International Committee of the Vive con Esperanza Award

The International Committee is a collaborative body that brings together exceptional individuals and international, governmental, and non-governmental institutions committed to promoting Education for Sustainable Development and Disaster Risk Reduction in the Americas.


Its goal is to empower schools to become proactive agents in the transition towards more sustainable and resilient development models, integrating them within the framework of the Continental Rally. Additionally, it includes leading schools from the Continental Rally that play a crucial role in evaluating and organizing international-level actions, sharing their experiences with other schools.


Under the leadership of figures as Mrs. Sonia Mora Escalante, former Minister of Education of Costa Rica, the Committee has demonstrated exemplary leadership. With the active involvement of high-level leaders, it has strengthened its mission and fostered significant partnerships for sustainable and resilient development in the Americas through the Continental Rally.

Mr. Fernando Garcia Garcia

Founding member of the Vive con Esperanza Foundation, is passionate about the education of children and young people, focused on building a viable future for current and future generations. He is currently the President of the International Committee, in charge of the Continental Rally, as well as International Relations, School Engagement, Volunteering, Educational Programs, and Exhibitions.


Fernando is a results-oriented professional in international projects, specializing in alliance management and the implementation of long-term strategic objectives. With a background in Psychology and expertise in International Cooperation and Development Project Management, he has extensive experience in Education for Sustainable Development, Disaster Risk Management, and Corporate Social Responsibility at local, national, and international levels.


He has played key roles in Vive con Esperanza, leveraging his knowledge in Youth Education, Sustainability, Management of International Organizations, Online Platforms, and Design.


Fernando collaborates with partners such as the OAS, UNDRR, UNEP, as well as National Ministries of Education and Environment in the region, ensuring alignment with their objectives and fostering Education for Sustainable Development and Disaster Risk Management across the Americas.

Mrs. Rocio Galvis Guerrero

Rocío Galvis Guerrero is an exceptional leader with a distinguished track record in both public and private management, with a special focus on sustainable development and social responsibility.


Rocío Galvis holds a degree in Business Administration with a strong background in Sustainability Studies, which reflects her commitment to addressing contemporary challenges from a comprehensive and long-term perspective.


As the former Executive Director of the Vive con Esperanza Foundation, Rocío led with passion and strategic vision efforts to provide support and assistance to vulnerable communities. Under her leadership, the foundation experienced significant growth and successfully impacted the lives of numerous individuals, thanks to her ability to mobilize resources and foster collaboration among various stakeholders.


Currently, Rocío Galvis plays a crucial role as the Financial Director of the International Committee of the Vive con Esperanza Award. In this capacity, she diligently oversees all financial and administrative aspects related to this prestigious initiative. Her ability to efficiently manage resources and her focus on transparency and accountability ensure the ongoing success of the International Committee and the promotion of core values such as equity and social justice.

Mrs. Aurora Zegarra Huapaya

Coordinator of the Washington DC Exhibition Group, that include Expo, Parallel Activities and Interamerican Heritage. She Coordinates also Official National Based Participations.



Experienced Specialist in Disaster Risk Management, Communication, and Environmental Education with 9 years of expertise in the Education Sector and 19 years of experience in managing Community and Environmental Education programs and projects in both public and private institutions.



Previously served as the Head of the National Defense and Disaster Risk Management Office at the Ministry of Education, acting as the Technical Secretary of the Sector’s Disaster Risk Management Working Group and Chief of the MINEDU Emergency Operations Center. Responsible for developing the Budget Program for Vulnerability Reduction and Disaster Emergency Response (PREVAED 0068 – Safe Schools), and for enhancing the capacities of the most vulnerable educational communities in disaster risk reduction. Also involved in training the Education Sector’s Response Team at the national level.



Serves as a consultant for organizations including the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Spanish International Cooperation Agency – SERNANP, MINEDU, MINAM, and UNICEF.


Mr. Carlos Andujar Persinel

Dominican sociologist, researcher, and cultural leader, leads the Washington exhibition in the International Committee of the Vive con Esperanza Award, focusing on promoting the Americas culture and heritage.

Mr. Andújar has served as Director General of the Museum of Man of the Dominican Republic and is currently the Director General of Museums for the Ministry of Culture. He is also an associated researcher at FLACSO.

Highly respected teacher and writer, covering topics ranging from anthropology to poetry. His literary contributions have earned national and internationa recognitions.

Mr Andujar is a distinguished figure in the Caribbean intellectual circles, known for his contributions to cultural preservation and discourse.

Mrs. Maria Mercedes Brito-Feliz

María Mercedes Brito-Feliz is a prominent leader and advocate for education for sustainable development in the Americas region. Her commitment and experience in the fields of education and culture have made her an influential figure in promoting initiatives for positive change in the dominican society.



As the former Secretary-General of the Dominican National Commission for UNESCO, María Mercedes Brito-Feliz played a crucial role in promoting education for sustainable development and disaster risk reduction in the region. Her leadership in this institution enabled her to drive innovative initiatives and create collaboration networks that have had a positive impact on communities across the continent.



In her current role in the International Committee, María Mercedes Brito-Feliz is responsible for parallel activities of the Continental Rally and its declaration as Inter-American Heritage. Her dedication and commitment to this cause are evident in every step she takes, and her experience and knowledge make her an indispensable figure for the success of this initiative.

Mrs. Renata Teodori de la Puente

Renata Teodori is a prominent figure in the field of education and community development, currently serving as the National Youth Director from the Education Ministry (MINEDU), in Peru. With over two decades of experience in education, she brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her role.


Mrs. Teodori previously held positions such as Submanager of Education at the Metropolitan Municipality of Lima and Director of School Promotion, Culture, and Sports at the Ministry of Education of Peru. In these roles, she spearheaded initiatives to promote art, culture, and heritage preservation through various programs in the Peruvian education system. Mrs. Teodori has also been involved in coordinating cultural events, supporting museums, and advocating for the preservation of cultural heritage.


As the leader of the Peruvian national participation in the Continental Rally, Mrs. Teodori plays a pivotal role in empowering schools to become proactive agents in sustainable and resilient development models. Her dedication to education and community engagement has made her a respected leader in her field, driving positive change and fostering partnerships for sustainable development across the Americas through the Continental Rally.

Mss. Elga Velasquez

Elga Velásquez serves as the Partnership Engagement Coordinator at the International Committee of the Vive con Esperanza Award, and she has been the Executive Director of Apoidea – Sustainable Solutions in Argentina since April 2013. 


Furthermore, she is a Co-Founder of Conexión Circular, a Spanish-language podcast on Circular Economy and sustainable lifestyles. She also serves as President and Executive Director of the Sustainable Development Foundation since June 2019, leading education, research, and fieldwork projects for sustainable development.


Elga Velásquez has held prominent roles such as General Coordinator of Green Drinks Córdoba, Freelance Columnist at PAP, and Co-Founder of, among others. Her experience includes project coordination, event organization, and training on sustainability topics, as well as advocacy for Circular Economy and Corporate Social Responsibility.

Mrs. Sandra Grohe

Sandra is Brazilian, holds a Ph.D. in Education from the University of Rio dos Sinos – UNISINOS; a Master’s degree in Education from the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul – PUCRS; a Specialist degree in Environmental Education from the Federal University of Rio Grande – FURG; a Specialist degree in Psychopedagogy from the Brazilian Institute of Post-Graduate Studies – IBPEX; a Bachelor’s degree in Pedagogy from the University of the Region of Campanha – URCAMP; completed her teaching training at Colégio Santa Teresa de Jesus. 


She is a Pedagogical Advisor at the Municipal Department of Education – SMED, in the municipality of São Leopoldo/RS, coordinating the Education for Sustainability Program in the City – PESC. She is a member of the Municipal Council for the Environment – COMDEMA and the Municipal Council for Food and Nutritional Security – COMSEA of São Leopoldo/RS. Sandra participates in the Research Group on Education, Diversity, and Citizenship (CNPQ) – UNISINOS. 


She is a member of the ARAUCÁRIAS Network for Environmental Education in the Campos de Cima da Serra and Hortênsias – UERGS. She collaborates with the Poetic Listening Group – UFRGS. Her research interests include Environmental Education, Scientific Initiation, Sustainable Schools, Environmentalization, Public Policies, Urbanism, Inequalities, and Sustainable Cities.

Mss. Alinne Olvera Martinez

Alinne Olvera Martinez is a dynamic leader in strategic relationship management, currently serving as the Strategic Relationship Leader at the International Committee. 


With a background in Earth Sciences, Alinne brings extensive international experience in interdisciplinary projects focused on Comprehensive Risk Assessment and socio-economic damage estimation from disasters. Specializing in Territorial Management, Post-Disaster Damage Assessment, and financial mechanisms for sustainable development, Alinne’s expertise is complemented by her exceptional decision-making skills derived from a deep understanding of social behavior.


Notably, she has represented Mexico at various international forums, including the International Youth Development Conference (INDEX) and has served in key roles such as the Focal Point for the Americas and the Caribbean for the Constitution of Youth and Children for Sustainable Communities (CYCSC). Alinne has also contributed significantly to global efforts in disaster risk reduction, collaborating with organizations such as UNDRR and participating in youth declarations on DRR worldwide.


Through internships and fellowships with prestigious institutions like the World Bank Group and the Caribbean Development Bank, she has further honed her expertise in disaster risk management and sustainable development.

Mrs. Laura Paredes Gamarra

Mrs. Laura Paredes is the  Communications Leader at the International Committee of the Vive con Esperanza Award. She is a Communication Sciences professional with experience in the public sector, specializing in communication with a results-oriented approach.



She possesses a high sense of social responsibility, group management skills, and a willingness to take on great  challenges. She is an empathetic individual capable of developing social skills to achieve the institution’s objectives and goals. 



With a rich professional background, Laura has held various positions, including Technical Specialist at the Congress of the Republic of Peru, Communication Specialist at the Seguro Integral de Salud, Communications Specialist in Disaster Risk Management at Sedapal, and Communications Coordinator at the Ministry of Education of Peru.



In these roles, she has demonstrated her expertise in communication planning, media relations, and the development of communication materials. Laura’s commitment to her work and her ability to effectively communicate complex ideas make her a valuable asset to any organization.

Mrs. Carmen del Pilar Rivera

Mrs. RiveraTejeda is an innovative lawyer and leader in copyright law, currently heading the exhibition working group in Washington DC. With a solid academic background, Carmen is a graduate of the National University of San Marcos and holds a Master’s degree in Labor Law and Social Security from the University of La Rioja in Madrid, Spain. Additionally, she has postgraduate studies in Criminal Sciences, Constitutional Law, and Public Management, demonstrating her commitment to excellence and specialization in various areas of law.


With over two decades of professional experience, including roles in both the public and private sectors, Carmen has excelled in a wide range of legal specialties, from criminal and administrative law to human rights and international humanitarian law. Her career includes 9 years in positions of trust, demonstrating her management and leadership abilities in challenging situations.


Carmen is recognized for her initiative, exceptional communication skills, and ability to work under pressure, making her a key asset to our team. Her commitment to copyright protection and innovative approach to problem-solving highlight her as a leader in her field.