ProalSUR consultant associates are professionals with more than 15 years of field experience related to international cooperation through development projects. Together with the accumulated knowledge in terms of planning, management, implementation and evaluation of projects they have been able to develop a current, updated understanding of socio-political and economic issues of the American and Caribbean region; in which sustainable human development factors have been the focus of our attention. This understanding also includes a valuable experience related to development processes of policy advocacy in its broadest sense, and the centrality of citizen participation that this entails.
This experience has allowed for a critical-propositive perception with respect to development. Critical in the sense of being able, through a process of lessons learned and experiences in various countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, to compare and contrast what has worked and what has not, and take innovative and purposeful ways to overcome the challenges the community, and the general population, are facing, such as the poverty and inequality that still affect over 180 million people in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Our scope of experience includes countries like Jamaica, Canada, Chile, Honduras, Guatemala, Peru, Bolivia, Costa Rica and El Salvador. We have managed and implemented both bilateral governmental projects and local community projects, in these countries.
ProalSUR consultants view themselves as agents of development, passionate to share their knowledge and service toward initiatives that pursue sustainability, and transformation for real improvement in people’s quality of life. All this within the framework of a regional Latin American and Caribbean perspective; which allows the optimal use of innovation that has been created in recent years through South-South, North-South and South-North cooperation.
ProalSUR Partner Profiles
After studying law at the University of Chile (Chile), and obtaining a Masters in Political Science from the University of Regina (Canada), Mr. Ramirez has been linked to the activities of international cooperation during the past 20 years as Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean of CUSO-VSO, headquartered in Costa Rica. Until May 2011 he had leadership responsibility in the development and implementation of strategic plans for development and cooperation. Earlier, during his residence in Canada between 1976 and 1991, he was involved with human rights and social justice organizations and institutions. Also, he is linked to Canadian and international indigenous movements in the fields of policy advocacy, research and university teaching.
Felipe Melo Rivara
Industrial Engineer from the Universidad de Chile, with a Master degree in Public Management and Governance from The London School of Economics and Political Science (United Kingdom). In addition he holds a diploma Political Science Diploma from the Universidad Alberto Hurtado (Chile).
His work experience includes serving as National Director for the Country Service Program of the Foundation to Overcome Poverty (Chile), and first Director of International Cooperation for the same organization.
Mr. Melo has specialized in leadership and management of project development and social policies, including linking strategies of the PYME sector with large companies. He has developed a strong knowledge base and experience in planning and poverty reduction programs, strengthening of local governments, citizen inclusion and economic development, at the national and sub national level.
Isaac Alvarez Sanchez
Bachelor in Business Administration, Universidad Mayor de San Andres (Bolivia). With a Diploma of in Governability and Political Management from the Universidad del Valle (Bolivia), and George Washington University (USA). He also holds a Diploma in Management, Poverty and Public Policy, Universidad Católica (Bolivia).
His areas of expertise and experience have been developed in the field of Local Economic Development, Human Development in Municipal Management, associated systems, local governments and the financial sector, formulation of guidelines and strategic plans for local and national impact in Bolivia, and with regional projects in Latin America. In recent years Mr. Alvarez has been closely linked to development projects linked to international cooperation, both in methods of citizen participation and inclusion, and strengthening institutional and municipal management.
Santiago Elmudesi Franco
Forestry Engineer, Universidad Austral, Chile, with studies in Industrial Engineering from the Universidad Nacional Pedro Henríquez Ureña, Dominican Republic.
His work experience includes serving as General Manager of the Chiloé Model Forest, Chile; Project Director of the “Conservation and Sustainable Use of globally significant biodiversity in Chiloe;” Provincial Chief of the National Forestry Corporation, Province of Chiloe, Chile, and Executive Secretary of the Patagonia Agro ecological and Rural Development Corporation.
Engineer Elmudesi has developed an extensive expertise and knowledge, at the Latin American level, in the field of participatory land use planning, rural poverty and sustainable management of forest resources, alternative models and optimization of the production chain, marketing and consumption of forest products. At the same time he has participated actively in the development of proposals for biodiversity management and citizen inclusion.
A Quechua descent from Peru, with studies in social anthropology and political science from the University of Costa Rica, and Latin American Studies from the National University of Costa Rica. He has worked and facilitated processes with indigenous communities and organizations in Central America (and in South America) on territorial issues, community mapping, political participation, access to justice, intercultural education and health, and overall human rights of indigenous populations. Mr. Castañeda was Central America Coordinator for the Native Lands Center based in Virginia, USA, from 1999 to 2004. He was a consultant on indigenous rights at the Inter-American Human Rights Institute from 2003 to 2008. He has been a consultant for international development organizations such as CUSO Latin America, the Pan American Health Organization, the United Nations Population Fund, the Amazon Alliance, the Pachamama Foundation in Ecuador, and ACUN of Panama. He has been teaching in the undergraduate and graduate programs at the University for Peace (Costa Rica), University URACCAN (Nicaragua), University Amawtay Wasi (Ecuador), University of Costa Rica, and Chiriqui National University (Panama). Currently he is the Technical Coordinator of the Local Management for Native Peoples’ Program at the State Distance University (Costa Rica).