WHAT WE DO
The Boa Foundation works with indigenous communities to regenerate degraded ecosystems and protect biodiversity. We support strategic land buybacks, assist with permaculture, reforestation projects, and a broad spectrum of eco-friendly solutions to increase the carrying capacity of land and community.
80% of the world’s biodiversity is found in indigenous territories. The Boa Foundation stands by the cultures that help life thrive. Songs, crafts, languages, and ceremonies are as valuable as trees in the forest, because they strengthen the values that support all living beings. We believe cultural preservation is crucial for our wellbeing.
The lives of indigenous communities are greatly improved by installing eco-friendly water systems, toilets, solar panels, and other sustainable technologies. At the Boa Foundation we continue to support small but significant community projects like these.
By building lasting relationships based on trust and reciprocity, the Boa Foundation serves as a bridge between indigenous communities and the global north, weaving traditional wisdom and modern technology to create a world where wisdom and knowledge come together bringing balance and lasting peace.
We facilitate a variety of learning and exchange opportunities for our sponsors and participants in Europe, the USA, and our Elders’ native lands. The purpose of these learning experiences is for people to be educated on indigenous cultures by indigenous leaders and elders. We believe the wisdom held by our indigenous communities is essential to building a future worthy for our children, grandchildren, and beyond.
Rudy Randa, FOUNDER
Rudy, son of Chief Justice to US District Federal Courts, grew up with a passion for creating a better world. He studied business and won three consecutive awards in production at a Fortune 100 corporation before turning his efforts to charity and working with the indigenous in January 2013. Rudy has studied closely with the Huni Kuin, Yawanawa, and Ashaninka people and firmly believes these ancient traditions have a lot to teach us in creating a sustainable future in which humanity thrives.
Benki Piyãko, INDIGENOUS DIRECTOR
Benki championed the rights of his community at 12 years old. From 2005-07 Benki was the Environmental Administrator of Acre, Brazil, and is responsible for the repopulation of numerous extinct animal species in his region. In 2007 Benki created training center Yorenka Antame, where traditional and innovative solutions for sustainable forest management get discussed, discovered, and implemented by culturally diverse members of the community. Benki has planted over 2 million trees and created the world's first eco-market which exchanges plastic for food in the Amazonian town Marechal Thaumaturgo. He won the UN's Equator Prize alongside his community Apiwtxa for their remarkable environmental work.
OONA CHAPLIN, TRUSTEE - US
Oona is an actress and activist who starred in Game of Thrones and has a leading role in the upcoming Avatar sequels (James Cameron). As Charlie Chaplin’s granddaughter, she has inherited his passion for storytelling as well as the desire to use her voice to shine a light on social issues and the miracle of human potential. Reconnecting with her Mapuche ancestry, she has dedicated the past seven years to cultural exchange and learning with indigenous communities. Her areas of interest are food sovereignty, indigenous seed saving, language rescue, and music.
MARCELO FLORES, TRUSTEE - BRAZIL
Marcelo Fortaleza Flores is an anthropologist, filmmaker, photographer, activist, and writer from Brazil. He identified and demarcated several indigenous lands in Amazonia, among which its first sacred indigenous territory (T’aihãntesu). He taught for 10 years between the US and France and was an Invited professor at the University of Paris 3, Sorbonne Nouvelle, and a research director at the CNRS in Paris. He is currently living close to the mountains and waterfalls outside of São Paulo to reconnect with his experiences of living more than six years among indigenous peoples, among whom he has learned two indigenous languages.
RAFAELA VARGAS, TRUSTEE - BRAZIL
Rafaela Vargas is an anthropologist, psychologist, actress, and producer. She holds Masters in Social Sciences –Contemporary Societies– Latin American Studies– from the Université de Paris 3, Sorbonne Nouvelle, and in Ethnology and Social Anthropology from the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales. For the last 14 years, she has carried out field research among indigenous peoples and other communities in Brazil: Xavante (2006), Paresi (2007), Pantanal communities (2008), among the Wauja (Xingu, since 2009), and among the Ashaninka (since 2017), where she has studied the ethnology of illness, food security, women’s rituals, dance, and ritual performance, and medicinal, therapeutic, and shamanic practices. Rafaela is co-director and associate at Senaya Filmes and works presently as a researcher and producer for cinema and television. Among her productions, she has developed programs for Globo TV and TV Cultura in Brazil as well as for several international channels. She has also been a researcher and local producer (Brazil) for the documentary feature Trópico da Saudade (Claude Lévi-Strauss, Return to the Amazon - France 5, TV Cultura), shown in twenty festivals worldwide, and more recently, for the documentary feature Day Zero (Netflix), to be released in 2020. Rafaela also works as an activist anthropologist and has carried research for fundraising projects for the empowerment of indigenous women leaders.
Kirsten Bigliardi, Trustee - US
Kirsten has over 20 years experience working in the finance, tech, for-profit, and non-profit sectors in Silicon Valley, and has played a key role in launching events and wellness companies. In 2013, Kirsten spent weeks with the Q’ero tribe in Peru, and quickly understood the importance of preserving indigenous wisdom and culture. Kirsten has been a dedicated ally of the BOA Foundation since 2016, and uses her well-rounded experience to help raise funds for sustainable projects and indigenous communities.
ERIC WATSON, trustee - US
As an award winning filmmaker, Watson began his career with a long collaboration with director Darren Aronofsky and has produced several feature films. Eric Watson has founded multiple successful businesses including Protozoa Pictures, Green Door Hydro & Solar, and was recently the co-founder and COO of the publicly traded Boon Industries focused on finding environmentally regenerative solutions in agriculture and sanitation. His most recent venture is Synergy Strategic Solutions, a consulting firm focused on shifting economies out of extraction based mentalities. He is also on staff at Protozoa as a producer with projects in development at Disney+, Netflix, MSG Sphere and Apple TV. In the non-profit space, Watson, currently serves on the board of trustees of the Boa Foundation, is in the founding circle of Amazon Watch’s Artists For Amazonia, and is also on the board of Lakota Small Farms, The Morning Star Foundation, and Indecent Exposure.