Support CIWY's Youth

CIWY’s origins lie in helping disadvantaged youth. In 1988 Juan Carlos Antezana and Nena Baltazar began an initiative to help teach trade skills to less privileged children in El Alto, La Paz, giving them the means to support themselves. Over the years CIWY’s work developed and its principal mission is now to help rescued wildlife, a change you can read more about here. However we have never lost sight of our original mission of supporting children.

In Parque Machía and Parque Ambue Ari, CIWY looks after and provides for children from various backgrounds, getting them involved with our work with wildlife and giving them a sense of importance. These children dedicate their free time to helping to care for the animals while maintaining good marks in school. CIWY has become these children’s family and many of them want to go to university to study biology or veterinary medicine. We want to continue to support them and to help them realize their goals. However, we cannot do this without your help.

Youth Development Fund

In 2009 we started the Youth Development Fund (YDF) to provide CIWY’s youth with financial support for their higher education; thus enabling them to attend university and realize their full potential in life. The YDF is managed by CIWY’s Board of Directors and its funds are intended only for educational purposes.

Help CIWY’s youth realise their full potential by making a donation to this fund:


I would like to support CIWY’s youth with a regular gift

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*By ticking the Gift Aid box, you are making the following declaration: “I want to Gift Aid this donation and any donations I make in the future or have made in the past 4 years to Friends of Inti Wara Yassi. I confirm that I am a UK taxpayer and understand that if I pay less Income Tax and/or Capital Gains Tax than the amount of Gift Aid claimed on all my donations in that tax year it is my responsibility to pay any difference.

I would like to support CIWY's youth with a Direct Debit

For UK bank account holders only. All Direct Debit donations are processed by CAF (Charities Aid Foundation).

Set up a Direct Debit to support CIWY's Youth Fund

We greatly appreciate any support that you can offer; even a small amount will make a huge difference to these young people.

Gift Aid it

* All PayPal donations are managed by FIWY. As such UK residents may claim Gift Aid by ticking the appropriate
box, thus providing FIWY with a Gift Aid declaration. This means that we receive an extra 25% from the taxman on each donation made; making every £1 worth £1.25! 

To claim Gift Aid you must be a UK taxpayer and pay an amount of Income Tax and / or Capital Gains Tax at least equal to the tax reclaimed on your donations in the tax year (currently 25p for every £1). By ticking the Gift Aid box you are authorising us to reclaim the tax on this and any future donations until you notify us otherwise. Please note that any Gift Aid claimed will be treated as unrestricted funds.

Our youth 

Below are the stories of two of the young people for whom the Youth Fund was begun.

Rusber Jimenez Zurita

Rusber & Mauricio

Rusber was born in Cochabamba. His father abandoned him at a very young age and when he was just seven-years-old his mother was tragically killed in a car accident. As a form of compensation, the man who was driving the car that killed his mother took Rusber in. However during this time Rusber suffered both physical and psychological abuse. One day, tired being mistreated, Rusber took the brave decision to escape his abuser. He left without knowing where he was going to go and ended up living on the streets for a number of months.

While wandering the streets of Cochabamba one day, Rusber came across the bus stop for transport heading into the province of Chapare. He boarded a bus without any idea of where it was taking him and ended up getting off in Villa Tunari, with a friendly woman who offered to help him. She said Rusber could live and work with her brother, provided he also sold ice cream at Parque Machía. And so it was that Rusber, at nine-years-old, met Nena Baltazar. Nena was impressed by Rusber’s personality and intelligence and decided to help him. She invited him to join the CIWY family and Rusber happily accepted.

Today Rusber is an integral part of Parque Machía. He is in charge of the spider monkey area and also helps out in other areas of animal management. On account of his aptitude and experience gained over the years, he now plays an important role in the management of Parque Machía. As well as the great work he carries out within the organisation, he is also an excellent student and is very responsible.

In November 2011 Rusber attended the Pan-American Summit of Jane Goodall’s Roots and Shoots programme, a youth programme that encourages young adults to work towards a better world for people, wildlife and the environment. Rusber represented CIWY and brought back many ideas, determined to start an environmentally-minded club for Villa Tunari’s teenagers.

Rusber’s dream is to become a successful veterinarian and to continue working for CIWY, helping the animals he has grown to love so much. He is currently in his first year at the University of Cochabamba studying veterinary medicine.

Wilber Antonio Rasguido


Wilber Antonio, better known as Oso, first came to Parque Ambue Ari in 2005. He was living with his family in a community close to the park called Villa San Pedro. Oso liked coming to the park to visit the animals and help out Verito, who at that time was Ambue Ari’s Veterinarian. Then, with his parents’ permission, he decided to live in the park because he liked the parrots and the peccaries. From this moment on CIWY decided to support him through his studies. In 2012 Oso finished his secondary education and his is currently in his second year of a Veterinary Science degree in the University of Trinidad.

Oso is an integral part of the permanent team in Parque Ambue Ari. He is very dedicated to the animals and his creativity is a great asset to the work that he carries out there, in particular for construction and maintenance work within the park. Oso has had a special connection with since animals since he was a little boy, which has enabled him to carry out excellent work with various species, in particular with felines.

Oso’s ambition is to finish his course and become a Veterinarian. In this way he will be able to continue helping his brothers – the animals – and also his mother.

Why your support is so important

Rusber and Oso's stories are not unique. Many children and youngsters have dedicated countless hours to working for the good of the animals at CIWY’s centres, and have considered CIWY to be their home and family. They have juggled their duties of caring for the animals with school attendance and homework. While other children have spent their evenings playing football and meeting friends, these kids have been helping with chores and the running of camp.

Although all of these children’s stories vary, they all come from less fortunate backgrounds and many of them saw CIWY as their last chance before turning to the streets. With your help, we can prepare them for a better future; a future in which they can provide for themselves, their future families and the future of CIWY.


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Our Partners

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.

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