Ingrid Caloj, Psychologist
Originally from Santa Apolonia, Chimaltenango, Guatemala, Ingrid is a happily married woman and mama to one. She graduated as a teacher in a National Institute and worked for 5 years in a school with the intention to gather the resources to expand her studies, this helped her start studying Clinical Psychology, which would give her powerful tools to understand and treat people’s conducts. Due to the lack of economical resources she had to briefly suspend her studies and work in worldwide vision project, training marginalized parents and sons to promote a better quality education.
She graduated in 2016, did her professional practices in several House Homes and worked as a psychological therapist for kids and grown ups in a foundation in Tecpán before she came across the Project in 2017.
Ingrid is in charge of the individual and group therapies between parents and their children and helps with the Somos parenting workshops. These years working in the Project have served her well to appreciate the slow but evident process regarding the much healthier development of each kid. Ingrid enjoys spending her free time reading motivational books where she finds a great understanding towards her own problems and personal situations. She would definitely consider the book “De regreso a Casa” as one of her most favorites.
Lirio Elizabeth Chocoj Tún, Preschool Teacher
Lirio graduated as a Pre-school Education Teacher and also has a degree in Social Work.
She is proactive, sociable, innovative, creative and deeply committed to her passion which is teaching children. Being a teacher at Project Somos has been a daily challenge that she loves to meet head on and continues to learn from every day. Lirio is a wonderful addition to the community because she is so knowledgeable and truly enjoys sharing this with our children with both patience and love.
Lirio believes that being a teacher requires a lot of support, so that many children’s lives can be changed and therefore, our nation as well.
Rafaela Surec Socop, Primary School Teacher
Originally form Tecpán, Rafaela briefly abandoned her early studies when she was not able to pay for her education. A few years later, she returned when she could afford it. To put herself through the teacher degree program, she worked as a babysitter and mother’s help. In 2016 she accepted her first job as a teacher at Project Somos.
She is very aware of the personal and familial situations of the kids, knowing the big and important impact that education provides them not only in an educational level, but individual and familial as well.
Her biggest dream is to open a nursery school one day where she can help more people. She is convinced that Somos is giving her powerful tools to accomplish it.
She really enjoys teaching and sharing her time with family, especially with her nieces and nephews.
Rosario Morales Calel, Teacher
Rosario is from Tecpán Guatemala, and has three children. She graduated as an Elementary School Teacher and has two certificates on Learning and Positive Discipline. She also has a degree in Clinical Psychology which has also helped her a lot to teach and take care of children. Rosario started working in Project Somos in 2017.
Due to personal reasons she had to stop working with us in 2019, but in 2021 she came back to continue teaching. We really love the way Rosario teaches. She tells us that the teaching method at Project Somos is based on learning through games and experimentation and likes it a lot. The more they have fun, the more they learn.
“I feel very happy to belong to the Somos family. The project’s goal is to give love, affection, respect and understanding; I feel honoured to work with the girls because I can dedicate the necessary time to meet them and learn together new things and life experiences.”
Tita came to Project Somos in 2014 as the first mom of our original model of working with single mamas. She has remained on as an employee, as our focus has shifted, and is a huge support to the Project in so many ways.
Tita works closely with the other mamas of the children, overseeing the cleaning of the Learning Village. She also manages hospitality for visiting volunteer groups; making up the beds and rooms and assisting in the kitchen as needed. Tia is the manager of our small handicraft business and comes up with design ideas, teaches the team how to make the products and maintains the quality of the products.
Erika Ajquiy Noj, Teacher Assistant in Preschool
Born in Chivarrabal, she’s currently studying children teaching in Tecpán on the mornings and helps the Preschool teacher at Somos by the evenings, with the intention to extend her participation in the Project when she finishes her studies.
She really enjoys sharing time with her parents and siblings along with a cup of coffee, a good talk and once in a while a movie with the family.
Ruth Meliza Cuc Par
Meliza is from Tecpán, and graduated as a Bilingual Secretary. She has been working at Project Somos since the end of 2021.
Although there is a lot of work to do in the office, she finds time to spend a little time with the children as well. She truly believes that working with children is very healing. Meliza also supports the project teachers with English classes whenever she can.
Trained as an accountant and auditor, Claudia began working with Project Somos as a volunteer translator and bookkeeper in 2011 and now manages our Guatemalan accounting, liaising with Canada. She also coordinates logistics for volunteers coming to Project Somos.
Claudia is the mother of two little daughters.
Marelyne Ramírez, Director of Education
Marelyne is the Director of Education at Project Somos. She grew up in a home full of love with discipline and moral values throughout her life. She is a graduate of the early education program and loves interaction with children.
Marelyne worked as a preschool teacher while completing her degree in psychology and learning disabilities. She has worked in different institutions helping children with eating disorders, developmental disabilities, hearing and children with autism. She has also helped children and adolescents with emotional problems and before joining Project Somos, she worked as a school counselor at a private school in Tecpan.
Marelyne is mama to one daughter and a son. She likes walking, reading, watching movies with her family, reading aloud to her kids and listening to music.
Originally from Mexico, she has worked with Indigenous communities to raise funds, provide clothing, education, food, and coordinate volunteers. She recently graduated with a Master of Business Administration. Ariadna is a mother of one daughter and a son. She currently lives in Vancouver, Canada, and her role in Project Somos is to execute fundraising campaigns and donor management.
She loves working with kids, swimming, listening to music, and hanging out with family and friends.
Ilana Cameron – Communications
Ilana Cameron is delighted to join the Project Somos. She comes to this work with a background in self-directed education having attended and then worked at an independent school for more than a decade.
She lives in a small farming town in British Columbia Canada, loves sustainable agriculture, cooking for friends and family, cycling up and down mountains and has a deep interest in stories — both hearing them from people and making up new ones.
Miguel Angel Tzian Socop, Foreman
Miguel came to Project Somos in 2016, He is from the village of Chivarabal, got married in 2015 and has two children, a daughter and a son. Before he started to work at the Project, he was a construction worker and also worked in agriculture. He started to work at the project as a construction worker assistant, five months later he was in charge of general maintenance, building and agriculture, as well as supervising other workers in the same areas. He helped to build many of the different houses inside the project.
Miguel is the voice that represents the project when it comes to talking to the village authorities.
Another thing that he enjoys a lot is when volunteers come and do different new projects, since he has shared with them in other years. Miguel states that he has learned new ways of working in the project and he really loves what he does.