Kike Arias, Community Affairs and Land Management
Kike’s programmatic involvement is focused on GIS mapping and community involvement. Kike is a Guna elder from the autonomous indigenous Gunayala territory (“comarca”). He served as the Secretary General of the Guna General Congress, and is one of the original cartographers of the Mamoní Valley and therefore spent many years trekking and mapping the jungles at the Continental Divide between Mamoní and Gunayala. He is also an invaluable part of our pool of local guides.
Educational background: Cartographer at the Inter-American Geodetic Survey (IAGS).
Iniquilipi Chiari, Co-Founder, Geoversity School of Biocultural Leadership (GeoSchool)
Iniqui was the founding president of the Guna Youth Congress, and is currently staff with Panama’s Ministry of the Environment specializing in Indigenous Affairs, Environmental Impact Assessment studies and protected areas. Following his studies in Europe in 2007, he has been active at supporting the Guna General Congress and has represented the Guna people and the Guna Youth Congress in numerous international fora.
Educational background: Tourism Management at Cesar Ritz Colleges, Switzerland.
Jörg Stamm, Co-Founder, Geoversity Design
Jörg is widely considered to be one of the most accomplished and skilled master builders in bamboo in the world. Following a career as a furniture maker and structural carpenter in his home country of Germany, he moved to Colombia in 1994. Since then, he has been working with several of the great designers and projects in bamboo, including the Colombian architect Simon Velez and the designer Linda Garland, the founder of the Environmental Bamboo Foundation. He specializes in blending European contemporary design and traditional bamboo carpentry. Among Stamm’s most well-known accomplishments are: the design and building of roofed bridges with a span of 30 meters in Colombia and Bali; the iconic Simon Velez designed pavilion for Colombia in the 2000 World Expo in Hanover, Germany; and the Orchid Pavilion at the McKee Botanical Garden in Vero Beach, Florida, the first officially recognized bamboo pavilion in the USA. Stamm has founded and helped start several bamboo-related companies and organized numerous introductory and advanced training programs in bamboo construction across Asia, Latin America, and Africa.
Educational background: Carpenter.
Roger Martínez, Design & Construction Leader, Geoversity Design
Roger is Colombian and he is specialized in design and constructions in guadua bamboo, but has wide experience with the use of any natural material. He has designed experimental structures, houses, bridges, as well as ecotourism, research stations, and waste management projects in several Latin American countries. Many of these projects have been in collaboration with Jörg Stamm. Roger is always involved in Geoversity’s training and product development workshops, as well as in the building projects requested by individuals, companies, state institutions, international development corporations, and our own initiatives.
Educational background: Landscaping Architect with a specialization in the use of bamboo and wood.
Raisa Banfield, Co-founder of Geoversity Design
Raisa is the former Vice Mayor of Panama City (2014-2019). She has devoted many years of life to environmental protection and advocates strongly for the social economic development of Panama, making sure that the capital remains compatible with ecological sustainability. She was the Executive Director of CIAM (Center for Environmental Impact) from 2007 to 2010 and is currently the President of Sustainable Panama (PASOS), an organization that she founded in 2010 to promote alternative development solutions. She was a co-founder of Alianza Pro-Ciudad (2010), Pro-Defense Committee of Camino de Cruces National Park and other community organizations, and Coordinator and Producer of the television program Nuestro Planeta (2010). She founded the architecture and design firm RGB S.A. (1994-2007).
Educational background: Architect from the University of Panama (1993).
Ben Goulet-Scott, Founder & Director, Mamoní Natural History Project
Ben Goulet-Scott is a Ph.D. student at Harvard University in the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, where he uses wildflowers to study how new species form. Ben participated in the founding of Geoversity, and in 2017 he founded the Mamoní Valley Preserve Natural History Project, an educational and research initiative working to document the biodiversity of the Mamoní Valley Preserve. He is a passionate naturalist who works to promote thoughtfulness and respect toward all species.
Bryan Ausinheiler, Geoversity Senior Advisor on Permaculture and Ecological Restoration
Bryan Ausinheiler grew up in the temperate zone but developed a fascination with the tropical rainforest at a young age. He is a naturalist who has studied tropical ecology and worked in nature preserves in the Choco and Amazon forests of Ecuador. He received his tropical permaculture design certificate at Finca Tierra in Costa Rica and has visited permaculture farms in Hawaii, Costa Rica and Panama. His passion has also taken him to the rainforests of Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, Thailand and the Caribbean observing and interviewing those he met in search of ways to live more harmoniously with nature. Professionally he holds a doctorate in physical therapy as well as certifications in orthopedics, strength & conditioning and human nutrition.
Micaela Iron Shell-Dominguez, Co-Founder, GeoSchool
Micaela is a Sicangu Lakota and Chicana who was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. She was raised by a strong line of matriarchs, from her great-grandmother to her grandmother, to her mother, and herself. She was shown the power when strong women work together and empower one another. Micaela works to bring women of all backgrounds together in a way that allows them to empower each other, and create strong matriarchal bonds for future generations.
Chris Lopez, Co-Founder, GeoSchool & BILD
Chris is a naturalist, permaculture designer, tracker, educator, and storyteller. Chris integrates naturalist skills, living systems thinking, myth and storytelling in order to reconnect senses thus shifting the mind from one of fragmentation and separation to one of co-evolution and interbeing. He is the Creative Director with Teem Innovation Group and also a teaching faculty member with the Regenesis Institute for Regenerative Practice.