To increase the well-being of local communities in the Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta and its foothills, by developing socio-environmental programs that help satisfy the basic needs of local people, while promoting the sustainable use of natural resources.
Who we are
We are a team of 4 permanent staff members who work to help create positive change in the Sierra Nevada region through socio-environmental projects.
"It's easy to fall in love with Colombia's Sierra Nevada.
When I first visited Minca in 2010, I discovered a land of beautiful waterfalls, enormous jungle trees, snow-capped peaks and mountainside farms. More than nature, it was the warmth of the people here that drew me in. My understanding of the issues they faced was what led me to stay.
Through educational programs and animal clinics, we started by providing care for our community's pet population. Next, we focused on education as the foundation for a better future. Quickly, we understood that tourism was growing and we turned our attention there to reduce the negative effects created by this industry.
The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta has great potential but faces many challenges. It is a region with very low standards of education for children, insufficient opportunities, and high poverty rates.
We are working to fix these issues, one social or environmental project at a time. Yet what drives us most are not the challenges we face but the change we see around us.
We see it in the smiles of children now inspired to care of the environment. We see it on the faces of the volunteers we host and the people they help. " - Diana Benincore Reyes, Director, Misión Gaia
Diana BenincoreExecutive Director
France LemoultEducational Programs Director
Michelle HahndorfSustainable Development of Tourism Coordinator
Rafael Velosa Veterinarian
Brigitte EichenbergerVeterinarian Nurse
Andrea MedinaOperative assistant
Animal Health & fundraising
Mission Gaia works with rural communities, local schools, government and private organizations in the Minca area of Sierra Nevada.
Afid ACCOUNTANTS FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Junta de Acción Comunal de Minca
Asociación La Semilla de la Sierra
El Eden de Minca