Marcelo Arce

Marcelo Arce

Photographer and Nature Guide

Marcelo comes to us with an amalgamation of philosophical beliefs in the power of protected areas aligned with local and legislative efforts and a true love of adventure.  These align perfectly and are critical for long-term natural habitat protection combined with robust education principles educating the local population so they can protect their home territories from outside forces.  Name the place in the Andes or Amazon and Marcelo has probably been to it on a personal quest or on official business at some point in his life.

His professional training in tourism aligned with local development strategies spans more than 25 years. He has degrees in Tourism Management, Business Administration and studied Economic Tools for Conservation at Stanford University, adding to a list of academic achievements and technical consulting jobs with national and international NGOs (CI, WWF, FAN, ABA, IDB and more). Since 2005, he has taught at the undergraduate and postgraduate level at several Bolivian universities, mainly in sustainable tourism, ecotourism and strategic business management, planning and sustainability, and was invited by the Fulbright program to teach at the University of Saint Francis in the United States.

He has worked for decades in rural areas in conjunction with and with the support of SERNAP (Servicio Nacional de Areas Protegidas) throughout Bolivia, the equivalent of the National Park Service in the US. Along the way, he helped develop the process of consolidation for future sustainability of conservation ventures in other countries in Latin America. He was Head of Tourism for the Municipality of La Paz and Vice Minister of Tourism for the Government of Bolivia.

Besides all the academic achievements, Marcelo thrives and lives for adventure. He is not really a library-seeker, he is a true adventurer and his exploits to all corners of Bolivia are what makes him a happy camper. When he guides people along a secluded river in the Pantanal, searching for Jaguars or giant river otters, he is in his element. That’s where Marcelo’s heart and soul are in alignment. He knows most of Bolivia’s National Parks and many other places that have been protected and preserved due to his efforts. He can guide people as competently on the Altiplano as he can in the jungle.

He has traveled to Ecuador and Peru to work on the Qhapaq Ñan Inca Road Project, and to Guyana, Suriname and Colombia on various eco-tourism consulting projects run by Conservation International. He lives in the city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra with his wife and four children. He speaks fluent Spanish and English. He has a 4×4, a canoe and an inflatable kayak that he uses to explore the jungle…and always has his trusty Canon cameras by his side.