Hoatzins family, Madidi National Park. Photo by Dr. Arthur Anker
Meet our Team
Mike Razzano, Founder
Mike Razzano was born in South Florida in 1983. He was first introduced to the Bolivian Amazon in 2007 on a trip through South America, where he began volunteering for Comunidad Inti Wara Yassi (CIWY). CIWY is a Bolivian non-profit that rescues animals from the booming illegal wildlife trade. It was here that he developed his passion and commitment to the protection of the Amazon. Since 2007, he has spent over three years living and working in Bolivia. To fund his travels, Mike worked as a carpenter and a professional guide in various places around the world including the US, Australia, Cambodia, and Latin America.
Chantal Berot, Co-Founder
Chantal Berot was born in Dublin Ireland in 1983. She graduated from the University College Dublin with a degree in French and Sociology. After finishing school, she traveled extensively, working in a variety of different sectors, including advertising, directing summer service programs for teens, and working with in animals in the Dublin SPCA and in CIWY, Bolivia. She first discovered CIWY in 2007, and has been actively supporting the organization, both in Bolivia and abroad ever since. Along with BALTA, Chantal is currently working as a massage therapist and yoga instructor.
Sarah Hanners, Co-Founder
Sarah was born in Miami, Florida in 1982. She graduated from the University of Miami in 2004, where she focused on Latin American history and politics. In 2007, she traveled to Bolivia, to volunteer for CIWY, and her short visit turned into nearly five years of living and working in the Bolivian Amazon. She worked as Volunteer Coordinator and Administrative Director at Ambue Ari, one of CIWY's three parks, in the northeastern part of Bolivia. Along with her involvement with BALTA, Sarah is currently back in school, at the University of Miami School of Law, earning a degree in environmental law.
Robert Thoren, Co-Founder
Robert Thoren was born in Los Angeles, California in 1983. He graduated from Naropa University with a degree in Psychology. Robert has worked on a number of rainforest conservation issues around the world. Since 2006, he has taken the time to explore and understand the diversity of the worlds tropical forests, which he has developed a commitment to their protection. He worked as a director for CIWY for four years, managing operations at all three of their established parks. As well as rainforest protection, Robert works as a professional guide around the world, as well as a professional photographer.