The MAR Leadership Program is operated by a 4 people who are committed to nature conservation, each with different backgrounds and skills. This team is familiar with the environmental problems facing the Mesoamerican Reef System (MAR) and has the contacts and networks on local, regional, and international levels that allow the program to operate successfully.
Maria Eugenia Arreola is the Director of the MAR Leadership Program. She has more than 15 years of experience designing and coordinating capacity-building programs in environmental topics. Prior to joining the Mexican Fund for the Conservation of Nature, she worked for 8 years in the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), of which 5 years were spent in UNEP’s Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean (in Mexico City), and 3 years at UNEP’s Headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. In UNEP, Maria Eugenia coordinated the development of integrated environmental assessments (GEO) in 8 countries and more than 25 cities in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) and participated in the development of training tools and manuals which allowed her to travel and get to know the LAC region as well as various countries in Africa. Maria Eugenia holds a BS in International Relations and Master’s degree in Environmental Management Systems. She currently collaborates with the Kanan Kay Alliance as Capacity-Building Strategy Coordinator.
Elisa López García is the Project Officer at the MAR Leadership Program . She studied her career in oceanography at the University of Vigo , Spain and at the Arctic University of Norway , Norway, and she got a MSc in Marine Sciences and Limnology from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).
After some years travelling and enrrolled in oceanographic campaigns , Elisa has spent the last four years teaching and researching the Mesoamerican Reef. She went through academic institutions, private organizations and NGOs. During her MSc in coral ecophysiology, she made an academic stay at The Symbiosis Ecology and Evolution Laboratory at Pennsylvania State University. She worked for The School for Field Studies (SFS) in the Turks and Caicos islands and Global Vision International (GVI) in Mahahual , Mexico . Before joining FMCN she was volunteer coordinator at the the Coastal Ecosystems Program of the Akumal Ecological Center (CEA). Elisa is a specialist in reef monitoring, has extensive experience in management and training groups of volunteers and students and is a certified Dive Master.
Natalí Goldman is the Communication coordinator of the MAR Leadership Program, in charge of managing social media, website, creating creative content, and developing communication strategies. She holds a degree in Communication and has diverse professional and academic experience. She worked as community manager in digital marketing agencies and collaborated in the postproduction area at Mexico Travel Channel; she was producer at the press room during the annual Gente Nueva congress of 2012; and also has experience in conducting visual and graphic projects. Natalí is a film and photography fan, and this fondness motivated her to participate as a photographer in the Riviera Maya Film Festival, and other academic nature forums.
Her goal in life is to make a difference in the world, striving for self- improvement, and influence her social environment through constant practice of altruistic values. Based on this, Natalí is a youth leader in the Soka Gakkai International organization, and, in 2011, she attended to a Youth Leadership training based in buddhist philosophy, in Tokyo. Among the altruistic values with which she strongly identifies herself are the respect and care for nature, so she collaborates in the communication area of the Kanan Kay Alliance, and later joined the MAR Leadership team. She envises this, as a great opportunity to contribute with her experience and willingness to learn with the conservation of the Mesoamerican Reef.