Fiorella “Fiochi” Herrera Salas is from Lima, Peru, She is currently a 2nd year student at Universidad Científica Del Sur pursuing a B.S. degree in marine biology. Fiochi’s interest in marine biology is specific to marine conservation of species including the whole ecosystem from the smallest zooplankton to seaweed, cetaceans, and whales.
Fiochi is the founder of the organization “WE CAN BE HEROES” (WCBH), which is an organization focused on environmental and social projects. The mission of WCBH is to train students of different backgrounds in techniques to sustain the environment. In training these students, they can raise further awareness by sharing their knowledge with others. In WCBH we are normal people with special skills, achieving incredible things.
WCBH community outreach initially began with a workshop about the marine world for children, which evolved into an organization that runs year round beach cleaning events in Lima. In the past 3 years, WCBH has organized over 50 cleanings with 10 or more volunteers each. These cleanings resulted in the removal of thousands of kilograms of plastic and trash. The plastic is then recycled and used in awareness programs about the degradation of plastic.
Since the beach cleanings, WCBH has expanded its efforts into other areas of conservation and education. One of the primary issues the organization works on is the conservation and adaptation to climate change. One of our current projects takes place in Loreto, which is located in the jungle of Peru. This project aims to improve the performance of community maintenance of the environment and to respect the biodiversity in the jungles of Loreto. WCBH plans to achieve these goals by raising awareness of environmental conservation and the science behind it through educational formats.
WCBH is also working with the Andean community of Huacaybamba. WCBH is teaching the community skills to build, manage, and integrate a system of potable water, to plant Quinoa for better nutrition, and to enhance the capabilities of mothers to effectively care for themselves and their children. In order to carry out this pilot project in more communities in the highlands of Peru, WCBH enlists in the young people they train to serve as examples for the other communities to be committed to the environment and society.
One of the primary things Fiochi wants to do when she finish her studies is to continue to apply her knowledge to help the environment and focus on marine conservation. When she is not cleaning beaches or teaching communities about the environment, Fiochi enjoys are traveling, playing ukulele and singing along, watching sunsets and documentaries, and spending time with her friends and family.