and rivers in the area.
JAIR ROBLES is a prolific paddler from the area. What he loves most in life is spending time on the river, being in nature, and of course, kayaking! He is stoked to be part of the program and in his own words "It's a pleasure to be part of this incredible program and see these kids grow as kayakers and of course as people too since that is the most important thing for them, to be great people and kayakers with values and good habits."