Paso Pacifico

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Our Board of Directors


Lotte Roache – President   

Retired non-profit professional 

Lotte Roache was born and raised in Germany and immigrated to the United States over 20 years ago. Her expertise lies in Event Planning and Coordinating and she worked most recently for a non-profit organization. She currently volunteers for different organizations including a school dedicated to educate homeless and at-risk students, an institution which delivers food and support to men, women and children affected by AIDS or cancer and a non-profit which recycles flowers from events and businesses and delivers the re-purposed arrangements to hospitals, senior homes and hospice center.

Gian Marco Palazio – Secretary

President, Café Las Flores, Nicaragua

Gian Marco is President of CASCO Safety Group (Central America Safety Company), the leading Central American distributor of industrial safety, public safety and rescue equipment.  He is President of Café Las Flores, Nicaragua’s leading integrated specialty coffee brand from plantation to retail, a Rainforest Alliance Certified product.  Café Las Flores is part of Agora Partnership’s Accelerator Program.  He directs other companies in the eco-tourism, handicraft export, and real estate industries. 

Gian Marco is a CALI (Central American Leadership Initiative) Fellow from the Aspen Institute and part of the Aspen Global Leadership Initiative. 

He graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1997.  Since then, he completed the Entrepreneur’s Organization’s EO/MIT Entrepreneurial Masters Program, and multiple INCAE executive programs.

He currently resides in Managua with his wife Marcela and three children. 


Juan Marco Alvarez

Executive Director, BCSD-El Salvador

Juan Marco Alvarez has more than 20 years experience in sustainability, conservation management and green growth issues. He has a Masters degree in Business Administration and Sustainable Development from INCAE Business School in Costa Rica.

From 2009-2011, he worked for the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in Geneva, Switzerland, as Global Thematic Program Director, and was also in charge of its Business and Biodiversity Program, where he coordinated partnerships with multinationals such as Shell, Holcim, Rio Tinto and Nestlé Nespresso and with asssociations such as the International Council for Mining and Metals (ICMM) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).

Prior to IUCN, he served as Executive Director of SalvaNATURA, El Salvador's leading conservation NGO, known for its work on national park management, as well as the implementation of good practices and sustainable certification for the coffee, sugar and tourism industries.

Juan Marco has served as Board and Steering Committee member in various international organizations, such as IUCN (2004-2008), the Union for Ethical Bio Trade based in Amsterdam (2009-2011), the Green Economy Coalition based in London (2009-2011) and the joint IUCN-WWF Program known as TRAFFIC based in Cambridge (2009-2011). Since 2010 he has been a member of the International Standards Committee of the Rainforest Alliance-Sustainable Agriculture Network.

Currently, Juan Marco is Chairman and Sustainability Advisor for ALGA Investments, a family owned company that focuses on coffee and sugar cane production and processing. He also works part time as Executive Director of the Business Council for Sustainable Development, El Salvador Chapter. In addition, he is a managing Director at Antural Partners, a corporate sustainability consulting firm, with presence in Abu Dhabi, Brussels, Geneva, San Francisco and San Salvador.

Frank Joyce

Director & Instructor, EAP Costa Rica: Tropical Biology & Conservation, Monteverde Institute

Teresa Lang 

Senior Policy Manager, Climate Action Reserve  

Teresa Lang is responsible for managing and developing new emissions reduction project protocols, as well as the maintenance and interpretation of existing protocols for the Climate Action Reserve. Most recently, Teresa has been managing the development of the Reserve’s Mexican Ozone Depleting Substances Project Protocol, as well as the Reserve’s agricultural protocols. Prior to the Reserve, Teresa worked for Paso Pacífico, both in California and in Nicaragua, assisting in the development of new projects, developing an intern program, and managing redevelopment on the website, managing the “guías comunitarias” eco-tourism training programs in Ostional and La Tortuga, and serving as Paso Pacifico’s first (unofficial) surf ambassador. Previously, Teresa worked for the Clinton Global Initiative in New York, helping corporate and nonprofit industry leaders develop new climate change and environmental projects. Teresa earned her Masters of International Affairs, specializing in environmental policy, at Columbia University and earned her Bachelors in Political Economies from the University of California at Berkeley.  Teresa is an avid surfer and loves surfing the pristine waves in Nicaragua.

Sonia Ortega

Program Director, Office of International Science and Engineering at the National Science Foundation 

Sonia Ortega is a native of Nicaragua.  She currently works in Washington DC as Program Director in the Office of International Science and Engineering at the National Science Foundation (NSF). During her 25 years at the NSF she has managed several multimillion dollar programs that span the gamut of education levels and disciplines. Before coming to the NSF, Sonia was a Research Associate at the Duke University Marine Laboratory in Beaufort, North Carolina where she conducted research on the Ecology of Oyster Populations along the North Carolina coast. For three years, she was on leave from NSF and worked as Director of Education and International Programs at the Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network Office at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Sonia holds a BS degree in Biology from the University of Costa Rica, an MA in Zoology from Duke University, and a Ph.D. in Biology from the University of South Carolina.  Her research results focused on the Ecology of Tropical Rocky Shore Populations of Invertebrates are reported in scientific journals. She conducted research in Costa Rica, Brazil, Chile and Panama.  Sonia has served as advisor and board member of education and scientific organizations in the US and abroad. In 2008 the Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) presented her with the Distinguished Professional Mentor Award in recognition of her mentoring activities at the national level.  In 2013 the Ecological Society of America (ESA) recognized her with the ESA Commitment to Human Diversity in Ecology Award for her outstanding contributions to increasing current and future diversity in the ecological community.  

Sonia has extensive knowledge of science and engineering research and education policies and has represented NSF at national and international science and education meetings. She represented NSF at Palmer Station Antarctica. In 2012 she was selected as an Embassy Science Fellow to represent the US and the National Science Foundation at the US Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. She is a founding member of the Nicaraguan Academy of Sciences.

Diana Pritchard

Ecologist and Anthropologist, University of Sussex

Diana’s career has focussed on the diversity of knowledge, livelihood practices and global forces - in different cultural contexts - which shape human relationships to the natural world and resource use. She draws on analytical tools developed during her degrees in environmental biology and anthropology (University College London), and a doctorate in social policy (from the London School of Economics), to conduct her work at the interface of environmental and social phenomena. She has worked in research, teaching and training, and policy and project management in various countries (including the UK, USA, Belize, Spain and Mexico) for universities, NGOs and national and multilateral organisations, amongst them several United Nations agencies. She made Nicaragua her home, and that of her children, for eight years and in 2005 she returned to live in the UK, her country of origin. Diana publishes on biodiversity conservation, particularly on international policy and community based initiatives and, most recently, in the field of education for sustainabilities. 

Paso Pacífico gives her a golden opportunity to channel her experiences and join a dynamic and eclectic group committed to strengthen local capacities and enhance the quality of lives and protect vulnerable ecosystems.

Derek Schlereth

Annual Giving Officer, David Suzuki Foundation

Derek Schlereth has been working in the fundraising industry for over eight years and presently manages the annual giving program at the David Suzuki Foundation, one of Canada’s largest and most respected environmental non-profit organizations. Derek is experienced with a variety of fundraising and project management including direct mail, telemarketing, donor stewardship, and monthly giving programs, as well as volunteer and vendor management. Derek’s latest project is is building a new fundraising program designed to engage, solicit, and steward middle-range donors. 
Derek is passionate about environmental causes and fighting climate change. He strongly believes in involving and supporting local communities (particularly indigenous communities) in creating and implementing environmental change and is excited by this aspect of Paso Pacifico’s work.
Derek resides in Vancouver, British Columbia, where he braves the rainy winters as a bicycle commuter, referees minor hockey, and is completing a degree in Marketing Management at Langara College. 

Christine Schmidt 

Nonprofit Management and Development

Christine has combined her knowledge of non-profit organizations and her passion for wildlife and river conservation to support the creation and development of Paso Pacífico from the start. Christine has a master’s degree in non-profit management from the University of San Francisco. She currently works as a development officer for the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences at UC Davis. However, she makes time during the weekends to contribute to our common dream of building a wildlife corridor. Christine is also a talented nature photographer.



Contact Us

PO Box 1244 • Ventura, CA 93002-1244
Phone: 1-805-643-7044

Carretera a Masaya Km 12.4
Residencial Villas del Prado, Casa No. 7
Managua, Nicaragua
Phone: +505-2279-8423
Phone: +505-2279-7072

© 2006 Paso Pacífico