Larry Castañares

Ashoka Fellow
Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
Fellow Since 1990


This profile was prepared when Larry Castañares was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 1990.
The New Idea
Four hundred thirty-nine species of mammals live in Mexico, more than in any other country of the world, and its flora is more diverse than that of the Soviet Union, a country 11 times its size. Mexico, in fact, is one of the seven countries that contain between 60 to 80 percent of all living organisms on earth. (Australia, Brazil, Columbia, Indonesia, Madagascar, and Zaire are the others.) Mexico's population, however, is largely unaware of this legacy, and is consequently little troubled by its destruction.
Larry is launching a series of communications projects to turn this around. Through them he seeks "to integrate the process of nature conservation into the everyday life of Mexican society." From printing images of nature on the back of cereal packets to starting a training school for nature guides and environmental educators for Mexico City schoolchildren, Larry is overflowing with ideas to engage the public as protectors of Mexico's endangered natural habitat.
Larry implements these ideas through the Bioimagen Program, which he founded "to integrate communication and community participation with nature conservation projects."
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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