Erika Cuéllar

2012 Laureate, Environment
Bolivia, Born 1971

Project Goal

Train local people in three countries to protect the Gran Chaco

Location: Bolivia, Argentina and Paraguay

Erika Cuéllar, known locally as “the biologist of the guanacos”, is one of Bolivia’s few recognized experts in wildlife conservation.

Having completed two postgraduate degrees in the United Kingdom, at the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology and Oxford University Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, she returned to Bolivia to ensure the sustainability of the natural legacy of her Guaraní forebears. As a woman in a patriarchal environment, Cuéllar has faced many difficulties to be accepted by indigenous people and cattle ranchers. Now, she is known and admired nationally for her fierce dedication and mental and physical strength. She has founded two Bolivian NGOs focused on conservation and is coordinator of the Bolivian Committee for the Species Survival Commission of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Other 2012 Laureates