The Azuero Spider Monkey, CHARRITO

Mono araña de Azuero, CHARRITOThe Azuero Spider Monkey, CHARRITO (Ateles geoffroyi azuerensis), is our indicator subspecies and guiding symbol because it is a vitally important but critically endangered species in the Azuero dry forest ecosystem. The few that remain on the planet live only on the Azuero. They are victims of rapidly decreasing habitat, hunting, and capture for the pet trade. They are particularly smart and cute, but also shy, which may be why they have managed to hold on this long. However, the loss of habitat and shrinking gene pool may be more than they can manage. We are working to stop the killing and capture of Spider monkeys, and all monkeys, and provide them with sufficient habitat to ensure their future.

Ruth Metzel, Co-Founder and Director

Ruth has a Master of Forestry and MBA from Yale University, and a degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Princeton University. In addition to working with the Azuero Eco Foundation, she has been a part of The Forests Dialogue, the International Society of Tropical Foresters, and the Governance, Environment and Markets Initiative at Yale. Ruth has written about Azuero in publications such as “Manejo de Nutrientes y Seguridad Alimentaria en Huertos Caseros Mesoamericanos” (2015) and “Farm to Forest: Factors Associated with Protecting and Planting Trees in a Panamanian Agricultural Landscape” (2015). Her field experience includes research projects with the Smithsonian in Panama, along with work in Costa Rica, Cuba, Honduras, Ghana, Guatemala, Kenya, Peru, Venezuela and the United States. If she is not in the office, you can find her dancing típico, kayaking, hiking or in a “junta de embarre.”

Sandra Vásquez de Zambrano, Programs Director

Sandra Vásquez de ZambranoSandra was born in El Salvador, and presently lives in Las Tablas with her husband and two children. Sandra studied psychology and business administration, and has over 15 years of experience working in Human Resources, business formation and entrepreneurship, market strategies, and project execution, etc. She initiated the operations of SEARCH INC.,a recruitment and talent selection firm, in Panama and Honduras, positioning the firm as one of the most important in the region. She has had the opportunity to work in several countries in Central America, and currently owns La Maestra restaurant in Las Tablas. She is also the founder of the Festarte Las Tablas, the first art, cultural and gastronomy festival in the region.

Milagros Castillo, Program Assistant

Milagros CastilloMilagros is born and grows in the city of Chitré, where he does his primary and secondary studies.

He graduated with a degree in Marketing and International Commerce from the Technological University of Panama, based in Azuero; He has a Master in Commercial Management and Marketing, which was carried out in Spain.

He participated in volunteer teams inside and outside of Panama.

Nature lover, promotes its conservation and care. He loves to travel and meet other cultures, read and be on the beach.

Jesús A. Batista, Reforestation Assistant

Jesús A. BatistaHe was born on April 4, 1991. He attended primary and secondary education in the province of Los Santos; He is a qualified technician from the National University of Panama.

He is currently studying for a degree in Environmental Sanitation at the Technological University of Panama with Azuero headquarters.

Participates in the Azuero Eco Foundation in the area of nurseries, reforestation and monitoring of seedlings.