Canada Board of Directors

Ashli Akins

Ashli Akins currently splits her time between Ollantaytambo, Peru; Oxford, England; and Victoria, Canada. She is a graduate student at the University of Oxford in International Human Rights Law, and previously graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in environmental studies, Latin American studies, and professional writing (journalism & publishing) from the University of Victoria. Ashli founded Mosqoy as well as the Q’ente Textile Revitalization Society in 2006, when she traveled to South America at 20 years of age. These organizations have since become her life’s work, as she continues to dedicate her passion and energy towards acting as their volunteer executive director.

Ashli is a photojournalist, writer, and communications consultant, aiming to educate about human rights and environmental injustices through the media. In 2008, she completed a photography research internship in New York City with National Geographic Adventure magazine. Her most recent contracts include the Salmon Coast Field Station Society (Broughton Archipelago, Canada); Health for Humanity Service Society (Antigua, Guatemala); Centre for Sustainability (Dunedin, New Zealand); and Landcare Research (Federal government of New Zealand).

Ashli has received many accolades for her work, including the Vicky Husband Award for Environmental Stewardship, the Canadian Federation of University Women graduate scholarship, and the Oxford University Las Casas Human Rights Institute scholarship. In her not-so-spare time, she enjoys adventure, rock-climbing, playing the violin, and dancing.

“She who has a why to live can bear almost any how.”


Beatriz Palacios Fernández

Beatriz is a marketing and commmunications professional with an interest in not-for-profits, international development and cultural organizations. She has worked with the BC Government’s Heritage Branch, the Royal BC Museum and the University of Victoria. After an internship in Delhi with Participatory Research in Asia, she developed an interest in grassroots organizations and joined Mosqoy as a co-op student in 2010. Two yeas later, she continues to feel passionate about the uniqueness of the project and thoroughly enjoys working with the wonderful people involved.

Originally from Spain, Beatriz has a BA (Hons) in English Literature & Cultural Studies and a Diploma in Cultural Resource Management from the University of Victoria. She is also a qualified web developer.  After living in Spain, the UK and France, she currently resides in Victoria, where she balances her Mosqoy work with freelance contracts and her full-time job at the Victoria Golf Club.


Brent Akins

Brent is a retired professional violinist who has performed for many symphonies across North America, including the St. Louis Symphony and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. During his career, he worked as concertmaster for the CBC Radio Orchestra and as a guest concertmaster for the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa. He also spent many years as the chair of the Vancouver Symphony Musicians Negotiations Committee. Brent is the founder of Notes of Compassion, an organization that enables symphony musicians to volunteer their services, performing benefit concerts for worldwide charities. Additionally, he and his wife, Marka, founded and operated Earthnotes, a music school where their students learned about environmental awareness through performing music for various campaigns. He and his wife also formed the Vuillaume Duo, releasing a CD of classical music to benefit the local cancer society.

Brent is also a textile weaver, and is currently building his own weaving studio in the Broughton Archipelago, where he currently resides, with his four floor looms,Marka, and two dogs. He is particularly interested in weaving coverlets, borrowing from Southern US and Celtic weaving patterns. He and Marka are now living out their second dream, living in the micro-community of Echo Bay, off-the-grid, while sustaining themselves off the land and ocean.


Reanna McMillan

Reanna has recently completed her Bachelor degree in Anthropology with a minor in Hispanic Studies at the University of Victoria. She is fluent in Spanish as a result of her studies and her numerous travels and exchanges in Spain. Reanna has enjoyed attending functions such as the Model United Nations in Milan, the Explore Program in Quebec and is also involved with the Global Medical Brigades in Honduras.

She heard about Mosqoy through the University of Victoria’s co-op program and was excited to work for an organization that promoted positive changes and sustainable development in Latin America.