International Ocean Film Festival

Q&A (4/30 @ 1:00 PM PST) Casa Congo - Community Based Conservation

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Casa Congo - Community Based Conservation

Date: Friday April 30 at 1:00 PM PST

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Meet the Panelists:

Nicholas Kaspareck - Co founder & Managing Director, Casa Congo (Moderator)

Nicholas is a Co-founder and Managing Director of Casa Congo, a school of conservation in El Astillero, Nicaragua, that provides free ecological education to 240 local students and delivers projects in the fields of agroecology, built environments, conservation and community development. Nicholas is currently leading a bamboo social housing program in Latin America focused on developing a community managed value chain from agricultural harvesting to prefabricated manufacturing. In parallel to Nicholas’ sustainable development role, he has 10 years of international experience in commercial real estate, working with some of the world’s largest brands to design and deliver innovative workplace solutions.


Working as a filmmaker in the audiovisual industry since 2000, he has made corporate videos for companies such as Renault, Michelin or Cadbury in Spain. In Mexico he has been a founding partner and creative director of the company Bicho Studio, directing projects for Cirque Du Soleil, AM Resorts, Catalonia Hotels or Grupo Xcaret, among others. In 2016 he wrote and directed the documentary Scarlett Macaw: Flying Home, the short version of which won several awards at The Boston College 2017 Corporate Citizenship Film Festival. The documentary was also a finalist at the 2018 Sony Picture This Festival for the Planet.

Alli Cutting - Explorer, National Geographic

Driven by wonder for the sea and care for coastal communities who call the shoreline home, Alli Cutting researches marine social-ecological systems. In collaboration with local fishers, the Casa Congo Conservation School, and support by the National Geographic Society, she led a project to investigate sea turtle bycatch in Nicaraguan small-scale fisheries. This work guides her current graduate studies at the University of British Columbia, where she explores the implications of conservation and fisheries management on livelihood and food security.

Luca Marsaglia - Cofounder & Director of Conservation, Casa Congo

 Luca is one of the co - founders of Casa Congo and directs the Community Based Conservation program. Passionate about the ocean since he was a little kid involved in sailing, he believes that conservation efforts need to be community driven to be successful. Luca established a Youth Environmental Stewardship group in El Astillero focusing on Turtle conservation including over 60 students. At the same time, he supported the creation of a fishery program to work closely with local fishermen on some conservation issues such as Sea Turtles By - Catch. Luca also works as a Fishery Analyst for Global Fishing Watch.