Who are we?

The team that operates the program and makes the important decisions:
Violeta Barrios de Chamorro Foundation

Violeta Barrios de Chamorro Foundation, is a nonprofit organization that has the mission of the preservation of a culture of reconciliation, peace and democracy through education, freedom of speech and activities that reduce poverty levels in the most impoverished sectors of Nicaragua. To learn more about the Violeta Barrios de Chamorro Foundation, see its webpage here.


Emma Marina López

Program Administrator

Our administrator is in charge of all the logistical functions of Mentores Solidarios. These include (but are not limited to): collecting payments from mentors, making payments to the schools, picking up students’ grades from their schools, sending these grades to mentors and following up with all the students and mentors in the program.

She has over 10 years of experience working with the Violeta Barrios de Chamorro Foundation in educational and social development programs.


Director
The Director is responsible for the overall management of the program and ensures the adequate execution of several strategic and operational activities.

Antonio Lacayo Chamorro

Director

Having been inspired by a classmate of his in the American Nicaraguan School (Leonardo Díaz) and by a mentorship program he was closely involved with at Princeton University, Antonio decided to start Mentores Solidarios when he finished his college career. Antonio studied Engineering and Public Policy in college and then worked two and a half years at McKinsey, a leading management consulting firm, in Mexico City. Antonio has a Masters in Public Administration / International Development (MPA/ID) at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) at Harvard Business School.

Executive Committee
The Executive Committee of the Mentores Solidarios Program is made up of professionals that have been working closely with the development of the program. The Committee exists to take the overall decisions of the program and provide support to the Manager and Administrator in strategic and operational topics.

Nicolás Argüello

Nicolás has been fundamental for the creation and growth of Mentores Solidarios since its inception. He has varied experience in the field of international development, having worked for several NGOs in Latin America and Kenya. Nicolás holds a BA in economics and theology from the University of Notre Dame, and an MPA in international development from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Administration (SIPA) in New York. He is currently doing an MBA at the University of Oxford on a Skoll Scholarship.

Gustavo A. Cárdenas

Gustavo, one of the first mentors of the program, has been essential in securing new mentors and defining the ideal relationship between the mentor and the student. Gustavo currently works at Hamilton Lane focused on Private Equity investments. He studied economics at Harvard and later worked in investment banking in New York with Bank of America and later doing consulting and M&A in Central America with Mesoamerica. He has a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

María Teresa Chamorro

Maria Teresa is the Student-Mentor Relations coordinator of Mentores Solidarios. Prior to joining the Mentores team, she interned at the National Endowment for Democracy, where she managed projects dealing with youth and democracy. She has also been part of non-profits focused in education. Maria Teresa graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown University, where she studied International Relations and Theology. She is currently finishing a Masters in Development Management at the London School of Economics. 

Ligiandrea Abdalah