Regeneration Field Institute Team
LUCAS OSHUN | Director
Originally from Northern California, Lucas is a lifelong environmental and political activist, entrepreneur, and resident of Bahía de Caráquez. After graduating with a degree in Politics and Community Studies from UC Santa Cruz, he founded the nonprofit environmental youth leadership organization, Global Student Embassy (GSE) with his brother Jasper in 2008. Since then, he has endeavored several innovative ways to leverage resources to create regenerative social and environmental enterprises at the community level as vessels for ecological and social justice.
RAISA TORRES | BUSINESS MANAGER & LOGISTICS COORDINATOR
Raisa Torres was born and raised in Bahía de Caráquez, Ecuador where she has been an active advocate for environmental action and helped develop ecological education programs within public school systems. After studying environmental engineering at the Universidad Agraria de Guayaquil, she helped form the earthquake relief program, Bahia Beach Construction, and became RFI's Business Manager and Logistics Coordinator. Raisa continues to exemplify what it means to be a powerful leader in the local and global community.
MAYA SACHASINH BOONE | program manager
Maya is an Indian-European from Northern California. Her studies at UC Berkeley focused on agroecology, forestry, sustainable development, ethnic studies, and indigenous sovereignty. She first came to Bahía when she was 15 years old as a reforestation intern and has since returned several times to work on various projects. She manages university relationships, recruitment and enrollment in our programs, development of curricula, communications and public outreach, and runs many of our programs abroad in Ecuador.
Robinson Vega is a Professor of Architecture and Head of EcoMaterials research lab at the Universidad de Guayaquil. As a collaborator with RFI, he provides a majority of the technical bamboo architecture curriculum for our workshops and teacher the three-day bamboo lecture series during our courses. His current projects include researching the potential insulation and fire retardant properties of different natural fibers from agricultural waste when combined with bamboo fibers to make floor, wall, ceiling, roof, and sidewalk panels, a "hospedaje" emergency accommodations for the Ecuadorian Navy in Antartica, and Head Architect for the bamboo facilities of Los Arboleros Farm.
Los Arboleros farm
Leo Avatar and Lucas Oshun, two northern California childhood friends have partnered to create this tropical eco-agricultural business and education center in Chone, Ecuador. RFI operates as a client of the farm and rents the space for educational programs. The farm has all bamboo built infrastructure as well as diverse crop and native timber production. Social and environmental enterprise models are demonstrated to international and local visitors at the 71.5 acre Los Arboleros campus. See more of their work on Facebook and Instagram @losarbolerosfarm!
Luis Andrade is an academic researcher, Professor of Tourism, and networker extraordinaire at the ESPAM University of Calceta, Manabí, Ecuador. Luis has been instrumental in supporting collaboration with Ecuadorian academic institutions and researchers. As a native to Chone, Ecuador, Luis aims to bring international recognition to the delicious cuisine of Manabí, the beautiful landscapes, and the organic agricultural potential of the region.
Dr. elizabeth boatman | Wake forest university
Dr. Boatman is an Assistant Professor of Engineering at Wake Forest University and Faculty Advisor for undergraduate research projects involving the strength of bamboo fibers. Since she and one of her undergraduate research students came to work with RFI in Ecuador, she has since partnered with us to co-create and run a for-credit study abroad Environmental Engineering and Sustainable Materials course for students through Wake Forest University on the RFI and Los Arboleros Farm Campuses. We are thrilled to have partners like Dr. Boatman who continue to develop cutting edge curriculums and empower students to break through traditional frameworks of STEM training and encourage concepts such as innovation and sustainability.
Universidad Laica Eloy Alfaro de manabí
The ULEAM has partnered with RFI to provide the support of professors, researchers, and faculty towards developing and conducting occupational training programs and courses for university students and local community members focusing on healthy soil development and organic agricultural practices as well as other sustainable green technologies.
Lauren Sharpe | Graphic Design Intern
Lauren Sharpe was one of the first students who partnered with us as a Campus Representative at CU Boulder to help organize and run pilot bamboo building courses in Ecuador to an international student base. She studies Architecture and Environmental Design at CU Boulder and is passionate about pursuing her architecture license to accomplish large scale innovative and sustainable building projects in communities around the world, as well as creating more opportunity for women in STEM. As our Graphic Design Intern, Lauren helps us develop all of our promotional materials and website platforms.