I am passionate about
My biggest passion is the intersection of youth development, violence prevention and technology. My country's young population is fertile ground for innovation and productivity but also for violence and gang proliferation. I'm passionate about providing youth with the right tools to amplify the first. I've been a witness of how technology can empower youth to discover their true potential, whether it is remixing a popular song on an open source platform, learning coding skills from a safe space in their barrios or mapping their community's assets using via SMS or through a smartphone app. I'm also committed to pair the use of technology with wraparound services necessary for real change in youth's lives, such as family services, training, livelihood opportunities and psycho-social support. If we cleverly manage to intersect technology, positive youth development and violence prevention, we will move closer to safer, more resilient communities in El Salvador and Central America.
Since 2009, I've tried to serve Salvadoran youth from different places. I realized my passion when I first served as a volunteer and founding member of the Jovenes Contra la Violencia (Youth Against Violence Movement) - El Salvador. A group committed to push the government to adopt more youth violence prevention policies through national youth dialogues transformed in policy recommendations. In 2013, I was appointed to be the first Executive Director of the Municipal Youth Institute of the city of San Salvador. Working with very little resources, we managed to leverage more than 200,00 euros to implement youth entrepreneurship programs through international cooperation. The same year, I was awarded a 25K grant from the US State Dept. to implement the "Sivar Productions" project, aimed to train opportunity youth from San Salvador on multimedia skills, soft skills and job readiness training to support their insertion to the workplace, graduating a cohort of 40 youth, still engaged in learning, higher ed and entrepreneurial activities. I lived in Washington, D.C. for a year working at Creative Associates International, advising the Communities in Transition division on how to leverage technologies for improved citizen security, countering violent extremism, governance and stabilization programs. I currently work for CREA, a local Creative Associates subsidiary in El Salvador, leading the Central America Technology, Innovation and Creativity strategy for the company, conducting R&D for pilot initiatives combining Creative's 41 years of experience in International Development with new trends in innovation, collaborative learning and co-design.