dedicated and sensitive people, always willing to help, our board and coordinating team ensure that we are managed in line with our vision and mission

Board​

Carolina de Oteyza

Carolina de Oteyza

Carolina is president and founder of Meals4Hope, coordinating the community food initiatives and nutritional recovery programmes for children in Venezuela, as well as coordinating, with various groups of volunteers, the international humanitarian aid sent from abroad. Carolina studied urban planning at the Universidad Simón Bolívar, and has masters in Theology, Justice and Peace from the University of the State of New York and Research and Education on Gender and Citizenship Studies from the Universidad Jaume I. Since 1982 she has worked on the design, coordination and evaluation of social projects for development, overcoming poverty through community participation, as well as local development and community projects, women’s development, participatory research, training and education of popular sectors. Since 2016, Carolina works full time as a volunteer for Meals4Hope, channelling solidarity and developing projects in response to the humanitarian crisis that Venezuela is going through, particularly in areas of hunger and malnutrition of children.

Santiago Plana

Santiago Plana

Santiago has been the vice-president of Meals4Hope since its foundation. He is a mathematician from the University of Edinburgh, with studies in actuarial science from The Institute and faculty of Actuaries. Santiago has worked as a data analyst and actuary, coordinating teams and projects of various sizes. Additionally, he has contributed to various volunteering projects across Venezuela, the UK and Australia. Santiago collaborates widely in the range of programmes and activities developed through Meals4Hope, as well as providing technical support with data bases, spreadsheet models and accounting.

Vanessa Santamaria

Vanessa Santamaria

Vanessa works with Meals4Hope since its foundation and has been a member of the board since 2017. She studied Animal Sciences in the University of Florida, has masters in Applied Ethology and Ecology and Management from the Universidad de Barcelona and speaks three languages. She has done volunteering work in various environmental and social projects in the United States, Australia, the UK and Spain. Vanessa actively collaborates in the various activities developed by Meals4Hope, particularly promoting fundraising events, donations and coordinating sending food and medical supplies to Venezuela.

 Luis Ignacio Abad

Luis Ignacio Abad

Nacho has been a member of the board of Meals4Hope since 2017. He is a Production Engineer from the Universidad Simón Bolívar, with a masters on Finance and Strategy from Sciences Po Paris and speaks five languages. Nacho has worked as programming and technological development consultant, as well as founding a social enterprise based on an educational project for children. In addition to his work on the Meals4Hope board, he provides technical and programming support.

Isabel de Oteyza

Isabel de Oteyza

Isabel has collaborated with Meals4Hope since the very start and became a board member in 2020. She studied Pre-School Education at the Universidad Metropolitana in Venezuela. She has extensive experience in management, having worked as school principal and managing a bookstore for many years. Always willing to help others and with great people skills, in addition to her work on the Meals4Hope board, Isabel is part of the team in Madrid, helping with fundraising events, liaising with other organizations and coordinating sending of humanitarian aid to Venezuela.

Italo A. Pizzolante

Italo A. Pizzolante

Italo has worked with Meals4Hope since 2017. In his day to day, he works as a strategy consultant and advises companies in emerging markets on how to grow and communicate better. He has a Masters in International Business from the IE Business School in Spain, has studies in Audio Engineering and played in a band for many years – with whom he toured around Venezuela and fell in love with his home country. He is currently based in Mexico City, after moving from Spain and travelling Asia for a year. In addition to his work on the Measl4Hope board, he contributes to various projects through communications and fundraising.

Coordinating team in Venezuela​

Mercedes Romero

Mercedes Romero

Mercedes was born and raised in Zea, Mérida, where she still lives. She studied Social Sciences and started working with Meals4Hope in 2017, as project manager in Mérida. She acts as National Director of the organisation in Venezuela. She is committed to supporting children, pregnant women and the elderly, coordinating a wonderful team of caring local volunteers dedicated to helping those most vulnerable.
María Nuria de Cesaris

María Nuria de Cesaris

Nuria coordinates the community food initiatives and nutritional programmes in Ciudad Guayana since 2016. She studied urban planning at the Universidad Simón Bolívar and has a masters in Public Administration from Harvard University. Nuria currently works full time coordinating Meals4Hope programmes in Bolívar, as well as supporting other Meals4Hope programmes and teams across the country, acting as National Subdirector.
María Esther Nuñez

María Esther Nuñez

María Esther studied Nursing and has extensive experience in administration of nursing services, as well surgical nursing. She coordinates the community-based nutritional programmes and the support of hospitalised children with malnutrition in Barcelona, Anzoátegui. María Esther is an integral part of the Coordinating Team in Venezuela, working with Meals4Hope since the beginning of 2019.
Deivis Meléndez

Deivis Meléndez

Deivis studied accounting and administration, with postgraduate degrees in agroindustry management and environmental education. She has extensive experience in the sector, working with our partners, Fundación Las Plumas, for over 15 years. Deivis started working with Meals4Hope in 2017, coordinating our programmes in Portuguesa as well as dealing with logistics at a national level.
Antonio de Oteyza

Antonio de Oteyza

Antonio is an oceanographer and avid social and environmental activist. He has over a decade of experience in social community work in Anzoátegui, where he is director of one of our long-standing partners, Punto Ecológico. Antonio has been working with Meals4Hope since its very beginnings in 2016.