Sara Inés Lara
Founder & Executive Director
Born in 1973 with indigenous ancestry, Sara Ines Lara grew up in a small village in the Andes of Colombia. Throughout her childhood, Sara’s guiding light and inspiration was her mother, a woman highly respected in the local communities for her involvement with marginalized women. Sadly, her mother was diagnosed with brain cancer at the age of 37 and died several years later. Following this tragedy, Sara was subjected to physical, sexual and psychological abuse from her father.
Sara found in nature an indescribable healing to her wounds and used it as a therapeutic tool to recover from childhood trauma. In 2003, following her passion for nature and wildlife conservation, she became Executive Director of Fundación ProAves, a leading conservation organization in Colombia. Under her leadership, the organization established and managed 17 nature reserves to save endangered species. In 2004, Sara combined her love of nature with her drive to empower women and started the initiative Women for Conservation. This program quickly spread to communities neighboring ProAves’ nature reserves, where local women learned about the importance of safeguarding their natural environments. With this knowledge, they were motivated to develop projects that reduced deforestation, such as producing eco-friendly artisan products and reducing their usage of wood-fueled stoves.
Sara continued to develop the Women for Conservation program as Vice President of International Programs at American Bird Conservancy and then at Permian Global. Sara’s principal interests include empowering women, preventing species extinction, safeguarding tropical habitat, and alleviating poverty. It is her life mission to protect the natural world so that we all may have the opportunity to heal through nature. Sara has been recognized as One in a Hundred Great Latin American Women by Billiken Magazine, read more about it here.
Isabella Cortes Lara
Isabella is a graduate from West Virginia University who is passionate about conserving the environment while enhancing people’s well-beings and livelihoods. As a lifelong enthusiast of conservation, she has been involved with numerous community-level projects that link the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity with economic development. Isabella is an environmental professional with diverse experience, including community leadership, mobilization and organization of projects. Additionally, an endangered species of hummingbird is named after Isabella, Eriocnemis isabellae. An ambassador of the species, she promotes the conservation of the hummingbird, which is also known as the Gorgeted Puffleg or Zamarrito del Pinche. As a student, she encouraged peers to participate in outreach programs with Women for Conservation and presented different projects for women’s empowerment as a guest speaker for the International Conservation class.
Alex Scott Antram
Outreach & Education Manager
Alex comes to Women for Conservation with fourteen years’ experience in environmental communications, outreach, and education. Trained in ecological anthropology at the University of Texas at San Antonio and environmental conflict analysis and resolution at George Mason University, Alex is thrilled to join a team working at the important intersection of women’s empowerment and sustainability. She looks forward to contributing her expertise to helping Women for Conservation grow programming while developing a strong network of committed supporters interested in championing biodiversity conservation and community engagement on local and global levels.