¿What is EntreMundos?
EntreMundos is a Guatemalan nonprofit organization, founded in 2001 to support organizations and groups that are committed to the fight against poverty and the defense and promotion of human rights for the country’s most marginalized and vulnerable populations.
Born in Quetzaltenango (capital of the eponymous department), EntreMundos offers a range of services to strengthen the abilities and competencies of community organizations, promote networking, cooperation, and synergy between them, and raise awareness about their work and the difficulties that they face every day.
We promote and stimulate citizen participation by Guatemalan civil society so that the population, local agents, and grassroots organizations can acquire the knowledge they need to effectively advance the social, civil, cultural, economic, and political progress of their people; and so that they actively participate in direction and decision-making to improve their conditions of living.
EntreMundos firmly believes that it is possible to achieve positive change in Guatemala – principally in the most disadvantaged and vulnerable areas – through programs with a “bottom-up” focus on rural development, based on the needs, expectations, ideas, and initiatives of local populations, so that the communities themselves can fight to defend their civil, social, cultural, political, and economic rights and have a positive impact both at a local level (rural development) and at a national level (political advocacy).
We aim to encourage and strengthen the abilities and competencies of local Guatemalan development organizations – respecting their values, ethics, principles, policies, strategies, and work methodologies – with the objective of transforming them into multiplying agents and key actors for the sustainable development of their areas of operation. We support civil society and community and locally-based organizations through five principal axes of work:
the Capacity Building Program (through certification programs on different subjects and courses in information technology);
the Best Practices in Community Tourism Program;
the Small Grants Program;
the national and international Volunteer Service;
and our bimonthly and bilingual Magazine (in Spanish and English).
To work toward the construction of a Guatemalan community development sector that is well organized and connected, highly qualified, and supplied with local resources, that is capable of offering successful and effective projects, as well as programs that can respond effectively to the problems of poverty, social exclusion, discrimination, and injustice that devastate the country.
To empower our beneficiaries on topics and sectors that concretely contribute to the sustainable and equitable development in Guatemala, transforming them into multiplying agents and key actors who are capable of representing the interests of their communities and raising their voices for a more effective protection of their rights.
It meets once a year and additionally when the Board of Directors considers it appropriate, and it is principally responsible for reviewing and approving reports on completed activities, the accounting and financial situation of the organization, strategic plans, work, and budgets; as well as for making necessary and appropriate decisions for the appropriate development of EntreMundos activities, the resolution of problems, and the operation of the Board of Directors.
The Board of Directors 2016-2018 is as follows:
- President and Legal Representative: Glenda Gabriela López Ximin
Vice President: Pilar Cajas Argueta
Treasurer: Thomas Anthony Lingenfelter
Secretary: Emmanuel Yac
The members of the Technical Team (updated in January 2016) are the following:
FABIO CARBONE - Director
Fabio has a specialization in “Local Management and Development” from the Unión Iberoamericana de Municipalistas of Granada (Spain) and has more than 12 years of experience in International Cooperation: he worked with CARITAS in Ecuador in 2004/2005, as a representative of the Italian NGO CISV in West Africa from 2006 to 2008, and in Guatemala from 2008 to 2013, where he coordinated various projects financed by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Piemonte Region of Italy, and the Episcopal Conference.
SIMONA ROVELLI - Capacity Building, Computer Skills and Small Grants Programs Coordinator
Simona has a Master’s degree in International Relations from the University of Turín, Italy (2002), a specialization in micro-finances from Boulder Institute of Microfinance, USA (2005), and postgraduate studies in Sustainable Development from the SOAS University of London, G.B. (2012).
She worked in Ecuador with a micro-finance institution and later in Burkina Faso (West Africa) as the Coordinator of Rural Development projects and micro-finance for the Italian NGO CISV, until 2008.
YESSICA PASTOR - Capacity Building, Computer Skills and Small Grants Programs Assistant
Jessica has a bachelor’s degree in Local Environmental Management, from San Carlos University of Guatemala and has completed Regional Development studies at the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (FLACSO).
She has experience working in the tourism sector in the areas of Tikal and Flores in Petén and worked as a Spanish teacher for several years in different schools in Quetzaltenango. She has worked as the assistant to the EntreMundos Capacity Building and Small Grants Programs since 2012.
PATRICIA RABINALES - Community Tourism Program Coordinator
She worked with the management and development program of the Municipal Women’s Office of Quetzaltenango and has offered capacity building services on topics such as local economic development, community tourism, gender, environment, and youth.
PATRICIA SCHWARTZ - Volunteer Program Coordinator
Patricia holds a degree in Sociology from the University of Arizona.
She has worked with a number of different non-profit organizations, including in program development and management for an organization that supports recently homeless families in recovery from substance abuse and mental health barriers. She also has experience facilitating educational workshops with themes such as mental and sexual health, empowerment, and job training, as well as coordination of volunteer programs, events and grant writing.
FRANCISCO COJULUN - Guide for Volunteer Groups
Francisco was born and raised in Quetzaltenango. He joined EntreMundos in March, 2013 as the Coordinator and Guide for the community service program of the University of Alberta, Canada.
Since then he has worked with the James Madison, Bridgewater, and Drexel Universities (USA) and the Universities of Alberta and Ottawa (Canada) on a large number of projects that range from reforestation and school projects to the improvement of infrastructure and the management of cultural activities.
He also works at a local Spanish school, where he coordinates online classes and many of the extracurricular activities that take place across the western highlands of Guatemala.
VALERIA AYERDI - Magazine Editor
Valeria has been the editor for the EntreMundos magazine since June of 2008. As a local journalist, she has worked and collaborated with various newspapers and magazines in Guatemala over the past 10 years, including: the newspapers El Quetzalteco, La Hora, and Universidad, the editorial paper ServiPrensa, and the magazines Este País and Magna Terra magazine.
She combines her EntreMundos position with a weekly column in La Noticia and the Al Dente restaurant guide, which she founded. Her work is characterized by the need for and interest in the construction of a more democratic, inclusive, self-critical, and balanced Guatemala.
RICHARD BROWN - On-line Magazine Editor
Richard has worked with EntreMundos since October, 2013.
He gathers stories and articles from grassroots groups, academic experts, and public figures to cover issues like climate change, food security, and labor relations in Guatemala and internationally.
He recruits and supports Guatemalan and foreign writers to publish original journalism and promote intercultural dialogue and equitable and sustainable development.
He has a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from Columbia University in New York.
PATRICIA MACÍAS - Editor and Journalist
Patricia began working with the EntreMundos Magazine in October, 2013.
She has a degree in Journalism from Universidad Complutense in Madrid and has worked in international cooperation and communication in Spain, England, and Guatemala.
With the EntreMundos Magazine, Patricia writes, translates, edits photography and video and manages social media.
PILAR CAJAS - Accounting Administrator
Pilar has a bachelor’s degree of Sciences and Letters with a specialization in Health and a Diploma of Teaching Spanish as a Second Language, and has worked as a teacher for five years at the El Quetzal Spanish School.
She has worked in various roles with children as a volunteer and has experience in the Quetzaltenango’s tourism sector. She currently studies Business Administration in the San Carlos University, Guatemala.
Pilar has been part of the EntreMundos General Assembly and its Board of Directors, as well as a valued member of the institutional team, since 2014.