Rostros del Rio - "Face of the River"
Virtual Film Screening and Panel Discussion
Sunday, April 16, 2023
4:00pm ET/ 3:00pm CT/ 1:00pm PT
In honor of Earth Day you’re invited to join RPCV4EA and Friends of Paraguay for a virtual film screening of Rostros del Rio followed by a panel discussion. Film directors and returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) Henry Maillet and Jeff Wong rowed a handcrafted wooden rowboat down one of the continent's last remaining free-flowing rivers in Paraguay. They traveled over 1,300 km, visited riverside communities, and conducted field research about the local effects of climate change. Join us for a film screening followed by a panel discussion about their trip, community activities in Paraguay, and current Peace Corps climate work.
Panelists: RPCVs/filmmakers Jeffrey Wong and Henry Maillet and Para la Tierra Executive Director Rebecca Smith. Moderated by RPCV Crystal Mojica.
What: Virtual film screening, panel discussion, and Para la Tierra fundraiser
When: Sunday, April 16 at 4pm ET
The first hour will be a group view of the film, followed in the second hour by the panel discussion. If you watched the film before this date and time, you can choose to watch with us again or skip the first hour.
Where: Register under "My Attendance" by selecting Attending. If you are an RPCV, login to your account. If not, the Guest option works easily.
Watch the movie online, followed by panel discussion on Zoom. The movie is available free on YouTube, and we encourage you to watch at your convenience from home anytime, or watch with us for the first hour of the event. The second hour will be the panel discussion.
In a once-in-a-lifetime expedition, RPCVs Henry Maillet and Jeff Wong rowed a handcrafted wooden rowboat down one of the continent's last remaining free-flowing rivers. They traveled over 1,300 km and visited a wide range of riverside communities battling through heavy winds and sudden storms, from the Yshir indigenous peoples of the Pantanal to the metropolitan capital city of Asunción. In a partnership with Wprld Wildlife Fund (WWF), they conducted field research about the local effects of climate change and gathered data spanning the length of the entire country. Through photography and recorded interviews, they explored and documented the rich bio-cultural diversity found along the river's banks, meeting incredible people and learning about the various relationships that people have with the Paraguay River.
View the trailer here (and practice your Spanish and Guarani).
Join this exciting group of panelists to learn more about the trip and the environmental survey work the filmmakers engaged in, and the community education and support work that Dr. Rebecca Smith is involved in - often collaborating with PCVs and RPCVs throughout Paraguay.
HINT: We will be encouraging donations to support her work!
Moderator: Crystal Mojica
Crystal Mojica is a strategic communications expert with a passion for environmental justice. She is currently a Director at Spitfire Strategies, where she counsels non-profits, foundations, and brands, such as The Ford Foundation, Environmental Defense Fund, and Seventh Generation, to spark meaningful change through communication.
She was previously a Senior Communication Specialist at Greenpeace USA. She created the first-ever Latinx environmental series, Planeta G, lifting Latinx voices in the movement. She served in the Peace Corps as a Health Promotion volunteer in Paraguay from 2017-2019. She is now based in New Orleans, LA.
Panelist: Alistair Kerwin
Alistair Kerwin is Program Specialist for the Community Environmental Conservation Sector, Virtual Service Coordinator, and focal point for Disaster Risk Reduction for Peace Corps/Paraguay. He is also an RPCV Paraguay (2004-06, RED, Tacuatí, San Pedro de Ycuamandyju). Originally from Nebraska, Alistair graduated with Bachelors’ Degrees in Marketing, International Business and International Studies from Pennsylvania State University. He serves as board member for Guyra Paraguay (BirdLife International partner in Paraguay).
Panelist: Henry Maillet
Henry Maillet is a 29 year-old conservation photojournalist, filmmaker, and adventurer living and working in Paraguay. His mission is to identify and elevate the most pressing environmental opportunities and threats facing South America by leading inspiring expeditions and championing multimedia campaigns in collaboration with conservation organizations. Henry is currently focused on telling the story of the jaguar and the critical ecological role that it plays. He served as a Peace Corps Community Economic Development Volunteer in Paraguay from 2017-2019.
Panelist: Jeff Wong
Jeff Wong loves the challenge of taking big ideas and turning them into bite-sized pieces. We can't do it all, so with our finite resources and time, what can we do now to help us turn big ideas into big solutions? In a world of infinite possibility, how do we make lasting environmental and social change? He served as a Peace Corps Community Economic Development Volunteer in Paraguay from 2017-2019.
Panelist: Dr. Rebecca Smith
Dr. Rebecca Smith is the Executive Director and primatologist for Paraguayan NGO Fundacion Para La Tierra, based in Pilar, Paraguay. She obtained her undergraduate degree in Zoology from the University of Edinburgh, a Masters at Roehampton University, and her PhD in Conservation Science from the University of Aberdeen.
Becca has worked with captive and wild primates in Namibia, Panama, and Puerto Rico. She has studied the hooded capuchins of the Paraguayan Atlantic Forest since 2013 and published several papers on their behavior. She has presented her research at several international and national conferences. She is a National Geographic Explorer and received the Lawrence Jacobsen Education Development Award from the International Primatological Society and the Cyril Rosen Award from the Primate Society of Great Britain. She has supervised more than 40 undergraduate and masters level projects on urban howler monkeys and hooded capuchins. She designed and runs Paraguay's only Field Methods in Primatology course and an online course in primatology and primate conservation.
This is where you get a chance to support important work on biodiversity, climate change, and youth and community environmental education! Your dollar in any amount makes a difference, but the Read More link below to see impact.
Two sponsors have committed funds to Para la Tierra. One donation has been made, and we are 11% of the way toward our goal of US$5,000 or £4,040.
The other sponsor offers a matching grant up to $600 for the donations that YOU make. Of the total amount raised, 100% will go to Para la Tierra to cover more environmental training and reforestation projects in the communities that you have seen in the documentary film.