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.



Laura Giadorou Koch, JD and LLM – CEO, Dolium SA, the first winery in Latin America with a “B Corp Certificate” and awarded in 2014 & 2016 “The Best for the World in Environment” by B  At Young Presidents Organization (YPO), she is Chair for the Social Engagement Networks Council. She serves on non-profit boards: Eye to Eye National, Think Equal and Million Peacemakers; and in the advisory boards of Grameen Prima Care, Impakt, Ignite Power and BUILD. Also she is member of the Economic Club of New York, Women Corporate Directors, and Financial Women Association.  In addition, she serves as Ashoka Senior Advisor and gives talks on Social Entrepreneurship at several universities: NYU, Columbia University and Fordham U.  Laura serves as Senior Editor for e-AboutMicrofinance, and has published reports and articles for the United Nations, Huffington Post, Wall Street Journal, Real Leaders Magazine and Argentine newspapers.  Prior to the above, she practiced corporate law on Wall Street for practically two decades specializing in cross-border transactions for Latin American and European clients.

Nuestro Equipo



Eliana Elias brings over 25 years of experience applying strategic communication to create radio programs, empower indigenous women, and partner with grassroots organizations, local governments, and schools to create sustainable social change in the Peruvian Amazon, as well as in Latin America and the Caribbean.

In 1998, Ms. Elias co-founded Minga Perú, an award-winning model for communication and participation in social change. In 2010, after 12 years of successfully implementing the model with women and their communities in the Peruvian Amazon, she created the systematized strategic communications training program, FICE (Spanish acronym – Institutional Strengthening for Strategic Communications). Through FICE, she has trained the strategic communication skills of over 90 NGOs, grassroots organizations, and networks in Peru, Ecuador, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras, and the Commonwealth of Dominica, promoting gender equity, sustainable development, and conservation. Her groundbreaking work has been presented at the National Geographic Explorers Festival in Mexico City, the University of El Paso–Texas, the Clinton School for Public Service, and Funders without Borders, among others. Most recently, she has been selected as a keynote speaker at the 2020 International Social and Behavior Change Communication Summit in Marrakech, Morocco, to talk about transformational change through Minga and FICE experience in the region. She also underwent a one-week training to become an accredited master trainer of Heartlines’ What’s Your Story? facilitation method by the Centre for Values Promotion in South Africa.

In recognition of her innovative work in the social field, she has been elected as a National Geographic Society Explorer, a lifetime Ashoka Fellow, and the first international recipient of the Embrey Human Rights Program “Triumph of the Spirit” award.



Luis Gonzalez 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. Gonzalez 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.



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.



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



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.



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.



Barbara Faulkenberry is a senior executive with significant and diverse accomplishments across sectors ranging from aerospace/defense to transportation/logistics to executive/leadership development. Her experiences include strategic planning, international negotiations, risk assessment, governmental affairs, leadership development/succession planning, and supply chain management. Barbara is an independent director of two public companies and a board member of four non-profit organizations.  Barbara has led organizations as diverse as a 37,000-person global air logistics operation to the Air Force’s sole leadership development college for officers. An accomplished athlete, Barbara brings collaboration, communications, and a winning attitude into all endeavors.



Christine is a renowned senior executive with over 40 years of experience in public relations, fundraising, donor relations, communications, writing, illustrating, board training and program development.  She has worked as Executive Director and Director of Donor Relations, Fundraising, Public Relations, and Development of important entities of the United States such as Butler University, Indianapolis Zoological Society, Inc., St. Vincent New Hope, and St. Vincent Hospital Foundation.  Throughout her experience, she has served as board member and/or president of well-respected social organizations such as Broad Ripple Village Association, Committee for Historic Broad Ripple and Indiana Native Plant Society; she was also a founder and served twice as president of the Indiana Chapter of the National Society of Fund Raising Executives.  Christine holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from Butler University and has studied at the John Herron School of Art as well as the Indianapolis Art Center.  Currently, she works independently as a writer, illustrator, and not-for-profit consultant.



Dr. Ruth Oratz is a leader of modern medicine and is an innovative oncological specialist in the fight against breast cancer around the world.  She has over 30 years of experience in the development of flexible treatment programs to combat this type of cancer in all its stages, including how to address concerns about managing family life, career, relationships, and sexuality during the treatment process.  Dr. Oratz is Professor of Clinical Medicine at the New York University School of Medicine and is on the Faculty of NYU Langone Health.  Ruth has also served as an attending physician at many prestigious health institutions in the United States, such as Bellevue Hospital, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, New York University (NYU) Medical Center, Rose Medical Center, and Lenox Hill Hospital.  Ruth teaches medicine and oncology at the NYU School of Medicine where she also serves as President of the Advisory Board of the Bellevue Literary Review, a literary journal of health and the human condition.  Dr. Oratz is an advisor to several national breast cancer advocacy organizations, including, Living Beyond Breast Cancer, CancerCare, Young Survival Coalition, Moving For Life and Sharsheret.  Dr. Oratz served as Chair of the Medical  Advisory Board of Susan G. Komen, Greater NYC, from 2008–2012, and on the National Board of the YWCA, USA.  She was named “Physician of the Year” by CancerCare.  Dr. Oratz has been recognized in “The Best Doctors in America” and “The Best Doctors in NYC.” She is active both locally and nationally as a speaker and healthcare educator, appearing on television and radio as well as lecturing to the public.  She has been the recipient of numerous prestigious awards like the Clinical Fellowship Award, National Research Service Award, NYU Kaplan Cancer Center Research Fellow Award, Career Development Award, & the Clinical Teaching Award.  In 2005, CancerCare named her Physician of the Year, and 4 years later, Israel Cancer Research Fund named her as a Women of Action Honoree.  In addition, she has been considered as one of America’s Top Doctors for 8 consecutive years.  Ruth Oratz holds a Medical Degree from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, along with specializations in hematology and oncology at the NYU School of Medicine. Since 2002, she holds a Certificate in Bioethics & Medical Humanities at Montefiore Medical Center & NYU.



Kate Raftery currently serves as the Director for Service Innovation at Peace Corps. Previous to this, Kate was the Country Director for Peace Corps Paraguay. Prior to her role in Paraguay, Kate was the Program Team Lead in the Office of the Director for the Sexual Assault Risk Reduction and Response at Peace Corps. Kate served as the Director of the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC). NCCC engages 2,800 young people 18-24 years of age in a 10-month national service experience. She also served as the Vice President for Learning and Citizenship at the International Youth Foundation where she worked with young people across the globe to increase their participation in political dialogue and community service. In addition to her current position Kate has held various positions at Peace Corps including Chief of Operations for Inter-America and the Pacific Region and Country Director in Honduras, Peru and the Eastern Caribbean. Kate began her journey with Peace Corps as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Paraguay in the early ‘70s.

Kate was introduced to Minga Peru when she was Peace Corps Director in Peru. She was impressed by the commitment and dedication of the staff and the breadth of the impact Minga’s programs were having throughout Peru and the region. Since 2002 Kate has supported Minga staff and introduced Minga’s work to as many people as she can.Kate conoció a Minga Perú cuando era Directora del Cuerpo de Paz en Perú. Le impresionó el compromiso y la dedicación del equipo y la amplitud del impacto que los programas de Minga estaban teniendo en todo el Perú y la región. Desde 2002, Kate ha apoyado al equipo de Minga y ha introducido el trabajo de Minga a la mayor cantidad de personas posible.


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.



Omar is the General Director of the Yoga Peru Foundation and comes to support our Minga team in techniques and tools of self-management of health based on yoga, psychotherapy, meditation, nutritional logic and assertive communication. Omar has more than 10 years of experience in yoga facilitating these techniques and training yoga therapists through the YOGA Peru Foundation. At Minga, he is in charge of the weekly sessions of coaching and advising in the area of well-being and health.

Omar studied Social Project Design at the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú and holds certificates in Meditation and Psychology from Harvard University, and several yoga teacher certificates from Kripalu Center, Inbound Yoga School, and Samadhi Yoga Therapy Institute.




Jennifer M. Bienemann has an extensive record of fundraising and administrative success as a key staff member in non-profit organizations. Over the past 25 years, Jenny has worked closely with Board, administrative, and community leaders to establish and execute comprehensive contributed income strategies that advance the organization’s ability to fulfill its mission. In addition to crafting strategy and participating in high-dollar solicitations, building the pipeline of potential major gifts contributors, advancing annual fund initiatives and overseeing special events, Jenny’s professional experience encompasses committee work, including Development, Major Gifts, Gala, and Nominating/Board Development, through which she facilitates the process of new Board member identification, cultivation, stewardship. She has served as a grant panelist for the Illinois Arts Council, and as a featured presenter at the Theatre Communication Group’s National Conference and Fall Forum, Folk Alliance International and Folk Alliance Midwest, and The Arts and Business Council of Chicago.



Patrick is a Peace Corps Response Volunteer, and the first to serve in the Peruvian Amazon. He supports Minga Perú in researching, identifying, assessing, and developing a sustainable educative tourism program at Minga’s Amazon office. He studied History at the State University of New York at Cortland and attained a Master’s degree in Public Administration at the City College of New York. Prior, from 2016-2018, Patrick served as a Peace Corps Community Economic Development Volunteer in Paraguay, where he was Director of Marketing and Creative Content for the national initiative Jóvenes Por Paraguay (JOPA) with a mission to develop leadership skills, civic engagement, and gender equality in underserved youth amongst his other responsibilities in the community of San Ignacio.



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.



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.


Sara is from Corpus Christi, Texas and a graduate of Harvard University where she studied Social Studies and Global Health & Health Policy. She has experience working with child nutrition in Texas, mental health in Boston, violence against women in Mauritius, maternal health in Tanzania, water sanitation in Bolivia, Zika in Nicaragua, and tuberculosis in northern Lima. Sara is working with Minga Peru’s sustainability projects and is also a Fulbright Fellow in Peru researching the impact of Minga’s community empowerment and storytelling initiatives.


Brittany is a communications professional with a bachelor’s degree in African American Studies from Temple University. She has experience working in the nonprofit sector in different areas, including grant compliance, event management, and communications. From 2015 to 2017, she worked as a Youth Development Specialist in the community of Bagua Capital, Amazonas, Peru. She loves Peruvian food and Lima culture.


Anna is currently working towards obtaining her bachelor’s degree in Media Production, with a specialization in audio at Ryerson University in Toronto. She has been a volunteer at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and had a radio program at her university for two semesters. She has always loved the radio and everything related to audio. She is very proud to be part of Minga as a professional volunteer to support in the production of our radio program “Bienvenida Salud” while she learns about the social impact of radio in the Amazonian communities.


Joel is a graduate of Ricardo Palma University in Translation and Interpretation with fluency in French and English. Joel has previously worked as a freelance translator and is currently supporting Minga with the translation of our radio program “Bienvenida Salud”.


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.


Ryan Mitchell studied Geography and French at Mount Allison University in New Brunswick, Canada. Since graduating, he has been involved with various internationally-focused nonprofit organizations in volunteer and internship roles, mostly in his home state of Massachusetts. He has been working as a Development Assistant for YouthBuild USA, an organization focused on helping disadvantaged young people continue their education and prepare for careers. Ryan enjoys writing, biking, reading, traveling, and foosbal.


Hana is a social and humanitarian studies student at Palacký University Olomouc in the Czech Republic. She is currently completing her three-month internship in the Loreto region by supporting Minga’s women leadership training program. Hana studied abroad in Costa Rica as an exchange student and she also worked in the embassy of the Czech Republic in Mexico as a trainee.



Caron is a professional with a Masters in Business Administration and a bachelor’s degree in Fashion Design. She has over 5 years of experience in national and international business, including project design, graphic design, marketing, and customer service. She has worked with Peace Corps Peru as a specialist in Community Economic Development in the community of Chacas, Ancash, Peru. Nowadays, she lives in Lima, Peru.


Dana is a fourth year medical student at theUniversidad Cientifica del Sur.
She was motivated to join Minga as a volunteer to learn more about the health situation in Peru. Given her studies mainly focus on diagnosing illnesses and their cures, by being a part of Minga, she has gained a new perspective and now sees the importance of different approaches, such as preventive care and promoting healthy habits.


Leah is an audiovisual student currently finishing her bachelor’s degree in film at Oberlin College. She has experience creating films for publicity and her work has been used primarily support for fundraising efforts with non-profit organizations. Aside from her studies in the United States and working on various documentaries in the Ohio area, Leah has studied abroad at Prague Film School where she collaborated in the creation of over 15 short films. She’s grateful to have been given the opportunity to volunteer with Minga in Iquitos and excited to produce content to showcase its work.


Madeline is a Peace Corps Response Volunteer serving for the first time in Peru supporting Minga as a Women’s Leadership and Sustainable Livelihoods Training Specialist. She has over 40 years of experience in community and organizational development spanning the non-profit, governmental, and health and social services sectors. Madeline has advised non-profits and governmental agencies on program and process improvement, board and executive leadership, and strategy and business development. She served 8 years as an elected council member, 1 year as mayor of Novato, California, in 2007- 2015. In addition, she has served as a Peace Corps volunteer for 27 months in Guatemala, living and working in an indigenous Maya community in the Western Highlands.


Clint is a Peace Corps Response Volunteer supporting Minga Peru with the Minga Tour and FICE programs as a Business Growth and Ecotourism Specialist. He received a doctorate in Ecology from the University of California at Davis. Clint previously worked in the San Francisco Bay Area of California as a biological consultant reporting on the effects of particular projects on sensitive biological resources such as endangered species and special vegetation). A year ago, he returned from a two-year service in the Peace Corps in the highlands of Guatemala where he worked teaching indigenous middle school students topics such as critical thinking, gender, self-esteem, and identity.

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