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Bernis Cunningham, Executive Director and Founder

Bernis is the founder of Planting Change. He is an active lawyer in Nicaragua and studied Environmental Sustainable Management at UC Berkeley. Bernis is a climate change policy adviser for the United Nations Framework on Climate Change and member of international networks such as Environmental Law Alliance worldwide and Climate Action Network Latin America.  He collaborates with various international NGOs, government delegations, students, teachers, and communities from all parts of the world to develop national and international projects of environmental conservation and human sustainable development.  


Uriel Aguilar 

Uriel provides project management and education for Planting Change. He has a degree in economics from Central American University and has studied project management for NGOs and civil societies.  


Geovanny Vanegas

Geovanny has a degree in Communication from Universidad Centroamericana, is a multimedia editor at Plantig Change Foundation and is currently studying English.


Maria Claudia López 

Maria provides accounting and communications support for Planting Change.  She is studying agribusiness, finance, and audiovisual communications at the Universidad Nacional Agraria (Nicaragua).

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Dara Karakolis

Dara Karakolis is an emerging sustainability specialist with experience in nutrition and food systems including health, advocacy, climate change and public sector engagement. In addition to effective communication and project/event management, she has coordinated multidisciplinary stakeholders (youth groups, professional bodies, private sector, NGOs). Dara is passionate about climate and the impact it has across various sectors, she sees the power of working with the private sector to support and hold them accountable in transitioning to be agents of change. She believes in the importance of communicating complex data to various stakeholders in a clear, concise and culturally appropriate manner.



Kajal Below, President

Kajal Below began working with Planting Change through her work with CENICA and Granada International School in Nicaragua, where she began a Green Committee and built a partnership between the two.  As a professional in the educational technology industry, she brings expertise in project management, partnerships, planning, and operations. 


Krista Shennum, Vice President

Krista works to advance climate justice and human rights around the world. She has collaborated with grassroots environmental advocates in 80 countries to protect ecosystems and communities from environmental abuses. Currently, she is pursuing a Master of Environmental Management from the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.


Eduardo Mosqueda, Board Member

Eduardo is a lawyer with 8 years of experience in the defense and promotion of third generation Human Rights, with a specific impact on Western Mexico.  He is versed in the legal defense against mega-projects of development in urban and rural communities, as well as, the protection of human rights defenders, promotion of human rights through sustainability education, and public policy.

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