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Barefoot Foundation Staff profiles coming soon...

Read about the dedicated staff of our Colombian Partner, the Pies Descalzos Foundation, below:

The Pies Descalzos Foundation administrative team is located in Bogota. Additionally, they have professionals, program coordinators and volunteers in Altos de Cazucá, Quibdó and Barranquilla, where they have programs. The wonderful staff and volunteers are dedicated to fulfilling our goals and we hope that you are inspired to change lives too!

Maria Emma Mejía

Maria Emma Mejía
Executive Director

Shakira recruited Maria Emma to be the Foundation’s Director and to help expand its mission throughout Colombia. Maria Emma has dedicated her career to public service and society’s most vulnerable people. She met Shakira when she was the Minister of Education and they began working together. In 1999, she acted as peace negotiator in the peace process with the FARC (Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces). Maria Emma is currently a member of both the Civil Facilitating Commission, a group that deals with the ELN (National Liberation Army) and the Colombian government’s Foreign Relations Advisory Committee. She believes her work with the Foundation and as a negotiator will help bring peace to Colombia. She also served as Minister of Foreign Relations for the Republic of Colombia from 1995 to 1998, and was nominated to the Vice-presidential candidature in 1998. Before she began her career in public service, she worked as a journalist, bringing the forgotten stories of Colombia to the public eye.  She specializes in media communications and journalism.  

Patricia Sierra

Patricia Sierra
Program Director

Patricia is Pies Descalzos Foundation Program Director. She manages the daily implementation of all of the Foundation’s programs. She is inspired by the children she works with and their wonderful perseverance.  She is a trained psychologist and a university professor specializing in social psychology. Patricia worked with the Christian Children’s Fund for 15 years, managing programs aimed at helping children and adolescents in Ciudad Bolivar, Bogotá and other disadvantaged areas of Colombia. She has also created outreach programs for children throughout Latin America.

Beggy Gómez

Beggy Gómez
On-site Coordinator, Barranquilla

Beggy coordinates Pies Descalzos Foundation programs in Barranquilla and works directly with the community to ensure their needs are met. She is trained as a psychologist and she has spent her career in social and academic institutions. Beggy specializes in logistical planning and developing social projects.

Alexandra Sánchez Alexandra Sánchez
On-site Coordinator, Barranquilla

Alexandra coordinates Pies Descalzos Foundation programs in Barranquilla and works directly with the community to ensure their needs are met. She is a trained psychologist and is experienced in clinical psychology.  Alexandra specializes in developing prevention programs to encourage and support the emotional health of individuals and communities.
Obeyls Suárez Lozano

Obeyls V. Suárez Lozano
On-site Coordinator, Barranquilla

Obelys is a psychologist whose professional experience focuses on education and community work, with a specialization in clinical psychology. Obelys has experience in psychosocial health, life quality, individual and collective welfare. She designed and implemented preventive treatment programs in family, social and clinical areas.

Adriana Cecilia Benítez Sánchez

Adriana Cecilia Benítez Sánchez
On-site Coordinator, Altos de Cazucá

Adriana is a social worker with experience in community and family work, specializing in research, management and evaluation of social development projects. Adriana worked on Christian Children’s Fund programs focused on defending the rights of children. She has worked with rural and urban communities.


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