The Rios Fund mission is to work with the Q'eqchi Maya to establish financially sustainable educational and economic opportunities that end extreme poverty and to protect and restore the Rio Sauce, one of the world's most inspirational rivers.
Paul Heesaker first saw Guatemala's Rio Sauce Valley as owner of Area Verde Expeditions and while on an exploratory kayaking expedition in November 1995. Following a career in public education, Paul returned to Guatemala in October 2011 to begin work on a documentary film that highlighted Guatemala's endangered wild rivers. The resulting film, "Rios Guatemala, The Preservation of Wild Rivers," was a selection of the Colorado Environmental Film Festival and the Breckenridge Festival of Film. Paul and his wife Catherine, a school psychologist, are full time residents of Silverthorne, Colorado. One important aspect of the long term vision is that ecotourism will become at least one economic alternative to slash and burn agriculture. Profits generated through tourism go directly to the local people and will become a sustainable funding source for reforestation, sustainable agriculture, education and all other project efforts. While donations will help establish and maintain project initiatives, the local Mayan people will not depend on them. We value creating opportunity, not dependency.
Birth Date
July 19, 1958
Nickname
Pablo
Birth City
Terra Haute, Indiana
Current City
Silverthorne
Hometown
Silverthorne
Height
6'2"
Gender
Male
Ethnicity
White
Eye Color
Green
Zodiac Sign
Cancer
Married To
Catherine Sura
Children
Zach Heesaker
Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing to help others." - Martin Luther King
At the end of our lives, we will all ask, 'Did I live? Did I love? Did I matter? - Brendon Buchard
As you grow older, you will understand that you have two hands, one for helping yourself and the other for helping others. - Audrey Hepburn
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined. - Henry David Thoreau
The Rios Fund mission is to work with the Q'eqchi Maya to establish financially sustainable educational and economic opportunities that end extreme poverty and to protect and restore the Rio Sauce, one of the world's most inspirational rivers.
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