Caregiver Vicky Ossio, with La Senda Verde co-founder Marcelo Levy, the tour’s videographer, took us on a 40-minute trip into the Bolivian jungle to visit some of the beautiful wild animals that live at La Senda Verde and talk about their mission.

This wildlife sanctuary is home to over 100 species of animals most of whom have been rehomed due to habitat destruction, human cruelty, or illegal trafficking. La Senda Verde has sheltered thousands of displaced animals and worked toward providing a diverse, natural setting through progressive conservation called rewilding.

Vicky came to know The Life Raft Group through her daughter Carolina, who was diagnosed with GIST in 2006 at age 27. Vicky and Carolina have attended many Life Fest weekends and GDOLs and have been active volunteers with the LRG throughout the years.

Vicky’s daughter, Carolina Ponce, shared during the Q&A:

“I’m so proud of my mom’s project. Thank you so much for doing this for the GIST community. I just wanted to share that La Senda Verde has been one of the best healing therapy for me. I wish that all the patients could come here. Anyone that connects with nature truly heals. Being around these animals is the most amazing experience because you can ground and connect with nature on a different level so I encourage you if can visit, to do so. I brought this video to my classroom today so that these kids could learn more about what’s going on out there in the world with these animals. La Senda Verde is a place where I feel it’s truly a love project. I don’t know how my mom does it every day. I’m so thankful she got to share this today. My heart is so full of love right now.”

Why did we feature this amazing tour as an LRG webinar?

The LRG’s theme for 2023 is ‘Thriving Together’ and we’ll be presenting stories and featured webinars on how our patients & caregivers are thriving as they live with GIST and how we can help each other together through encouragement and support.

LRG Executive Director Sara Rothschild commented on this during the webinar:

“It’s beautiful how much love and support was poured into this event. I really liked how we brought the passion for both of our causes together.”

About Our La Senda Verde Hosts

Vicky Ossio
GIST Caregiver & LRG volunteer
Co-founder, Senda Verde

Marcelo Levy
Co-founder, Senda Verde

Vicky and Marcelo founded Senda Verde in 2003 in order to save as many rehomed animals as possible. They are passionate about this work as well as their conservation goals to acquire as much land as possible for ‘rewilding’ so this sanctuary may continue to grow.

Vicky guides hands-on practical work and oversees the day-to-day operations of Senda Verde. She is also an active member of The Life Raft Group.

Marcelo coordinates animal welfare procedures and takes care of baby monkeys who need constant supervision and companionship to survive. Prior to founding La Senda Verde, Marcelo was an on-field coordinator for an international aid project contractor, overseeing a number of projects, including eco-tourism planning, alternative resourcing, and counseling farmers about sustainable and environmental friendly practices. He continues giving guidance to local people and nearby communities.