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Ximena Daza

Country Day School - Ximena Daza

HS Biology, AP Biology

Born in Cochabamba, Bolivia, I realized early on that my ultimate goal in life was to advocate for wild animals and the environment. First, I became a field biologist. The kingdom of Belgium gave me a scholarship that allowed me to get a bachelor´s degree in investigation. I studied the ecology and reproductive patterns of Podocnemis unifilis in the Ichilo River of Cochabamba.  During this first research thesis, to collect the data, I spent one month in a rustic boat Bolivia’s Amazon Basin. 

I later obtained a full scholarship from the US Fish and Wildlife Services and a grant from the Cleveland Zoo, which allowed me to move to Venezuela and complete a master’s thesis and study a rare and little-known fresh-water turtle: Chelus fimbriatus (the “matamata”).

After completing my master’s thesis dissertation, I moved back to Cochabamba, where my oldest son Cid became my adventure companion while I worked as a research associate for the National Museum of Natural History. I actively participated with the Bat Conservation Program and conducted numerous projects to raise awareness about this mammal’s importance for the ecosystem.

Shortly after, I moved to the United States where I became a teacher in a Montessori School. During the next seven years, Cid and I would take our adventures to a new level as I developed a new course called Beyond the Walls, while working as a teacher and a summer camp counselor. 

I returned again to Cochabamba, where for 10 months, I was the secondary director of the most important secondary International Baccalaureate School in my country. I was successful, but success came at a price, I drained all my energy; I was in desperate need of returning to a classroom environment where I could spend more time with children and teach within my area of expertise again. Since then, I have been teaching biology and environmental sciences with the concept that one can change the world by becoming an educator. Being a teacher is the natural path for people who want to transmit their passion in life and bring out the best in students. 

Among other activities, I enjoy track and field (earlier in my life, I became the National Champion in the 400-meter race. I was also passionately engaged with the Girl Scout Movement where camps, field trips, and community service were part of my non-work activities. I also founded the “Epilepsy League,” an organization dedicated to helping provide treatment for patients who cannot afford it. 

I am enthusiastic to be part of Country Day School, as the  high school Biology, and AP Biology teacher.