About us

 Mission and Vision

Senda Verde is a non profit wildlife sanctuary created in 2003. Our mission is to rehabilitate and take care of rescued animals victims of illegal trafficking, cruelty and destruction of natural habitats; and contribute to conservation of species and biodiversity by spreading awareness and promoting environmental education. It is a private effort financed mainly by scholastic ecotourism; organised student visits; volunteer programs; and some donations. Our food, lodging and tourism services are offered to promote education and to sustain the sanctuary.

However, our animals come first, so we have a policy that limits the number of visitors, and therefore visits and reservations are organized accordingly. We do no allow large number of persons at the same time that could cause animal stress or discomfort.

La Senda Verde is a singular “green” destination with a holistic vision that offers unique wildlife and nature connection and learning opportunities for students and visitors of all ages. Provides a life experience focused on conservation of species and the environment.

The future is uncertain. The world is experiencing and overall environmental degradation, destruction of ecosystems and reduction of biodiversity. In this context, our role of providing conservation in a genuinely integrated way is so significant. This true-life matters have made us realize about:

  • The unique role that we have as an environmentally friendly project devoted to help wild animals to trust again, give them a second chance, and bring hope live into their lives
  • The responsibility of designing and implementing practical and realistic pedagogic environmental programs
  • The significance of raising understanding and public awareness about biodiversity and
  • The value of nature and the importance of global cooperation and alliances for it to be effective.
Volcan and Exalto

Founders

Vicky Ossio and Marcelo Levy

Vickyo and Marcelo Levy co-founded La Senda Verde in 2003. They reside at LSV, and have personally provided the majority of funding which LSV has received to date. 

Vicky Ossio was born in Bolivia, and was educated in both Bolivia and the United States. Vicky currently oversees the day-to-day operations of LSV, and is also an active member of the cancer research, fund raising and patient care not-for-profit organization, The Life Raft Group. In recognition of her work for The Life Raft Group, Vicky was named Volunteer of the Year in 2010.

Marcelo Levy was born and educated in Bolivia. Marcelo is currently a full-time care giver for the baby Spider and Howler Monkeys who have arrived in the past year, and who need constant supervision and companionship to survive. Prior to founding LSV, Marcelo was a Project Manager for US Aid, overseeing a number of projects, including creating clean water sources, alternative resourcing, and converting farmers from coca planting to more sustainable practices.

History

Senda Verde Wildlife Sanctuary

LSV was established in 2003 originally as a project in ecotourism, with the objective to provide permanent hospitality services (food, showers/ bathroom, and accommodation) to the adventure tourism industry that transits on bicycles down the old road known as “the world´s most dangerous road” from the city of La Paz to Los Yungas. The property (located a small distance from the township of Yolosa, by the Coroico River of the North Yungas region of La Paz, Bolivia) was established in this location strategically to complement this type of industry. However without notice or plan LSV evolved into a vital link in warning all of the effects of animal trafficking in the region of Yungas, and the entirety of the north of the country.

Approximately one year later (2004), a capuchin monkey and two parrots were rescued.

Reflecting upon this incident, the necessity to contribute to conservation of fauna and flora was evident. From here on LSV decided to redefine their objectives and focus their efforts and energy to this cause. By limiting the level of tourists to that which will sustain the economical functions of LSV, primary focus can be given to this objective.

LSV Animal Refuge started its operations with a small number of animals that were voluntarily handed over to the refuge. Before the end of 2007 LSV established a relationship with the organization Animales SOS, this same institution made the case for the rescue of a 4 month old Andean Bear, Aruma. From here on LSV received a higher quantity of animals that were the result of illegal trafficking.

Following this incident LSV initiated contact with the Department of Biodiversity (DGB), dependent of the Environmental Ministry; with the purpose of becoming informed of the rules and regulations for creating a wildlife rescue centre and to coordinate an institutional relationship which marks the beginning of an operation that to this day has achieved highly effective results.

In 2009 LSV elaborated and presented a management plan to the DGB. This document was approved that same year. In 2008 LSV acquired the certification to proceed as a non-profit organization, approved by the Environmental Department of Affairs and the La Paz Government. The repercussions of this were two-fold. First, LSV was able to accept new animals more easily within government guidelines. Second, LSV is now obligated to accept any animals intercepted by the government.

Over the past four years, illegal animal trafficking has drastically increased in Bolivia. As a result, the animal population at LSV has more than quadrupled in the past three years to approximately 701 animals (January 2017). We now receive new animals at least monthly, and often weekly.

Articles & Reviews

Swing Mangia Swing! Photo by Tracy Buyce @ National Geographic Your Shot

La Senda Verde has been featured in different printed and electronic articles and reviews. Take a look at what they say about us!

Articles in English
Articles in Spanish