Community Inti Wara Yassi

Comunidad Inti Wara Yassi (CIWY) is a non-governmental organization working for environmental education and care of the sick, abused and abandoned animals. Based and operated in Bolivia, the country’s largest single destination for seized wildlife, but because of space constraints they can not accept everyone. The organization also conducts environmental activism and education roles, with a focus on animal rights and conservation. The name consists of three words from the native language means sun, star and moon in Quechua, Aymara and Guarani language Chiriguano.

The organization is supported by international volunteers who stay at least two weeks. Volunteers take care of the animals, clean and build cages and cook.


In 1986 began to Juan Carlos Antezana and Tania “Nena” Baltazar works with poor youth in a small neighborhood of El Alto. They worked to support the needs of miners’ children who had moved to the area, providing alternative education including carpentry workshops, sewing, horticulture in greenhouses and other activities.

As part of the training, the children were taken on field trips to the Yungas region of La Paz. During such a journey, the children witnessed the effect of human impact on the environment and the effect that slash and burn agriculture on wildlife. This deeply influenced the children, and they agreed to create an environmental movement in order to show the public the negative effect of destroying the rainforest and other activities that cause damage to nature. Marches were held in La Paz, Oruro, Santa Cruz, Sucre and Cochabamba. These young people were an integral part of CIWY early attempts to raise awareness about environmental degradation.

During another excursion, the children witnessed the blatant abuse of wild animals: they found a spider in the town of Rurrenabaque stored in a local bar. Antezana and Baltazar rescued, treated and released the monkey. But the monkey returned to Rurrenabaque and recaptured. Antezana and Baltazar realized a nature reserve would be necessary to protect these animals. CIWY formally organized in 1992. The organization worked with and cared for rescued animals in a Japanese garden in La Paz to 1996, when the mayor of Villa Tunari granted conditional use of the Parque Machia for the organization’s rescue efforts.

wildlife centers

Parque Macha

Parque Machia located in Villa Tunari in the Chapare, in the department of Cochabamba. 1996 City Council in Villa Tunari granted CIWY use of park land provided that CIWY looked after, as it was under threat from deforestation and poaching. The center specializes in the care of spider monkeys and capuchin monkeys.

The center is led by the head veterinarian Dr. Luis Morales and operated by several permanent employees. Their work is supported by mainly foreign volunteers working for at least two weeks. Volunteers help build and maintain the cages, prepare meals, provide enrichment programs, take the animal for walks in the jungle and create new tracks.

Animals cared include pumas, ocelots, capuchin monkeys, spider monkeys, the Andean Bear, coatis, parrots and toucans.

Road construction

In 2009, the municipal government of Villa Tunari approved the construction of a road that would cut through the park to improve access to communities. [2] Despite an international campaign against the road, was built in 2010. The road has loosened ground soil, which landslides during the heavy rainy season, not only make the road impassable for most of the year, but also help to further loss of habitat for CIWY efforts . In 2009, the Jane Goodall visited the Villa Tunari to speak against the destruction of the road. [3] In 2010, four Pumas moved to the Parque Jacj Cuisi due to land loss due to road construction.

Ari Ambue Park

Parque Ambue Ari is a 800 hectare wildlife center is located in the department of Santa Cruz, between the cities of Santa Cruz and Trinidad. Unlike the land used in the Parque Machia Parque Ambue Ari land owned by CIWY, bought in 2002 from a local cocoa farmer. The center was opened to work more independently and to accommodate a growing number of rescued animals. The words ambue ari means “new day” in the native language Guarayo.

The natural habitat within the Parque Ambue Ari is an ideal place to take care of jaguars, pumas, ocelots, exotic birds, tapirs, coatis and red howler monkeys, however, local farmers encroached on the middle ground and hunters found in its territory.

The organization is responsible for the medical aspects of all the animals while volunteers help out by cleaning cages, feeding animals, provide enrichment and assist in the construction or maintenance.

Parque Jacj Cuisi

During the last months of 2008, was the country Parque Jacj Cuisi based on acquired. Jacj Cuisi, which is the newest of CIWY wildlife centers, covering a 300 hectare area located about 35 km from the village of San Buenaventura, opposite the town of Rurrenabaque, and the department of La Paz. Location is important for the development of CIWY work, because it is linked to the Madidi National Park, a 1.8 million hectare reserve and perfect country for potential reintroduction programs. “Jacj Cuisi” means “Land of Dreams” in native Mosetan Tacana.

Jacj Cuisi is currently in the initial stages of construction and only cares about four Pumas that have been transferred from Parque Machia because of loss of habitat caused by the 2010 road construction. Current priorities include completing large veterinary clinic and quarantine.


CIWY beginning was to educate poor children in El Alto. Through the years CIWY work began to include animal health and the environmental movement, what kind of education changed to focus on these issues. Today, CIWY visiting towns and villages throughout Bolivia, put on educational programs for young people.

International partnerships 

CIWY today has branches in England, Switzerland and Israel, all founded and run by former volunteers.

CIWY has the support of the Jane Goodall and the Jane Goodall Institute. In October 2009, the Jane Goodall visited the Parque Machia and Parque Ambue Ari. [4] CIWY is also supported by a voice, a French animal rights organization; and The Monkey Sanctuary, a British organization that cares for rescued monkeys. In 2011, Luis Morales visited and helped The Monkey Sanctuary.

In 1998 Baltazar was recognized by the Women’s World Summit Foundation for her work with CIWY, awarded their prize for women’s creativity in Rural Life. [5] In 2010, she was again, this time with One Voice (FR), a French animal rights organization. After participating in a voice in a silent protest for the rights of animals under the Eiffel Tower, One Voice offers Baltazar a donation to be used for the purchase of a vehicle. In 2011, the funds used to buy CIWY first vehicle.