The China-Latin America Sustainable Investment Initiative (CLASII) was established in October 2014 under the sponsorship of the International and Comparative Environmental Law Program of the American University Washington College of Law in Washington DC. Since October 2016, CLASII has been sponsored by the NGO Bank Information Center in Washington DC.

Starting in July 2021, CLASII became Latinoamérica Sustentable (LAS).  LAS is legally established as an Ecuadorian organization, and has a team with members in Ecuador, Bolivia, Costa Rica, United States, and Canada. LAS conducts research, diffuses information, organizes spaces for capacity building, develops advocacy tools and promotes collaboration between social organizations in Latin America and the Caribbean and in other regions of the world in the issues of financing and international investments, environment, and human rights.

our team
Paulina Garzón

Paulina Garzón is Ecuadorian and has 25 years of experience working on issues related to international financing, the environment, and human rights. She is the former president of Acción Ecológica, and co-founder and former president of the Center for Economic and Social Rights in Ecuador. Paulina has worked as a consultant in several countries and was Director of Programs for Latin America at the Bank Information Center. In the past six years, Paulina has focused her work on Chinese investments in Latin America, with a particular focus on the Chinese regulatory framework for investments abroad. Paulina holds a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government (2009).

Email: paulinag@latsustentable.org

Marco Gandarillas
Head OF capacity building

Marco Gandarillas holds a B.A. in Sociology from Universidad Mayor de San Simón where he studied a Master in Environment and Development from the Centro de Estudios Superiores Universitarios. He is currently a PhD student at CIDES Postgraduate in Development Sciences from the Universidad Mayor de San Andrés. The last years have been devoted to research on Bolivian extractivisms. He has participated in numerous works and directed projects of this type in Bolivia and other countries in the region. His last book is entitled “Rights and Violences in Extractivisms: Extrahections in Bolivia and Latin America”, co-authored with Eduardo Gudynas and Oscar Campanini (2020, La Libre, Bolivia). Between 2007 and 2017, he was Executive Director of the Bolivia Documentation and Information Center, one of the most recognized centers for research and defense of human and environmental rights in South America.

Email: marcog@latsustentable.org


Diana Castro is a doctoral researcher in Latin American Studies and holds a Master’s degree in International Development Cooperation at the Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar (UASB-Ecuador). Since 2014, Diana has studied the Latin America-China relations, with a particular emphasis on Chinese financing mechanisms for development and infrastructure-investment projects. Her doctoral research traces the effects that these projects generate on institutional capacities of the state, the environment and local development, delving into the Ecuadorian case. Diana has published several articles on these topics. She has worked in various Ecuadorian universities and collaborated in international research initiatives on the relevance of China in Latin America.

Email: dianac@latsustentable.org


Siran Huang is a freelance consultant specializing in China and Latin America. She was previously Research Manager at SynTao Co., where she analyzes the performance and social impacts of Chinese corporations’ overseas investments. She is co-founder and secretary general of the Community of Chinese and Latin American Studies (CECLA), a joint Chinese and Latin American non-governmental organization tasked with enhancing bilateral academic and cultural communication and research. She holds a M.A. in Latin American Studies from Simon Fraser University, a M.A. in Translation and Interpretation from Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona. She is fluent in English, Chinese, and Spanish.

Email: siranh@latsustentable.org

Steph JC foto
Stephanie Jensen Cormier

Stephanie Jensen Cormier professional and personal life reflects a commitment to environmental sustainability and social justice. She previously worked with International Rivers as China Program Director where she and her team strove to protect Asia’s key rivers and promoted higher environmental and social standards among Chinese hydropower companies. She has coordinated Special Policy Studies for the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development, a high-level advisory body that reports to the State Council. Stephanie holds a Master Degree in East Asian Studies from Columbia University. She is native in French and English and proficient in Spanish and Mandarin. After living and working in China for 8 years, Stephanie is delighted to be based in Costa Rica, a country with a strong commitment to biodiversity, sustainability and peace.

Email: stephaniejc@latsustentable.org

María Emilia Hermosa
Executive assistant

María Emilia Hermosa has a bachelor’s degree in international relations and political science from Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ) and completed a year of study with the exchange program at Willamette University focusing on the economy of developing countries, environmental ethics policy, politics for the formation of environmental policies, racism, migration and refugees. She participated in the various projects sponsored by USFQ in coordination with public institutions on socio-environmental innovation, anthropology. She worked with the British-Ecuadorian Chamber of Commerce (CEB), provided support of logistics and administrative coordination for the CEB and for the Centro Internacional de Arbitraje y Mediación.

Email: emiliah@latsustentable.org

 Business Administration
and technical support

Alex Landeta is currently in his last semester of law school at the University of the Americas (UDLA), prior to that he studied Business Administration at the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador gaining technical and administrative knowledge. Alex has been a consultant and founder of different brands in Ecuador with an énfasis in  management, accounting, marketing, international law, environmental law, constitutional law, intellectual property, and stock market. Alex worked at Metropolitan Touring as Occupational Health and Safety Assistant and at El Diablo de Cantuña Tailoring School as the MainAdministrator..

Email: alexl@latsustentable.org

Support us

LAS accepts applications for internships throughout the year. The internships may be virtual or face-to-face depending on the activities and the availability of the intern, you can apply to our internships from anywhere in the world. Send us your resume (maximum 2 pages) and a motivation letter (maximum 1 page), detailing the dates on which you can do the internship and the number of hours available.

Send this information and/or your questions to info@iiscal.org