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.
Once upon a time...
Silvia and Victor, a couple of Spanish artists, applied for an educational project to our yearly “Artist-in-residence” call.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Photographs and videos
Victor carried out the photographic component of the project: he took over 2000 shots and 400 videos
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
With your support, you can contribute to the survival of many wild animals.
Many thanks for making this happen.