Sandra Vásquez de Zambrano, Programs Director

Sandra 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.

Edward García, Education Coordinator

Born in Peña Blanca, Las Tablas, Edward García has obtained a bachelor´s degree in
Geographical and Ecological Tourism. He has received further qualifications in topics
related to tourism and museology in Nicaragua, and he attended a course about Sustainable
Rural Development with a focus on the improvement of life quality in Japan and Colombia.
Edward García enjoys travelling and learning about new places, and he loves nature which
is why he spends a lot of time taking care of it. He has participated in activities on
Environmental Education and in the implementation of community development projects in
the National Park Chagres (River basin of the Panama Canal). Moreover, he likes making
new friendships and learning new things every day. His motto is “Nature does not need the
human, it is the human who needs nature”.

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 Earth Project, 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.”

Karen Rodriguez, Office Caretaker

Karen was born in Panama City and went to elementary school at San Antonio school in Chorrera and secondary school at De Lecert Professional and Technical School. She worked in the Ciadeli shrimp farm in Vacamonte, and moved to Pedasi in 2006, where she lives with her family and is currently in charge of the cleaning and maintenance of the Azuero Earth Project offices.