The Comunidad Inti Wara Yassi is a legally established Bolivian organisation, made up of a team of young professionals and Bolivian volunteers, as well as international volunteers from all over the world.
In 1992 the organisation was born thanks to a group of Bolivian volunteers and became a nationally recognised environmental movement. In the beginning CIWY worked with orphans and children with limited resources, aiming to support their personal development and build their self-esteem by participating in different activities in defence of the environment and raising awareness among the general population about the importance of respecting our biodiversity.
Over the years CIWY has exposed and denounced the illegal trade of wild animal species. Faced with the indifference of the authorities tasked with dealing with this issue and despite the existence of a law, the organisation took on the responsibility to take care of and offer these victims a second opportunity in life. Thus in 1996 CIWY became pioneers in establishing the first wild animal refuge in Bolivia, promoting conservation ex situ.
As an organisation we want to bring about significant changes in our country and create a responsible awareness around this issue. We currently manage three Wildlife Custody Centres (WCCs) - Machía (Cochabamba), Ambue Ari (Santa Cruz) and Jacj Cuisi (north of La Paz) - where animals rescued from trafficking are given a home.
Friends of Inti Wara Yassi (FIWY) is our sister organization in the UK. They have been a major source of support since their founding in 2008. Find out more about FIWY here.
Quest Overseas organizes gap year trips for British and international students. Since 2001, Quest has worked with CIWY to bring much needed volunteers and funds. If you are interested in the programs they have with us, find out more here.