"A Bamboo and Guadua Paradise – An Eco-Tourism Destination and Field School"
Ximena Londoño de la Pava is a Colombian bamboo expert and independent researcher, born in Cali, Valle del Cauca. Since her childhood, she developed a lifelong passion for this giant grass at her family farm La Esmeralda, in Montenegro, Quindío.
As an independent researcher, she has been consultant and promoter of diverse Guadua research projects in Colombia and in Latin America, working in association with Instituto Vallecaucano de Investigaciones Científicas - INCIVA, the Technological University of Pereira, the National University of Colombia, University Francisco de Paula Santander, the Instituto de Ecología in Mexico, Universidad de Mérida in Venezuela, Academia de Ciencias in Cuba, Perubambú in Perú and Universidad Nacional de Tucumán in Argentina.
Ximena is one of the founders and the first president of the Colombian Bamboo Society, a non-government organization born on 1998, with the purpose of provide links between the academics, farmers, government and businesses at the regional and country level about the native bamboo Guadua angustifolia Kunth. She is the president of Colombian Commitment 178 Guadua-Bamboo for standardization - ICONTEC, and was President of the Bamboo Specialist Group of the IUCN 1994 – 2000, International Director of the American Bamboo Society 2000-2002, Expert Group for INBAR Strategic Plan 2005, and member of the Bamboo Phylogenetic Group 2008-2011. In 2008, she received an award from the National University Palmira in recognition of her research career.
Today, Ximena is CEO of an educational bamboo park entitled “A Bamboo and Guadua Paradise”, with the most extensive collection of bamboo in Colombia, and where visitors can learn general aspects of bamboo, and also allow researchers to investigate applications, environmental benefits, and ecological and taxonomical features.