Jake Jones grew up in the plains and amazon regions of southeastern Colombia where his parents worked as missionaries with SIL International to translate the Bible into local indigenous languages. It is his deep connection with the indigenous land and people that provides the “heart” to the Wájaro Foundation. Jake also offers a great deal of experience with regards to organizational development by virtue of his experience building and managing a successful social enterprise in Indiana. Jake is both a faithful practitioner and advocate of the Christian Church being the principal catalyst for peace, justice and truth in the world.
Lauren Jones is an artist, women’s health educator, outdoors expert, social worker, and mother of four. Prior to arriving to Colombia in 2015, for 13 years Lauren offered her gifts and skills to a holistic ministry to under-resourced communities in East-Central Indiana. Lauren is passionate about living in authentic community with others and caring for populations that mainstream society tends to overlook. Among many things, Lauren offers the Wájaro Foundation technical expertise in leadership, health and arts initiatives, and gender issues.
Isaias Rodriguez is originally from Ibague, Colombia, and has years of experience coordinating social, economic and community development projects in different regions around his home country. Isaias is a lifelong member of the Mennonite Church, where he was formed in the historical and active peacemaking tradition that it boasts. Isaias offers the Wájaro Foundation a broad understanding about the longstanding Colombian armed conflict, the complexity of issues faced by vulnerable population as result of it, and skill navigating the nuances of Colombia’s civil society and public sector.
Nate Howard has over 15 years of experience accompanying humanitarian, economic development, peace building and grassroots political initiatives in Latin America. Rooted in his engagement with indigenous-campesino realities, Nate is committed to encouraging base communities to pool together their local resources in order to overcome common challenges. Nate offers Wájaro a unique blend of praxis, professional experience and conceptual understanding.
Laura Páramo is originally from Buenaventura and is passionate about working to transform the conflictive reality of her home country. Laura is a recent graduate of the National University of Colombia in political science and boasts considerable research experience with indigenous communities in different locations around Colombia. Laura offers Wájaro practical know-how in the facilitation of diaogue, pedagogical methodologies and grant writing.
Javier Márquez, is a social communicator and journalist. For years he has worked with grassroots communities from community work, social development and peace-building in Colombia. He has experience working with intercultural committees whose focus of work is multicultural exchange and learning. From his role, he offers the Wájaro Foundation understanding and skill in multicultural relations with indigenous communities and the work team, along with his contributions in communications that enrich all other areas of work and projects.
Carolina Chaves, originally from Bogota, is a tireless dreamer that seeks to promote in all that she does, the conerstone principles of her Christian faith – love, justice, forgiveness and reconciliation. Carolina has considerable experience in the management and formulation of social projects that aim to transform territories, to raise awareness about the realities of Colombia, to work cooperatively for sustainable community development and the common good.