Welcome to Kaminando: Rainforest Action
 
 
Based in both California and Panama, Kaminando—Habitat Connectivity Initiative, was established in 2014 to protect the threatened tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forest biome and its biodiversity in Panama.
 
     Mission Statement
 
Kaminando creates lasting solutions for wildlife conservation in the montane cloud forest through acquiring scientific knowledge, community outreach, and empowering residents to participate in the most urgent conservation challenges threatening our flagship species, the jaguar.

 
     Vision Statement

Connecting land, wildlife and people for a harmonious coexistence.

Meet The Team
Of Ecuadorian origin, Milton received his Bachelor of Science in biology from the Central University of Ecuador. He completed his doctorate, earning a scholarship from the Charles Darwin Foundation to study marine iguanas on the Galapagos Islands, which resulted in the discovery of the dispersal of hatchlings from their nesting zones. He assisted in diverse scientific projects directed by various universities and the Charles Darwin Research Station, studying sea lion vocalization, Galapagos tortoises’ survivorship, the evolution and conservation of the Galapagos finches, and the conservation and speciation of marine iguanas. Soon afterwards, Milton moved to California, as an assistant in the Department of Entomology at the University of California, Berkeley. Later, he further his studies at the University of Texas at Tyler, studying the foraging theory of semi-aquatic snakes in Bottomland hardwood forests.
Milton Yacelga
Co Founder - President
"Just living is not enough...
One must need challenges...
I may have found one!"
Kimberly Craighead
​​Kimberly is a wildlife biologist with 25 years of experience involving extensive biological fieldwork in many habitats and environments. Her career began in ornithology as field staff for the National Audubon Society. She later worked for the Wildlife Conservation Society at the Bronx Zoo before accepting a field position in Southeast Asia, conducting migratory bird studies. She later moved to California to complete her master's degree in biology, with a concentration in anthropology, exploring the implications of human behavior on our environment. Kimberly took an internship with the Sundarbans Tiger Project in Bangladesh and, subsequently, applied for a doctoral degree in conservation biology. Her research involves wildcat conservation concentrated on habitat use in the human-dominated landscape.
Co Founder - Vicepresident
"Always pursue your dreams, they just might come true..."
Commitee Members
Chrissie received her Bachelor of Science degrees in biology and environmental studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz; a certificate in project management from U.C. Davis Extension; and a master’s degree in organismal biology, ecology, and conservation from San Jose State University. Her thesis involved identifying areas of human-wildlife conflict with medium-sized mammals (mesocarnivores) in Brevard County, Florida. Working for Coryi Foundation, she trapped and tracked radio-collared bobcats using VHF radio telemetry to identify wildlife corridors and areas of human-wildlife conflict on St. John’s National Wildlife Refuge and in the urban and suburban areas of Brevard County. Chrissie has worked extensively with threatened and endangered reptiles, amphibians, and mammals throughout California and has extensive experience with statistical analyses and GIS. Currently, she is employed as a wildlife biologist.
Chrissie Klinkowski
Executive Council Committee
Matteo Maximilian
​​After years of working with animal rights groups and connecting the dots between research and development, Matteo's Passion for saving lives led him to join the Kaminando team.
With a background in Sociology from John Cabot University in Rome, Italy, the choice was clear that action needed to be taken to preserve the Jaguar by creating awareness about the reality of human impact on the tropical forest.
From a Young age, Matteo developed a bond with wildlife, and became very connected with big cats. Now working full time to develop and create projects that focus on reversing deforestation and reducing the extinction rate of species, the elusive jaguar has become his biggest priority.

Fundraising-Media Committe

Born in San Ignacio de Tupile (Guna Yala territory), Panama, Enrique (Kike) is a member of the Guna Yala community. Kike led a team that mapped the Guna Yala territory (Corregimiento No.1) from 1982 to 1994. He served as a secretary of the Guna Yala general congress, participated in several international congresses regarding the management of protected areas in Mexico and Costa Rica and stood for the territorial rights of the indigenous communities in Panama. He traveled to Nicaragua and Ecuador, speaking on the biodiversity, conservation and territorial rights of indigenous communities. Today, Kike is part of the guide program, founded by the Mamoní Valley Preserve, and is on the board of directors for Kaminando: Habitat Connectivity Initiative in Panama.
Enrique Arias
Inter-community Program Committee
Born in Chepo, Panama (close to Mamoní Valley Preserve), ranching is Gabriel's way of life. He makes a living from the land and knows the vital importance of preserving the forest and water.  His passion for horses translates to a love for animals. Gabriel's skills are vast. His knowledge of the forest and survivorship make him an excellent guide for researchers and visitors. Currently, he serves as a guide for excursions organized by our partner, Earth Train.
Gabriel Salazar
Research and Tour Assistant
Born in Panama Province, Panama, Nelson makes a living from the land. He has shown his interest to know the importance of preserving the forest, the animals, and the water. Nelson's skills includes ample knowledge of the forest which makes him an excellent guide for researchers and visitors. He also has animal tracking skills, tracking jaguar and prey species.
Nelson Mogorusa
Research and Tour Assistant