After visiting Africa, Ivan Dario saw the potential of the land and established Ven-Africa as an extensive cattle ranch in 1975. In 2017, it was decided to align with the conservation ethos of the family: the cattle were sold, and the land was declared as Ven-Africa Private Game Reserve.
Hato El Frio Ranch was confiscated by force from the Maldonado Family in 2009. The property was mismanaged and exploited by corrupt government officials and subsequently abandoned. The Maldonado Family does not lose hope that they will one day recover their land and continue the conservation efforts started by their great-grandfather. Despite the political turmoil in Venezuela, the family continues their support of the local communities of the ranch. The Compañia Humana Foundation has been established by the family; the organization builds schools and provides much needed education and support to low-income children and parents.
The Conservation Initiative of Ven-Africa (CIVA) continues the Maldonado Family’s legacy of conservation through programs that restore natural habitat and protect vulnerable species. All initiatives are based on top level scientific research, and with co-operation from other successful conservation projects in the area.
CIVA is committed to partnering with the local leadership in order to meet community needs, working to improve quality of life and enable the enrichment and growth of all parties.