The research studies that we carried out, beginning in 1996, opened our eyes and hearts to some of the problems affecting the Province of Formosa. Malnutrition, infant mortality, degradation of the environment, marginalization, social discrimination of indigenous groups were only some of those problems. We decided to create an organization which would efficiently channel our efforts to support the growth and development of this forgotten place of Argentina.
Fundación ECO was a novel concept in Formosa and it was initially difficult to generate interest; much personal sacrifice was involved in the establishment of the organization. Slowly, family and friends became more and more involved and, since then, they have been instrumental in the development of Fundación ECO’s programs.
Our mission is to provide educational opportunities at all levels, from conservation education programs at elementary schools to scholarships for low income students for attending local universities. Fundación ECO also provides educational research experiences to students from around the world with the hope of raising awareness about the cultural and biological diversity of Gran Chaco of Argentina.
Fundación ECO is also the Argentinean umbrella organization under which Eduardo’s Owl Monkey Project and Claudia’s Chaco Area Reproductive Ecology Project operate. In 2007, the University of Pennsylvania purchased a house in Formosa to establish an international field station for our projects. The Penn-owned field station (Casa 100 ) is operated and maintained by the ground support of Fundación ECO.