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Real-life stories of wild animals taken away from their habitat

Illustrated stories to raise awareness about the damage of wildlife trafficking 🐒 Activate the video subtitles for English👇


A project of


Created in

Cochabamba, Bolivia
From 1.500€
Contribute to the project
View project in Castellano

Choose your reward


  1. Who we are?

  2. Once upon a time...

  3. The book and the work process

  4. Photographs and videos

  5. What is crowdfunding and how it works?

  6. Rewards

  7. Destination of the contributions

  8. Calendar

  9. Printed book delivery

  10. The end...

Who we are?

Inti Wara Yassi Community (acronym in Spanish:CIWY) is a Bolivian NGO that works towards the wildlife protection.

CIWY was funded in 1992 with the purpose of enhancing life quality of rescued wildlife and promoting actions to raise societal awareness.

We focus on the rehabilitation of wildlife rescued from trafficking in private homesteads, circuses, and zoos. We envision a world where wildlife live in their natural habitat, protected from illegal hunting and the destruction of their natural environment.

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Once upon a time...

Silvia and Victor, a couple of Spanish artists, applied for an educational project to our yearly “Artist-in-residence” call.

Silvia y Víctor in front of Ambue Ari sanctuary
Silvia y Víctor in front of Ambue Ari sanctuary

The project is made up of two parts: a component composed by a compilation of short wild animal stories (written by Silvia), and series of animal’s photographs summarising the work that CIWY does for them (designed by Victor).

With these illustrations and photographs we want to make exhibitions all around Bolivia. The main purpose is to raise societal awareness for the preservation of the environment particularly among children.

CIWY own three animal sanctuaries in different regions of Bolivia. Silvia and Victor visited all of them during their project but they stay one month in Ambue Ari, the biggest sanctuary in Santa Cruz.

If you want to know more about their experience, you can visit their blog.

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The book and the work process

I come from the jungle is an illustrated book for children that tells animal stories based on real life experiences.

Characteristics of the printed edition:

  • Full color cover

  • Book interior: Full color, bond paper (75gr).

  • Size 15 x 20 cm with thermal bound.

  • 5 short stories, 12 micro stories and photographs of animal characters .

The mockups displayed on the website represent draft versions that might vary from the printed version. The illustrations depict the final versions in the printed book.

Silvia tells us her story and how she made the illustrations.

“The idea behind writing an illustrated book for children started after the first conversation I had with Marta, the communications manager at CIWY, in the moment we applied for the artist-in-residence call.

My first idea was to do paintings and collages inspired by animals but soon I realized that an illustrated book would be much more useful to support CIWY´s cause: raise awareness for future generations about wild animal care actions.

Raising awareness to the general public is an important part of CIWY´s work given that it is essential to prevent animal abuse in the future.

Once we agree to start the project, we planned short visits to the three animal sanctuaries. This was the first approach we had to the animals and their stories.

reading animals record before working with them
reading animals record before working with them

In a visit to the Ambue Ari sanctuary I was inspired by the beauty and majesty of Juancho, the jaguar. I quickly realized that his story need to be told first.

making company to the jaguar Juancho
making company to the jaguar Juancho

The bulk of the creative process took place during the one-month visit as an Artist-in-residence guest.

The first week was very physically demanding due to the work regime and the weather conditions.

After this first week, I decided to carry on with the book.

drawing Juancho´s story in my improvised workshop
drawing Juancho´s story in my improvised workshop

The staff at the sanctuary help me to built a drawing table for me to develop my work and I have to admit that I felt very comfortable with my new last-minute workshop.

Then, I started to make a small storyboard of Juancho, the jaguar. To do so, I visited him several times to get to know better his personality and behaviour.

I had already decided that each story would have a different visual style. Juancho´s story is very elaborated in the visual sense.

page of Juancho´s story
page of Juancho´s story

In the meantime, I had the privilege to meet many animals, getting to know their stories, and researching on their past life through the staff that took care of them.

During this time I was also able to understand the environment and the scenery that was around: the silence, the smells and the sounds around nature. It was a truly rewarding experience: absolutely unforgettable. This encouraged me to portray as many animal stories as possible.

Silvia with the monkey Rogue
Silvia with the monkey Rogue

I also had the chance to interact with Nico, the female cougar, and Rogue, a female monkey. I had the pleasure to spend time with 'los gatitos', Big Red, the tapir, the pigs, the squad, the coatis, Lazy Cat, and many more.

Silvia drawing in her workshop
Silvia drawing in her workshop

During one month I worked very hard and completed about 50% of the book while in the Sanctuary.

I had to put up with several misfortunes, including high humidity conditions which made my canvases wet, and the ubiquitous presence of mosquitos, though I got used to them.

The following months, back into the city, I continued working on the material, photos, notes and memories I brought back. The writing went parallel to the illustration work.

Before being done this part of the work, I made a short visit to Machia, another sanctuary of CIWY, because I wanted to include the story of Balú, the bear. I had the chance to meet spider monkeys that live out in the open forest. This was quite an exciting encounter.

After all this hard work, we eventually managed to finish the illustrations and texts and now we really appreciate people’s support to reach children.

Go to start

Photographs and videos

Victor carried out the photographic component of the project: he took over 2000 shots and 400 videos

wild animals of Ambue Ari sanctuary
wild animals of Ambue Ari sanctuary

Victor tells us his personal experience in this project

I had a clear idea about what to show since the beginning though it was hard to put it in practice.

My main objective was to seize staff and volunteer scenes while working in the sanctuary using photography and video.

I was aware that summer season in Bolivia was very rainy so I prepared myself to it. My equipment consisted on three cameras: a Reflex, a compact and a sports one. Finally, I used every device according to the background and climatic conditions. I was conscious that this fact would make the post production process a lot more complex. However, I am happy about the final results.

The first two weeks as Artist-in-residence we worked developing different roles as other volunteers did.

volunteers preparing food for the animals
volunteers preparing food for the animals

Our days at the sanctuary started very early: before breakfast, we prepared the animals meals. After that we fed the animals, and the camp tasks begun: cleaning showers, bathrooms, preparing breakfast for the whole crew. All these roles were rotating.

volunteers preparing the breakfast meals
volunteers preparing the breakfast meals

After having breakfast, we carried out different tasks on the specific animals we had assigned. We normally worked all day long until night time under very different weather conditions: neither the intense rain nor the humidity could stop us!

Volunteers working on a rainy day
Volunteers working on a rainy day

Despite the hard work, I was very happy to have this fulfilling experience because of the life lessons I learned.

I had direct contact with many animals: several species of monkeys, cougars, jaguars, ocelots, coatis, mountain pigs, jochis, exotic birds, turtles, and a tapir. Some of them are currently in danger of extinction.

volunteer walking a coati
volunteer walking a coati

While working with animals, we had the opportunity to go out for a walk with them into the jungle. They followed their instinct being in the lead all the time. I noticed them more active and excited when it started to rain.

Lazy Cat Ocelot
Lazy Cat Ocelot

Sometimes, they prefered to lay down and relax while the sun was shining so I had to be patient until they started to walk again.

There were many things to deal with: humidity higher than 90% that tarnished the camera, heavy and unpredictable rain, or fallen trees in the middle of the jungle.

Volunteer walking through the swamp
Volunteer walking through the swamp

The most disturbing part was the presence of mosquitoes, because they tend to appear during the rainy season. Given that me and my colleagues were working with wild animals all the time, we were not allowed to use insect repellents. I had to bring my skin totally covered in two-layer clothing including the use of gloves to get some protection from these tiny and irritating creatures.

On the other hand, the jungle gave me some magical moments.

A group of wild howler monkeys on top of a tree
A group of wild howler monkeys on top of a tree

The hauling monkeys made a very peculiar noise that could be heard many kilometers away.


I really enjoyed getting to know this small but fascinating world. But not everything was visual, I also enjoyed all kind of amazing sounds that penetrated the jungle across us all day long changing from sunrise to sunset.

Taking photographs in the jungle is a real challenge. I felt like being under an umbrella which gives you shade for the whole day. This is because the lack of light is an obstacle to take a good picture.

Even though I had some planning, it was very difficult to follow it due to unfavorable weather conditions or the unexpected behaviour of the animals.

Volunteers feeding Wara and Yassi cougars
Volunteers feeding Wara and Yassi cougars

When I had some free time, I worked on my computer organizing my digital files so I could have a progress with the project.

After a month in the field, I focused on selecting the most interesting photographs that would be used for this book and tidy up the videos.

Now we are looking forward to your support! Would you help us?

Go to start

What is crowdfunding and how it works?

Crowdfunding is a tool to give life to new ideas or projects with small donations from a big number of people.

  • First, you make a donation to obtain a reward of your choice

  • Only if we reach the 100% of the expected amount we will charge the money into your bank account.

  • Then we would produce all the rewards and will send over you.

  • It is very important to note that if we do not get the 100% we will not charge you any money so we will not have any reward either :(

  • With your support you will make these stories come to life.

Go to start


Rewards summary

You have the choice to donate the physical book, we will give it as a gift for a Bolivian school. By so doing you would contribute to raise societal awareness for the preservation of the environment particularly among children.

  • Photographs: 5 high-quality, digital photographs for you to print or use as a screensaver.

  • Digital book: A digital book enjoy it from your preferred device.

  • Printed Edition: A printed copy version only available in Spanish. For more information about book delivery see here.

  • Printed version as a gift: We give the book for a Bolivian school. By so doing you would contribute in a more local way over Bolivian communities.

If we reach the goal, we would announce some upgrades to our current objectives.

The upgraded rewards after our first goal is reached will benefit all contributors. Some ideas we have are the following: an enhanced printed version, an audio book video, or translations in other languages for the digital book. If you support us and choose a reward, you would have all the upgrades with no extra charge. If we add other digital upgrades, all the patrons would have them.

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Destination of the contributions

70% of the crowdfunding resources will be used for the book production.

The campaign costs, taxes and fees represents about 30% of the total expense.

If we obtain more donations, we will invest the funds to develop workshops, exhibitions and other activities to promote the book´s message, so we can reach more people.

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The book is almost ready, it only needs the final touch.

After campaign termination, the book and the digital photographs will be submitted by email. The contributors that are interested in the printed version will be asked to provide a physical address for the delivery.

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Printed book delivery

Delivery within Bolivia: If you are in Cochabamba, you will be able to collect the book it straight away. For other regions we will contact you.

Delivery outside Bolivia: Given that delivery costs outside Bolivia are expensive, we will courier the books throughout volunteers that will travel overseas to their hometown countries from where they will send the books to the final destinations through regular mailing services. We would only charge the cost of the final delivery, so you will safe money! We acknowledge for your patience and understanding.

The first persons making a donation will get the rewards first!

Go to start

The End...

Do you want to know more about the CIWY family?

Check the links below to learn more about the real life stories behind the CIWY people.

CIWY volunteers
CIWY volunteers

Silvia Cuello
Silvia Cuello

Víctor - ISO100f8
Víctor - ISO100f8

With your support, you can contribute to the survival of many wild animals.

Many thanks for making this happen.

Go to start


There are none published yet.

Do you have any other queries or questions?


If you are already a sponsor, please Log in to comment.

  • CrisQuindos


    over 3 years

    Gran proyecto, felicidades!

  • Valentí Acconcia

    Valentí Acconcia

    over 3 years

    ¡Felicidades por el gran trabajo, equipo y a por el 100%!

  • palacios


    over 3 years

    Enhorabuena Silvia. Un beso grande. Toñín.

  • DavidMorton


    over 3 years

    Thanks Vik and Silvia. Great project

  • José Antonio Quindós Sánchez

    José Antonio Quindós Sánchez

    over 3 years

    ¡Hacéis un gran trabajo! Felicidades y abrazos

#17 / Help CIWY Survive Crisis / Ayuda CIWY en Crisis

english below

Hola mecenas esperamos que estéis todos bien!

Como consecuencia de la cuarentena y cierre de fronteras los refugios dependientes de la ONG CIWY que cuidan en Bolivia de animales silvestres rescatados del tráfico se han quedado sin voluntarios y por ende sin dinero, ya que no tienen financiamiento estatal, y sobreviven con las aportaciones económicas de dichos voluntarios. Eso implica que centenares de animales (monos, pumas, jaguares, ...) están en grave riesgo de quedar sin comida y atención por falta de fondos y personal. Se está realizando una campaña mundial para tratar de levantar fondos. Gracias por recordar a nuestros animales rescatados en Bolivia durante esta tragedia mundial.


PD. Los libros se enviaron un poco antes de esta crisis. Cuando vuelva la normalidad si alguien no lo hubiera recibido escribir a info@intiwarayassi.org


… read more

#16 / Packaging the books / Empaquetando los libros

English below

Para quienes habéis reservado el libro en papel estamos empaquetando los libros para su envío. Te recordamos que debido a los altos costes de transporte desde Bolivia contamos con voluntarios que nos ayudarán en las tareas de envío de tu libro. De camino a sus países de residencia, los voluntarios llevarán consigo algunos libros que serán posteriormente expedidos por servicios de mensajería más económicos. Te pedimos un poco de paciencia.

*** English ***

For those who have reserved the hard copy we are packaging the books! Remember given that delivery costs outside Bolivia are expensive, we will courier the books throughout volunteers that will travel overseas to their hometown countries from where they will send the books to the final destinations through regular mailing services. We would only charge the cost of the final delivery, so you will safe money! We acknowledge for your patience and understanding.

#15 / School workshops / talleres en escuelas

English below

La artista en residencia de CIWY, Silvia Cuello está impartiendo talleres artísticos y de educación ambiental como parte del proyecto Vengo de la Selva. Silvia visitó un hogar para niños, y las escuelas de Santa Helena y San Lorenzo. Casi un centenar de libros serán donados a escuelas como las de las imágenes. ¡Gracias por hacerlo posible!

A la luz de la situación ambiental actual en toda la región amazónica, es aún más importante enseñar a las generaciones futuras sobre la importancia de los animales silvestres y la protección de la madre naturaleza.

*** ENGLISH ***

CIWY’s Artist in Residence, Silvia Cuello, is delivering artistic and environmental education workshops with children as part of the Vengo de la Selva project. She visited a children's home, and the schools Santa Helena and San Lorenzo. Almost a hundred books will be donated to schools like these, this is possible because of you!

… read more

#14 / Digital Rewards / Recompensas digitales

English below

¡Hola mecenas!

Hemos enviado por email todas las recompensas digitales (libro en pdf y las fotografías), revisa tu correo y si no lo encuentras escríbenos para reenviarte.
¡A disfrutarlo!

*** English ***

Hello patron!

We have sent by email the digital rewards (pdf book and photographs), check your inbox. Reply to this message in case you can't find it.



English below

¡La campaña de Verkami ha terminado!

Estamos súper contentos con el resultado conseguido. Se han reservado más de 100 libros y al menos 38 se donarán a escuelas de Bolivia. Con esta acción estamos ayudando a generar conciencia sobre la importancia del cuidado de nuestra biodiversidad. Sin tu participación esto no habría sido posible.

Cuando se terminen de completar los pagos, y si has reservado una de las ediciones impresas, recibirás un formulario con la información que necesitamos para enviarte el libro. En pocos días recibirás por email la versión digital en español.

*** English ***

Verkami's campaign is finished!

We are very happy with the result. More than 100 books has been reserved and at least 38 will be donated to schools in Bolivia. With this action we are helping to raise awareness about the importance of caring for our biodiversity. This is possible because of you!

… read more

#11 / Exposición / Exhibition

English below

El reciente martes los dos artistas expusieron su trabajo y presentaron el libro con rotundo éxito de asistencia. Al evento asistió la responsable de Espacios Culturales Municipales, quien se comprometió a distribuir varios libros en las bibliotecas de los distritos de La Paz. Es una maravillosa noticia, asegura que todas las zonas alejadas de la ciudad tendrán acceso al libro y su importe mensaje sobre el cuidado del medioambiente.

*** English **

On Tuesday, the two artists presented their work and book with an outstanding attendance. The event was attended by the head of Municipal Cultural Spaces, who promised to distribute several books in the libraries of the districts of La Paz. This is amazing, because it ensures that even the children in outer suburbs of the city will have access to this story book and its important environmental message.

#10 / El libro / the book

English below

¡El libro es una realidad!

Aprovechando que los dos artistas van a exponer su trabajo en unos días haremos la presentación oficial del libro en Bolivia. Te invitamos a seguir el grupo de face donde estaremos compartiendo imágenes del evento.
¡Gracias por hacerlo posible!

*** English ***

The book become a reality!

In a few days the two artists will have an exhibition of their work, we will take this chance to present the book in Bolivia. Follow us in the facebook group where we will be sharing images of the event.
A BIG thank you to all who participated and for making this possible!

#09 / Printing! / ¡Imprimiendo!

English below

Cumplido el segundo objetivo hemos llevado el libro a imprenta. Los dos artistas van a exponer su trabajo en unos días y es una gran oportunidad para hacer la presentación del libro en Bolivia. ¡Esperamos tener algunos ejemplares a tiempo!

*** English ***

With the second objective achieved, we have taken the book to the printing press. The two artists are going to present their work in a few days and it will be a great opportunity to present the book in Bolivia.

We hope to have some copies on time!

#08 / 2nd Goal achieved! / ¡2o Objetivo conseguido!

¡Juntos hemos alcanzado el segundo objetivo!

Imprimiremos el libro en un bonito papel cuché que será muuuuucho más duradero.

*** English ***

All together we have achieved the second goal!

We will print the book on a nice coated paper that will be much more durable.

#07 / We keep working / Seguimos trabajando

English below

Hemos contactado con la imprenta para adelantar trabajo. ¡Estamos muy cerca de llegar al segundo objetivo! Ayúdanos y tu libro se imprimirá con un papel de mejor calidad, ¡para todos sin coste extra!



We have contacted the printing press company to advance work. We are very close to reaching the second goal! Help us and your book will be printed with a better quality paper, for everyone at no extra cost!


#06 / One Million Species at Risk of Extinction / Un Millón de Especies en Riesgo de Extinción

(English below)

La ONU afirma que hay un millón de especies en riesgo de extinción.

La vida en el planeta tierra es interdependiente, la extinción de una especie puede tener un efecto masivo en el resto de la cadena repercutiendo en pérdida de biodiversidad y destrucción de ecosistemas. Esta es una de las razones que nos impulsa a realizar este proyecto.

La supervivencia del Planeta está en nuestras manos y a través de la educación podemos actuar para lograr cambios significativos.

Ayúdanos a difundir


*** English ***

One million species face extinction, U.N. report says.

Life on Earth is surprisingly connected each other so a tiny modification can have a massive impact on the trophic chain worldwide. This occurs when animal species become extinct: biodiversity losses can give rise to the progressive destruction of entire ecosystems.

Our educational initiatives ambition to make tiny but significant changes to raise awareness about ecosystem preservation.

#03 / All or Nothing / Todo o Nada

Do you know that if we do not reach 100% of the goal we do not have anything at all?

There will be no books for you, or for schools.

Share and help us reach the goal!

¿Sabes que si no llegamos al 100 % del objetivo no tenemos nada de nada?

No habrá libros para ti, ni para las escuelas.

¡Comparte y ayúdanos a llegar al objetivo!

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