About Our Foundation

The Mindo Cloudforest Foundation in Ecuador operates a unique membership model and works in partnership with the Friends of Mindo Cloud Forest, a 501(c)(3) registered in the United States. Learn more below.

A Short History of MCF

The Mindo Cloudforest Foundation (MCF) was founded in response to the construction of Ecuador’s Heavy Crude Pipeline (OCP) in 2000. This threat to the pristine cloud forests in the Mindo watershed compelled a group of dedicated birders, bird guides, and eco-tourism entrepreneurs to form the foundation in 2001. This initial group included individuals from Ecuador, Australia, Holland, Belgium​ and the United States.

Over the past two decades, MCF has grown significantly, creating multiple bird and biodiversity reserves that are among the most diverse birding hotspots in Ecuador and the Northern Andes. The foundation has established reserves at various altitudinal levels, including the Río Silanche Bird Sanctuary, the Milpe Bird Sanctuary, and the Tandayapa Reserves Cluster.

Notable MCF highlights include the development of Ecuador’s national avitourism strategy, extensive reforestation projects, and successful conservation programs that involve local communities. MCF’s multidisciplinary team consists of ornithologists, ecologists, conservationists, and eco-tourism entrepreneurs, all working together to protect the unique ecosystems of the Chocó-Andean region​.

Unique Membership Model

The Mindo Cloudforest Foundation (MCF) employs a unique membership model that ensures active involvement in its decision-making processes. This model includes various membership classes, such as Founding Members, Active Members, Honorary Members, and Supporting Members. Active Members are particularly integral, as they participate directly in decision-making and have voting rights, fostering a collaborative environment.

This structure ensures that a diverse group of committed individuals contributes to the foundation’s strategic direction and conservation efforts, maintaining a dynamic and inclusive organizational culture. If you are interested in becoming an active member, please reach out directly to ou******@mi**************.org.

Friends of Mindo Cloud Forest

As fundraising so often takes place outside of Ecuador, our US members decided to form a 501(c)(3). Currently, the Friends of Mindo Cloud Forest is registered in Starkville, Mississippi, EIN 93-2727392. The foundation accepts donations online and by mail at:

c/o D. Tellkamp
500 Mallory Lane
Apt. 30B
Starkville, MS 39759

MCF’s Future

As MCF moves into the future, we need to work with an international community of donors and volunteers to expand our efforts to improve economic outlooks for local communities while also conserving land that protects birds.

If you would like be a part of our future, please volunteer today.

Our Board of Directors

2024 – 2025

César Molina, President

César Molina


Dr. César Molina is an attorney based in Quito with a love of all things natural. He has contributed his knowledge and experience to MCF for more than a decade. His continued support as President of our foundation has been key in the last two years.

Paul Greenfield, Executive Director

Paul Greenfield

Executive Director

Paul Greenfield is an artist, birder, conservationist, co-author/illustrator of The Birds of Ecuador and numerous other publications on Ecuador’s birds; he pioneered avitourism in Ecuador and helped co-found MCF in 2001.

Gary Schiltz, Treasurer

Gary Schiltz


As an avid conservationist, Gary and his wife, Karen, moved to Mindo to conserve land for birds. He has been a contributing member of MCF since 2008. His enthusiasm for our work keeps us moving forward.

Red-headed Barbet photographed in the Tandayapa Valley by Angie Drake

Markus Tellkamp


Markus is an ornithologist and university professor living in Quito who has birded cloud forests since 1992 and been a member of MCF since 2011. His passion for research is important for our cause.

Our Partners

Mindo Cloudforest Foundation gives warm gratitude to all of our donors and supporters over the years, including these partners.

If you would like to partner with us, please let us know.

BOS logo
WWF Logo
One Tree Planted Logo
Tiny Footprint Coffee Logo