• María Pacheco

    Ms. Pacheco is founder of Kiej de los Bosques and co-founder of Communities of the Earth, NGO. She is a biologist and holds a Master’s Degree in Agriculture from Cornell University. Throughout her career, she has developed various empowerment enter- prises (forestry, fiber, and fashion accessories, among others) in rural communities of Guatemala, El Salvador, Mexico and Panama. Ms Pacheco has served as a consultant for the United Nations Foundation, Inter-American Development Bank and the World Bank, to list a few. She was the co-creator of the Programa de Desarrollo Económico desde lo Rural (Rural Economic Development Program) that was financed through a US$60 million loan for Guatemala. This program impacted more than 200 business networks and benefited more than 200,000 people. Furthermore, she participates in the Vital Voices Global Partnership and the Central-American Leadership Network (CALI) of the Aspen Institute.


  • Queta Rodríguez

    Ms. Rodriguez is Director of Kiej de los Bosques and Communities of the Earth NGO, and co-founder of the Wakami brand. She is an entrepreneur with more than 20 years of experience, with expertise in management, trade, and systematization of economic and financial information for rural groups. Ms Rodriguez has distinguished herself in business forecasting and creation, developing operation manuals, processes, business plans and trading strategies, as well as in the design and management of workshops and activities that promote human and business development.


  • Ligia Chinchilla

    Ms. Chinchilla is Partner and General Manager of Kiej de los Bosques S.A. She holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration, and more than 30 years of experience as manager and consultant for businesses, trade union organizations, and partnerships in Latin America, such as: the World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), United Nations, Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI), to list a few. She was a member of the faculty of the Central American Institute of Business Administration (INCAE), where she also functioned as Deputy Director of the Small, Medium, and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs).


  • Hugo Cabrera

    Mr. Cabrera is a development and business consultant in rural communities. Mr. Cabrera holds a Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations, and additional studies in international business and leadership. He has more than 17 years of experience in the promotion of rural businesses and sustainable development through the execution, management, supervision, and assessment of market-led projects. His areas of exper- tise include the development of alliances between private enterprises and producers in rural communities, income generation for poverty areas, support to SMMEs, local economic development, business incubation, production sequencing, inclusive busi- nesses, public-private partnerships, business sustainability and corporate social responsibility.

    Mr. Cabrera has experience in linking rural productive initiatives to local and interna- tional markets, enabling the establishment of direct business between buyers and local producers of handcrafts, wooden and non-wooden products, agro-industrial products, and community tourism services. Since 2012, through his consultancy firm, he has developed and assessed intervention strategies for government and aid organizations, as well as developing strategies for the promotion of SMMEs and grant programs for producer organizations that generate market access.


  • Tania Azurdia

    Ms. Azurdia holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, is co-founder of the pre-school “AHEAD,” and advisor in the operation of the Pre-School Trozos. She served as Execu- tive Director of the Juan Bautista Gutiérrez Foundation. She has served on the board of directors of organizations focused on education and transformative rural develop- ment, such as the American School of Guatemala, Camino Seguro, Asociación Compa- ñero para Cirugía and Kiej de losBosques, S.A.

    Ms. Azurdia is creative, organized and skilled at coordinating groups and has consider- able experience in ongoing educational sequencing for both children and adults, with special focus on social communication.


  • Richard Aitkenhead

    Mr. Aitkenhead holds an MPA from Harvard University, USA, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the Rafael Landívar University of Guatemala. He is President of IDC, a Central American investment banking and estate development institution.

    Since 2009, he has been the president of FUNDES International and has been board director of both INCAE and the Rafael Landívar University. In the political arena, he has been Minister of Economics and Finances of Guatemala (1991-94), a member of the Negotiation Commission for the Peace Accords in Guatemala (1996) and Presiden- tial Commissioner for the Oscar Berge government plan (2004-2007).


  • Juan Carlos Paiz

    Mr. Paiz is an Industrial Engineer from Texas A&M University and holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from INCAE. He is co-founder and president of Panifresh, a baking company with more than 450 employees that exports bakery prod- ucts from Guatemala and Costa Rica to Latin America. In October 2011, this business won the Best Exporter of Guatemala Award and Best Manufacturing Business Award.

    He is Presidential Commissioner Ad Honorem for Competiveness, Investment, the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) and the Prosperity Plan for Guatemala. Over the last 12 years, Mr Paiz has supported the National Strategy for Investment Attraction, the Competitiveness Agenda, and has promoted a proposal for the reduc- tion of poverty. He has developed a Presidential agenda for competitiveness that includes infrastructural development, energy, education, health, financial efficiency, commerce, and fair labor practices. Overall he has promoted institutional empower- ment by facilitating technological access, local market expansion, and the creation of new innovation initiatives.

    Currently he is the World Director for the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves. Mr Paiz is University Professor at the UFM, director of Dutch Cooperation ICCO, and the Foundation for the Development of Guatemala-FUNDESA. He also served as President of several private sector entities, including CACIF, AGEXPORT, and FECAEXCA, and as co-founder of GuateAmala.

María PachecoPresident & Co-Founder
Zully PolancoExecutive Director
Hilda María MoralesProjects Director
Estuardo AliñadoGeneral Accountant
Eugenia MonterrosoWakami Villages Coordinator
Kendall LópezBusiness Support & Strengthening Technician
Erick Giovani VelásquezBusiness Incubation Technician
Kimberly RodríguezMonitoring and Evaluation Technician
Renato ValdezTrainer in Production Techniques
Iris Pérez BautistaTrainer in Production Techniques
Flor GutiérrezAdministrative Assistant
Ana Laura LópezWakami Village Store Technician