board of directors

ELIANA ELIAS - CO-FOUNDER AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR 
Eliana Elias brings over twenty years of experience working in the Peruvian Amazon and other rural areas to design and implement strategies that combine communications, women’s leadership and sustainable community development. She has consulted with hundreds of NGOs and over 100 indigenous groups involved with education, health, conservation and community development. In 1998, Ms. Elias co-founded Minga Perú, an award-winning model for communication and participation for social change. Her work has been recognized internationally by the University of El Paso–Texas, the Clinton School for Public Service, the Global Philanthropy Forum, Funders without Borders, and Funders for Human Rights, among others. She received the Ashoka prize for social innovation and is a member of the Avina Foundation’s Latin American Leadership Network. She was the first international recipient of the “Triumph of the Spirit” award for her human rights defense work. She has a degree in communications from the University of Lima in Peru.

LUIS GONZALES - CO-FOUNDER AND PROGRAM DIRECTOR 
Luis Gonzales is an experienced organizer working collaboratively with grassroots communities throughout Latin America since 1994. Since co-founding Minga Peru in 1998, he has been the driving force behind the theory, practice, evaluation and documentation of Minga’s internationally recognized, intercultural model for social change. As Program Director, Mr. Gonzales has played a key role in developing Minga’s training methodology and supporting Minga’s staff and promoters, coordinating Minga’s programmatic initiatives, overseeing Minga’s evaluation and monitoring, and facilitating dozens of workshops and radio programs using popular education techniques. He has academic training in Business Administration, Nonprofit Management, Rural Micro-credit Programs, Conservation, Natural Resource Management, and Gender Studies with a specialization in Contemporary Masculinities.

KATE RAFTERY - INTERIM BOARD CHAIR
Kate Raftery brings over thirty years of leadership, creativity and enthusiasm in senior management positions to diverse programs focused on civic engagement, youth development, and individual and community empowerment worldwide. She has held senior leadership positions with the Peace Corps, the Corporation of National and Community Service of Americorps National Civilian Community Corps, the International Youth Foundation, and Partners of the Americas. She served as Country Director for the Peace Corps in Lima, Peru from 2002 – 2005, where she first became a supporter of Minga Peru. Ms. Raftery is fluent in Spanish.

DR. ARVIND SINGHAI
Dr. Arvind Singhal teaches and conducts research in the diffusion of innovations, the positive deviance approach, organizing for social change, the entertainment-education strategy, and liberating interactional structures. His work spans sectors such as health, education, peace, human rights, poverty alleviation, sustainable development, civic participation, and corporate citizenship. He currently serves as Director of the Social Justice Initiative at the Department of Communication at the University of Texas-El Paso, Fellow at the Clinton School of Public Service at the University of Arkansas, and Guest Professor at Tufts University. He has lectured in over 60 countries, and has published numerous articles about Minga’s model. His website is: www.academics.utep.edu.

DR. GINA ARNILLAS
Gina has been working for more than 30 years with women organizations. Her work includes process facilitation, applied research, design, monitoring and project evaluation. Gina is Minga Perú advisor since 2003. Passionate about fieldwork, Gina has a master's degree in Social Politics, with a mention in Gender, Population and Development (UNMSM) and a master's degree in Gender Studies (PUCP).

our team

EMIRA MONTES ZUTA - LORETO REGION PROGRAM COORDINATOR

Emira Montes Zuta is an indigenous Kukama leader from the Loreto region of Peru with fifteen years of experience in sustainable community development. From 1998-2005, she served as one of Minga Peru’s first promoters in the Marañon River basin where she trained networks of women and youth on themes such as family planning, reproductive rights, HIV/AIDS, civic participation, environmental protection, gender equity, and indigenous rights, among others. Since 2004, she has been responsible for developing scripts, conducting interviews, and coordinating a team of announcers and correspondents for Minga’s radio program, Bienvenida Salud. In 2008, she won a competitive scholarship from the InterAmerican Development Bank to study English, Sustainable Rural Tourism, and Marketing in Texas. In Loreto, she is part of a multidisciplinary team addressing issues of poverty throughout the region.

MARCELA VALDEAVELLANO - FICE PROGRAM COORDINATOR

Marcela Valdeavellano has ten years of experience as a graphic designer, trainer, and program coordinator. She is responsible for organizing international training events, including conducting needs assessments, coordinating with partners, and arranging logistics. In addition to co-facilitating workshops, she provides tailored follow-on assistance to partners and assists in evaluation and monitoring. Marcela’s specialty is assisting partners to design and disseminate compelling educational materials related to HIV/AIDS prevention, citizen participation, sexual and reproductive rights, and others.

MARITA CALDERON - COMMUNICATOR

Marita is a social communicator and digital media expert with seven years of experience in branding, social media strategies, digital photography, magazine editing, and social projects. She has worked with the National Commission on Truth and Reconciliation and has coached university students to design and evaluate social responsibility projects. Marita has a degree in Communications and Media Relations from Il Sole 24 Ore (Milan Italy), a Communications Degree from the PUCP University in Perú, and a Philosophy Degree from FTPCL.

CESAR BERMÚDEZ - RADIO PRODUCTION MANAGER

Cesar Bermúdez is a sound engineer, musician, composer and entrepreneur. Fascinated by the culture and art of the Amazon, Cesar has lived in the Amazon since 2005. He has worked for many years to support children living in vulnerable conditions. At Minga, he is in charge of radio and sound production, coordination with local radio stations and maintaining community loudspeakers.

JOHNNY HUAMAN - ACCOUNTANT

Johnny received his Bachelor’s degree in Financial and Accounting Science and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the National Federico Villarreal University in Lima, Peru. Johnny has more than 15 years of experience in accounting and financial management for nonprofit organizations and the private sector. He has worked at Minga since 2005.

ANA LUCÍA RAMOS - DIGITAL PLATFORMS RESPONSIBLE

Ana Lucia is a profesional advertiser, and she has been working for five years on advertising campaigns, corporate communication strategies, as well as brands building and development in various communication platforms. He has worked in advertising agencies like Joe Quispe and Youpanqui BBDO. She holds a bachelor's degree in Communication and Advertising from the Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas (UPC), and then studied an intensive course in Advertising Creativity at Underground school (Buenos Aires, Argentina).

filly mautahuari

FILLY MAUTAHUARI - SCRIPTWRITER AT 'BIENVENIDA SALUD' RADIO PROGRAM

With two years working on radio, Filly has been trained for radial communication. She worked presenting ballad music shows, recording advertising spots and radial ads. She has also developed as news reporter at Iquitos city, and as host of the LVS - La Voz de la Selva radio.

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sindy jean

SINDY JEAN - PRODUCTIVE PROJECTS ASSISTANT

Sindy supports the productive projects on agroforestry and familiar fish farm systems at the Marañon river communities. She has a bachelor degree in Tropical Forest Ecology at the Universidad Nacional de la Amazonía Peruana (UNAP). She has developed as a forest ranger volunteer at the Reserva Nacional Pacaya Samiria in service for the National Service of Natural Areas Protected by the State (SERNANP). She obtained her degree with a thesis about the fiber obtaining and dyeing process of the Astrocaryum Chambira Chambira at the Bora de Brillo Nuevo community in Loreto, Peru.

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our advisors

pascual aquituari fachin

PASCUAL AQUITUARI FACHIN

Pascual is a Kukama teacher who was born in Lupuna, a Kukama community founded by his grandfathers. Lupuna is just 20 minutes from Iquitos, the bigger city in the peruvian Amazon. Pascual works as teacher and researcher in projects about documentation and revival of languages, knowledge and ancestral wisdom from Kukama people - Kukamilla and other amazonian cultures.

ALEXA VERME
Alexa has been passionate about women’s empowerment since she was a young girl whose dream was to become an obstetrician. Alexa graduated with a B.A. in Anthropology from Yale University in May 2008 and is currently pursuing a Master of Public of Administration at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. Prior to graduate school, she taught in China, worked for Deloitte in Washington, DC, and volunteered full-time on a New York mayoral campaign in 2013. She became involved with Minga Peru in May 2014 and visited its offices in Lima and Iquitos in August 2014. During her visit, she conducted in-depth interviews with promotoras and corresponsales about Minga Peru’s impact and wrote an article about Minga’s approach to human rights.

our interns

JULIE RASK - MULTIMEDIA DESIGNER (2016)

Julie Rask is a multimedia designer from Denmark and volunteered for Minga Peru redesigning their website and contributing the the definition of the visual identity of the organization.

Julie is originally from Copenhagen, Denmark and volunteered with Minga for her final project in multimedia design.

FRANCISCO CAMACHO - Expert in IT Information Technology

Awarded professional with over 30 years of experience as a technology project leader, responsible for implementing a wide variety of enterprise information systems. Over 15 years of teaching experience at the university level in Information Technology, Physics, and Engineering, holder of numerous professional IT accreditations, and member of the exclusive Phi Kappa Phi. Associate Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts and Science IADAS. Highly educated with over 3,000 training hours in management and Information Technology.

ARYTOM PROZHERIN - WEB DESIGNER (2014)
Artyom Prozherin is a human rights activist with expertise in website development, software systems and digital modeling. As an intern at Minga, he helped to create and strengthen Minga’s web site, promotional brochures, and technology systems. He continues to provide support to Minga and its partners as needed. Originally from Russia, he lives in Oakland, California, where he offers pro bono assistance to international nonprofits.

KETETHA OLENGUE - SOCIAL MEDIA, COMMUNICATION AND DEVELOPMENT SPECIALIST
Ketetha Olengue is from Dallas, TX and a graduate of Southern Methodist University (SMU). She joined us through SMU’s Embrey Human Right Program’s Community Outreach Fellowship. Her role at Minga Peru is working to strengthen grassroots campaigns and international relationships. Her 6-month internship included working remotely from SMU throughout the Spring and then finishing up for 1 month in the Lima headquarters. On-site, Ketetha will conduct technology trainings within the Minga team and help strengthen Minga Peru’s technology infrastructure. Some of her projects include organizing Minga Peru’s database and donation system, launching the first monthly Minga newsletter, updating and translating the website, and helping facilitate the creation of the third Ecuador booklet.

GLADYS CHÁVEZ - AUDIOVISUAL EXPERT

Gladys has been in charge of the technical analysis of videos that many grassroot organizations have produced. In some cases, it was their first time making a video. She is an expert and a volunteer. Gladys is a communications professor at Universidad de Lima and has a master’s degree in Communications.

NATASHA LLEWELYN

Natasha is a GAP student from England who is currently spending two months volunteering at Minga’s headquarters in Lima and in the Peruvian Amazon. She is helping perfect Minga’s website, and supporting its social media campaign, using her English and Spanish skills to create a platform of international support. Natasha will study English Literature and Spanish at St Andrew’s University, Scotland, starting in September. She is deeply interested in communications for social change, and hopes to contribute to the field throughout her studies and subsequent career.