Conserve the Cloud Forest

Join our cause today!

Conserve the Cloud Forest

Join our cause today!


Fundación Paz de las Aves was created to protect, conserve, and expand the range of more than 554 bird species located in northwestern Ecuador. Our objective is to design programs to manage and restore habitat with an emphasis on the conservation of primary and secondary forests. Also, we plan to establish environmental education programs that actively engage our community in the conservation of our natural heritage.

At present, Fundación “Paz de las Aves” is working together with the Natura International and the private reserve, Refugio Paz de Las Aves who in gratitude to more than 1,300 donors and for their love of conservation has donated 10 hectares of primary forest for protection and future environmental studies.

Conserving the forest will keep our planet cleaner and more habitable.

Did you know that more than 420 million hectares of forest have been lost since 1990 and agriculture is the main reason for this?

Protecting just one tree can make a difference. There are studies that a single tree can store 167 kg of CO2 per year. Imagine if we protect thousands of them.

Our Projects

Forest protection, reforestation, scientific studies and academic support for the surrounding community are our main pillars.

Creation of a greenhouse for the care and development of 1,500 plants endemic to the cloud forest.

Start date: March 2024
Budget: $3,800
Place of creation: Nanegalito, Ecuador

Hire an employee for care and reforestation of cattle pasture.

Duration: March 2024 – March 2025
Budget: $6,000
Place of work: Nanegalito, Ecuador

Purchasing additional land for the protection of 190 bird species

Start date: Constantly looking for opportunities
Budget: depends on market rate
Place of creation: Choco-Andean Biosphere

History of Fundación Paz de Las Aves

The story of a family that changed their lives and now create the foundation “Paz de las Aves”.
By Angél Paz

A family photo of five people. In the center is Vinicio Paz, standing tallest with his camera on tripod in front; to the right is his parents, Maria Florcita and Angel Paz; to his left is his aunt and uncle, Rodrigo Paz and Diana Vera.

A New Life

My family originates from Baños de Agua Santa. Forty-five years ago we migrated to northwest Pichincha to seek better job opportunities. My father Manuel Paz and my mother Teresa Villafuerte, raised seven children, managoing to send each of us to primary school. Some of us had to work from an early age, thus losing our childhood and adolescence. However, we learned from our parents respect, honesty, integrity, and perserverance to fight for our dreams. Their dream was to have a family and work in agriculture, livestock, logging and hunting; for a long time we were able to survive by doing these activities.

An Awakening From Illusions

Upon waking up one morning in 2005, Rodrigo’s and my lifestyle would take a change. After working in agriculture, livestock, timber extraction and hunting, we would become entrepreneurs and innovators of avitourism, becoming the Antpitta men. We knew that the protection of birds would now feed our families.

An older man sits on a bench in front of a sign that reads: Rules for visitors; Do not enter without authorization; Entrance fee $10; Stay close to the local guide; Do not use flash when photographing. Family members sit around this gentleman and a motorcycle sits to the right hand side.

God’s Miracle

Refugio Paz de Las Aves was created on August 10, 2005. In the beginning we built a trail that would lead to the lek of the Andean Cock-of-the-Rock. We wondered, “Will it be possible that foreigners come to our farm to see these birds?” After a month, the trails were already deteriorating and there were no foreigners. After another month and one week, the first tourist would arrive to observe the Cock-of-the-Rock. We were all surprised, because for the first time a foreigner would come to our farm. He stayed 4 hours and paid $10, money that for us equaled a full day of work in agriculture or cutting wood. Thus, the miracle began to happen. It only took one tourist for the Refugio Paz de las Aves to become the most visited place in northwest Pichincha for bird watching and become internationally renowned.

The Antpitta Man

While I was hiking the trail to the Cock-of-the-Rock lek, a dark bird with a light brown chest, long legs, and a thick beak was eating earthworms on the new trail. I decided to approach her, but she fled into the forest. The next day, I said to myself, “That bird with long legs and a big beak must become my friend.” I started to follow her into the forest. I kept offering her worms and she didn’t accept anything. Days went by and the forest became my home because I spent most of the time trying to make this bird my friend. The big day finally arrived. I got her to accept me as her friend! Since that moment, we are good friends, so I named her after my wife Maria. Since that day, the Giant Antpitta Maria is the one who welcomes all to the Refugio Paz de las Aves.

A Giant Antpitta - a bird with a rusty red breast flecked with black stripes, a dull brown back, a deep brown eye and white eye ring, and large gray beak, with long legs stands on a mossy branch

Pas de Laz Aves in 2022

After several years of work, we have became a specialized place for bird watching. We are currently conserving the habitat of 5 species of Antpittas and more than 188 species of birds in a territory of 49 hectares.

Fundraiser Achieved 2022

A Foundation for the Future

The creation of Fundación Paz de Las Aves is a labor of love.

The dream of protecting the land where 185 species of birds live has become a reality. More than 1,300 people made their contribution without asking for anything in return. However, the Paz family understood the importance of protecting the home of these birds, especially Maria the Giant Antpitta, a species that is in danger of extinction. Today, she has a forever home thanks to the creation of FUNDACIÓN PAZ DE LAS AVES.

On Monday, September 25, 2023, Dario Fernando Cueva Valdez of the Ministry of Environment, Water and Ecological Transition in Quito, Ecuador signed the agreement recognizing and approving Fundación Paz de Las Aves.

Official agreement of the Ministry of Environment, Ecuador

As a conservation biologist, I can’t tell you how impactful this project will be (and already has been!) for protecting biodiversity. The dedication and passion of Angel and Rodrigo is palpable when you meet them, and that is perhaps the most important element of this project: the power of Ecuadorians to protect their own land for future generations of people and of wildlife. Thank you for all your truly inspiring work!

Rebecca Brunner

Donor and Biologist, August 2022

Nightcliff Lions supports grassroots conservation. Two of its members visited this property and were impressed by the conservation work of Angel and his family. Keep up the good work.

Nightcliff Lions Club

Donor, June 2022

We visited the Paz Bird Refuge in 2015 and had a wonderful time, seeing antpittas, hummingbirds, cock-of-the-rock and many other birds. The relationship Angel has built with these shy birds is remarkable and unique. It’s important that this habitat and bird sanctuary be conserved.

Shereen Chang

Donor, June 2022

Contact Us

Fundacion ¨Paz de las Aves¨ would be delighted to hear from you and to work together for the well-being of the planet.

Our Email


(619) 919-4985


KM 66 E28, Calacalí – La Independencia, Quito, Ecuador.