The Chaco Fund’s Board members bring compassion, creativity, and a shared sense of the value of education.
Maritza Chacay Guayupari
Michael has over 10 years of experience working on a broad range of renewable energy and sustainability initiatives, domestically and abroad. His professional work has focused on conducting economic impact assessments, policy analysis, and strategic program deployment on a state and national level. He holds an MA in Energy Policy from Columbia University and a BA in Economics from Colorado College. Michael served as an Environmental Education Peace Corps volunteer in Bolivia where he conducted GPS deforestation assessments and created an environmental commission CLIMA (La Comisión Local Interinstitucional Del Medio Ambiente) to research and address environmental challenges in his community. His service in Bolivia was formative, teaching him the value of partnerships in building successful environmental campaigns and the global effort required to protect our planet. He currently lives in Denver, Colorado.
Mateo is the Chaco Fund’s treasurer. He served in Peace Corps Bolivia’s agriculture and forestry extension from 2007-8. Mateo’s experience living and working in Iñiguazu, one of the remotest villages in the Bolivian Chaco, has underpinned his life’s trajectory since the Peace Corps. He now works as an exploratory biologist, and has led conservation research and education projects in wild areas of the United States, Africa, and Latin America over the past decade. Mateo is an avid outdoorsman, linguist, and singer-songwriter. He currently resides in Chicago.
Mark is currently the secretary for the Chaco Fund. He served with several of the other officers in Peace Corps Bolivia from 2007-2008, working in support of a local beekeepers association and growing a substantial beard. Since returning to the US, Mark completed a PhD in Latin American History and currently teaches at Southeastern Louisiana University. Even when Mark should be working, he is probably spending time with his wife and four children.
Cesar Pérez Hurtado
Member at Large
Member at Large
Jacqueline Brysacz is a nurse practitioner and public health specialist currently based out of Pennsylvania. She served as an agriculture volunteer in the Chaco with the US Peace Corps from 2007-08, focusing on community beekeeping initiatives. Her experience in the Chaco led her to a career focused on reducing barriers to health and well-being for low resource populations. She currently works as a family nurse practitioner in a community health center, serving all comers regardless of insurance status or ability to pay. She loves her family,
Member at Large
Beth Stierman is a public health professional with ten years of experience developing and implementing health programs in Africa and Latin America. Beth began her career in public health as a Peace Corps volunteer in Bolivia (2007-2008), where she worked with local partners on the “Viviendas Saludables” (Healthy Homes) project to improve housing conditions and access to basic sanitation in rural communities. Following Peace Corps, Beth worked as a health educator with
Philip a.k.a. “Felipe” served in the Peace Corps Bolivia’s agriculture and forestry extension from 2007-8. After the Peace Corps, he attended law school in D.C. before joining the U.S. Navy as a Judge Advocate General. He is presently stationed at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Felipe is one of nine children and enjoys exercising, reading and traveling during his free time.
Joe is a CPA and graduate of Northern Illinois University. He served for more than 25 years in various executive positions for nonprofit associations. Most recently Joe retired from his position as the Executive Director for the Insurance Accounting & Systems Association (IASA). In retirement Joe has continued his support for nonprofit organizations as a frequent volunteer providing tax and financial counseling. Joe is a father of five awesome children and four exceptional grandchildren. He has lived in the greater Chicagoland area all his life and currently resides in Park Ridge.
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In a few days, voters will go to the polls. They will decide the leadership of their country as they confront grave challenges to its democratic institutions against the backdrop of the ongoing ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic and its accompanying economic turmoil.
We are not all in this together. Sure, we are all experiencing the common disruption that is COVID-19. But some are shouldering the burden more heavily than others. One such group is women in Latin America.
In Bolivia, there are two holidays in each calendar year which recognize and celebrate women. By exploring the roots of these holidays, we open a window into Bolivian culture and history.