Who We Are

Saving Our Sharks Foundation is dedicated to supporting local communities' livelihoods by protecting shark populations. We strive to ensure a brighter future for sharks and the communities that call oceans their home.


To support and amplify shark conservation community efforts and lead a shark conservation movement towards a future where sharks are valued alive, protected and recognized as key species for livelihoods and ocean health.


A future where people recognize the true value of sharks and they are kept alive, protected as a key species, and valued for the health they provide to our ocean ecosystem and livelihoods.

Our goal is to amplify and bring meaningful support to local communities by funding impactful shark conservation projects that bring long-term wellbeing for sharks, their habitats, and the people who depend upon them.

Our Values


We seek multisectoral collaboration across a wide range of stakeholders to address complex conservation challenges and create exponential impact.


We are committed to exploring new, creative and sometimes disruptive ways to promote shark conservation. We no longer do "business as usual".


We are committed to a culture of collaboration, communication, and mutual respect as a way to achieve shared goals and objectives.


We value the importance of measurable impact in our conservation work and only support projects that aspire to long-term, positive impacts on shark populations, their habitats, and the people who depend on them.


We strive to provide education, training, and the resources that empower communities, corporations, and individuals to make positive contributions to shark conservation and marine protection.


We promote non extractive circular economy solutions through an ecosocial approach to create a positive impact on sharks, fishers, and coastal communities that depend on them.

Meet our Implementing Partner

Saving Our Sharks A.C.

Saving Our Sharks A.C. is a non-profit organization that has been in operation for over 13 years, successfully implementing shark research and conservation projects in the Mexican Caribbean. 

The successful management model with bull sharks in Playa del Carmen created 10 years ago by Saving Our Sharks is a fundamental piece in the success we hope to achieve in Isla Mujeres today.

Our Team

We are a group of people who are deeply committed to shark and ocean conservation for the benefit of human livelihoods in the Caribbean

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Alex Zozaya

President, Board of Directors

Alex Zozaya is a businessman with more than 30 years of experience in the tourism sector. As Executive Chairman of Apple Leisure Group and founder of AMResorts, he led top brands in the hospitality industry. He has received important recognitions in the tourism industry and has been recognized for his commitment to strengthen tourism in different countries.

After the sale of Apple Leisure Group in 2021, Alex has focused on his philanthropic work. He is President of the Amigos de Jesús orphanage in Honduras and of the Saving Our Sharks Foundation. His social commitment and his experience in the tourism sector make him a key leader in protecting natural resources and promoting sustainable tourism. Alex leads an ambitious strategy that seeks to change the paradigm of shark protection not only in Quintana Roo, but throughout the world.

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José Manuel Rojas

Treasurer, Board of Directors

Jose Manuel Rojas is a seasoned corporate accountant with over 30 years of experience in financial management. He has extensive knowledge in consolidating financial statements across multiple currencies for large global and private equity companies. Jose’s expertise includes consulting, budgeting, forecasting, cash flow management, and financial analysis. He has designed internal controls and processes for various industries and is result-oriented, committed to high standards, and has a hands-on approach to his work.

Jose Manuel serves as the treasurer on the board of directors of the Saving Our Sharks Foundation, where he uses his financial expertise to support the foundation’s mission.

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Elsa Amador

Secretary, Board of Directors

Elsa Amador is an established professional with over 20 years’ experience in the administration and project management fields, and a track record of strong performance in high-volume, high-pressure environments. For the past eight years she has diligently acted as Executive Assistant to Alex Zozaya, President of the Board at SOSF.

Since 2022, Elsa joined Saving Our Sharks Foundation as Secretary of the Board of Directors, skillfully managing administrative duties and all communications between the SOSF/Zamia teams and the President of the Board. She handles all the logistics for the monthly update meetings and the quarterly Board of Directors meetings, in addition to being a passionate supporter of the Foundation’s mission.


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Luis Lombardo

Executive Director

Luis Lombardo has a degree in Biology and a Master’s in Marine Ecology. He has dedicated his career to shark conservation and has made significant progress, including installing an acoustic telemetry system along the Quintana Roo coast, creating a Mexican Caribbean Bull Shark Identification Guide, and a continuous monitoring program. He also directed the training program for dive centers and created a community fund for shark conservation in Playa del Carmen. He collaborated in the creation of the polygon of the Mexican Caribbean Biosphere Reserve, including Playa del Carmen, thanks to the presence of sharks and the results of management and monitoring programs.

After 13 years of leading shark conservation in the region, in 2023 he joined as Executive Director of the Saving Our Sharks Foundation to continue his work and scale his impact.

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Angie Arenzana

Development Manager

Angie is a versatile and creative communications professional with a knack for storytelling and more than 7 years’ experience coordinating and implementing effective communication strategies for a wide range of audiences and industries. She joins the Saving Our Sharks Foundation as Development Manager to engage a wide range of stakeholders towards shark conservation and community livelihood improvement.

She has relevant experience working for large international corporations and non-profit organizations working in conservation and sustainable development. Angie is passionate about creating impactful and thought-provoking content in written and visual form, to contribute to human and non-human animal liberation for a brighter and more sustainable future.

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Cristina Balcázar Escalera

Project Manager

Cristina has over ten years of experience in the humanitarian and environmental sectors. She aims to empower people towards leadership and change through project management and operations, focusing on inclusive and ecosystemic approaches. She joined the Saving Our Sharks Foundation team as project manager. She has worked as a communications officer for an international non-profit in Mexico, managed water and sanitation projects for the United Nations, and collaborated with civil society organizations and initiatives in Mexico.

Her skills include participatory strategies for decision-making and co-management based on human rights and sustainability and experience in media and communications for capacity building, training, campaigns, and reporting. Cristina is a Human Geographer, a polyglot, and a Professional Dive Master, currently involved in citizen science initiatives in the Yucatan Peninsula. She is also a fellow of the Mesoamerican Reef Leadership Program.

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Angela Warrior

Research Coordinator

Angela Warrior has 20 years of experience working in shark and marine conservation. Angela graduated from University of York with an MSc in Marine Environmental Management, during this time she focused her research on global declining shark populations. Since graduating Angela has worked in shark and ray research and conservation all around the world, helping to protect incredible species such as whale sharks in the Philippines, manta rays in the Maldives, great hammerheads in Bimini and more recently the sharks of the Mexican Caribbean.

Angela is passionate about ocean conservation and wants to empower the younger generation by providing them with the tools they need to help conserve our planet. Angela recently gave a TEDX talk on the importance of the children-nature connection and spends a great deal of time going to schools and teaching children about sharks.

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Sean Southey

Director of Strategic Partnerships and Development

Sean Southey has over 30 years of experience in international development and communications, having worked with organizations such as the Canadian Ministry of Environment, UNDP, ICLEI, and RARE. He served as President of PCI Media for ten years, leading over 80 impactful campaigns that reached billions of people worldwide. In 2016, he was elected Chair of IUCN’s Commission on Education and Communication.

Sean joins Saving Our Sharks Foundation as Director of Strategic Partnerships and Development, leading a team focused on building a movement to save sharks. He holds an MSC from the London School of Economics and a BA in Economics from the University of British Columbia. Sean is dedicated to positively impacting the world and enjoys diving with his daughter, Safia.

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Alberto Friscione

Advisory Board

Alberto Friscione was born in Xalapa, Veracruz in 1953 and is a veterinarian by profession. He has published five photography books and countless articles. He is an underwater cameraman and for more than 40 years, he has documented the fascinating marine life of Mexico and the world. He is a philanthropist at heart, and is part of various conservation initiatives, including the conservation project he leads in the El Triunfo Biosphere Reserve in Chiapas, and the ocean and shark conservation work that led him to establish the Mexican civil association, Saving Our Sharks, more than 10 years ago.

He currently serves on the advisory board of the Saving Our Sharks Foundation where his unique vision, creativity, and optimism are invaluable in building a movement for shark conservation and ocean health.

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Ana Mandri

Chair, Advisory Board

Ana has worked in the nonprofit sector for over 20 years. She has led successful efforts, from supporting indigenous and rural communities, to creating financial mechanisms to guarantee conservation programs. For 15 years she led FONCET, where she generated an innovative financing program to ensure the conservation of the most biodiverse and threatened region of Mexico.

As the director and founder of Zamia Media, she has created a community of more than 15,000 civil association leaders, strengthening their marketing, communication and fundraising skills. Ana is an advisor to various organizations and chairs the Advisory Board of the Saving Our Sharks Foundation, coordinating a diverse group of people united by a love for the oceans and the protection of sharks.

Ana has a Master’s degree in Biodiversity, Conservation and Management from the University of Oxford and a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing from the Tecnológico de Monterrey.

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Antonio Cue

Advisory Board

Antonio Cue Sanchez-Navarro is a successful Mexican entrepreneur and businessman with a finance and real estate background. He co-founded a private real estate company, one of the most recognized in Mexico. At 33, he became the youngest soccer team owner in the MLS in the USA and grew the franchise for eight years. In 2012, he founded Lucha Underground, a sports media company that adapted wrestling into a successful TV show and live event. He later became a founder of Gato Grande Productions, a production company focused on high-quality Hispanic content in partnership with MGM Studios. Antonio is also a skilled investor in various industries and serves on the board of several public and private companies and philanthropic and educational associations. He is part of the advisory board bringing his entrepreneurship approach to help build a movement to conserve sharks.

He has been living in Los Angeles for the last 17 years with his wife and three kids.

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Eduardo Guzmán

Advisory Board

Eduardo Guzman is the co-founder, President, and CEO of DCM Architecture & Engineering, a global design and construction firm based in New Jersey. He also co-founded GMMW Development, specializing in residential rental properties. Eduardo has served in advisory and board roles for organizations like the Mexican Cultural Center and the US Green Building Council. He has received prestigious awards such as CEO of the Year and Most Influential Latinos in the Delaware Valley. As an avid diver, Eduardo volunteers at the Adventure Aquarium and the New Jersey Center for Aquatic Sciences. He resides in Haddonfield, New Jersey, and Valle de Bravo, Mexico, with his spouse and four certified diver children.

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Enrique Benet

Advisory Board

Enrique Benet Gregg. A multifaceted individual with extensive experience in law, entrepreneurship, art, and conservation. Born in 1977, Enrique’s strategic outlook on life and precise and analytical approach has proven instrumental in his many professional endeavours. Enrique is a founding partner of IBG Legal, a boutique law firm, XB Equities, a sustainable real estate developer, and several other successful ventures. Enrique’s legal expertise and keen business sense have helped drive real estate and business project success.

Outside of his professional pursuits, Enrique is a dedicated conservationist. He serves on the Executive Council of the Panthera Foundation in Mexico, the President of Nommos for the Oceans, working to protect and preserve endangered wildlife, and the advisory board member of Saving our Sharks Foundation.

Enrique is also an accomplished artist who seeks to integrate consciousness, art, and environmental conservation. His artistic pursuits have also led him to explore his interest in writing and philosophy.

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Jon Paul Rodríguez

Advisory Board

Jon Paul Rodríguez has dedicated his career to preserving species and ecosystems. He co-founded Provita, an NGO, during his biology studies at Universidad Central of Venezuela in 1987. Provita has led evidence-based projects, including the Red Book of the Venezuelan Fauna and the Red Book of Terrestrial Ecosystems of Venezuela. With a PhD in ecology and evolutionary biology from Princeton University, he currently chairs the IUCN Species Survival Commission and holds a professorship at the Center for Ecology of the Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Investigations. Jon Paul remains actively involved with Provita as its President. He has authored over 250 publications, showcasing his expertise in books, chapters, and peer-reviewed articles. He is a certified diver passionate about shark conservation.

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Jorge Macari

Advisory Board

Jorge Macari has over 14 years of experience in the real estate industry. He received his undergraduate degree from the renowned Culver Military Academy and completed his graduate and postgraduate degrees in Marketing and Human Resources from Southern Methodist University. As partner of Desarrolladora el Arca, Mr. Macari was part of a leadership team that developed the Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen hotel, one of the most celebrated hotels in Playa Del Carmen, the Dreams Vista Cancun, the development of the Dreams & Secrets Bahía Mita, and the acquisition of the Dreams Puerto Aventuras. Jorge has invested in over 30 land developments, including upscale and luxury hotels, commercial, residential projects and film studios. Having a physical presence in Baja California, Riviera Nayarit, Cancun and the Riviera Maya, their acquisitions and developments have been carefully targeted. 

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Mauricio Hoyos

Advisory Board

Dr. Mauricio Hoyos is the Director and Co-founder of Pelagios Kakunjá. He is recognized for his expertise in the study of sharks, including nursery areas, reproduction, movement patterns and habitat use, ecology, and shark behavior. Based in La Paz, he has studied various shark species in different parts of the world, and is part of the scientific committee of various marine reserves in Mexico. In addition, he has been active in shark conservation outreach and education, giving over 300 talks to groups of all ages. During his career, he has received various recognitions for his work in shark conservation and protection, including Shark Project International’s Shark Guardian 2022 title.

Dr. Hoyos has also scientifically advised several international and national documentaries. As a member of Saving Our Sharks Foundation’s advisory board, he brings all of his scientific expertise to bear on recommendations on marine conservation projects in which the foundation is involved.

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Ricardo Farkas

Advisory Board

Ricardo Farkas is a leading businessman in the Mexican tourism industry and a passionate conservationist. A graduate of Rice University in 1976 with a major in Economics and Business, he is co-founder of Grupo Adventures in Puerto Vallarta, one of the leading ecotourism companies in Mexico that supports social and conservation programs in the Cabo and Vallarta area. Among the programs he supports are the Network for the Disentanglement of Marine Mammals, the Permanent Program for the Rescue, Rehabilitation and Return to the Sea of Marine Species and Bahía Unida. He participated in the financing and organization of studies to convert the Marietas Islands into a Protected Natural Area where he also leads a conservation program for the Islands and marine species.

Ricardo brings his vast experience, commitment to environmental conservation, and his leadership to the Saving Our Sharks Foundation where he serves on the advisory board.

Support the Masters of the Sea in creating a future where fishers become protectors of sharks.

Wear the story of transformation on your feet.

VANS partnered with us by creating two limited edition #SharksOffTheHook shoes that celebrate the real heroes of Isla Mujeres – the fearless fishermen who’ve hung up their hooks to protect our ocean’s majestic sharks.