Native Future is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization rooted in Peace Corps service, conservation and indigenous rights, and the dedication of many volunteers. We partner with indigenous communities in Panama to protect their land rights, support their stewardship of their rainforest ecosystems, and educate their youth.
Our story begins in 2000, with Peace Corps Volunteers Sara Archbald, Zachary McNish and Julian Dendy and their experiences living and working in Wounaan and Ngäbe Buglé villages. They got to know first hand the often-insurmountable challenges their native counterparts face daily trying to protect their lands from deforestation or just sending their children to school. When Sara, Zach and Julian returned to the United States, their service to their host communities did not end. Founded in 2004, Native Future is an extension of their commitment to the well-being and future of Panama's indigenous peoples.
Today, that spirit of volunteerism and service still drives our mission. Native Future is led by a corps of dedicated volunteers and an Executive Director.
Board of Directors
Marsha joined the board of Native Future in January 2007 and is happy to have an active role in supporting the organization’s mission and the indigenous of Panama. For more than ten years, Marsha has been working as a consultant on conservation and development projects for non-profit organizations such as the Rainforest Alliance and CARE, and on USAID-funded projects managed by private firms. Her work sends her to native lands in the Americas and Africa where she has worked with and learned from native peoples such as the Huarani of Ecuador, Maya of Guatemala, Boki tribes of Nigeria, and Mescalero Apache of New Mexico. Marsha is a natural resources planner with background in cross-cultural communications and facilitation. She works with community, government and non-governmental groups to develop action plans, make land use decisions, and to manage conflict over natural resources. She’s also a trainer and environmental assessment specialist.