Ana María Mejía Huisa | Program Director

Ana María joined the Building Dignity team in 2012, bringing with her several years of experience coordinating social justice initiatives and development projects in poor neighborhoods throughout Lima. In particular, she is interested in literacy, education and health. A native of Villa El Salvador, Ana María has founded and led a number of young groups and cultural initiatives in the district. Her work with children and young people focuses on early stimulation, leadership and self-esteem. Previously, Ana María worked for the National Institute of Family Wellbeing and the Saint Martha Home in the district of Pachacamac. As Program Director at the Center for Development with Dignity, Ana María leads our community education activities and organizes community outreach efforts.

Silvia Ruiz Vasquez | "My Little Garden" Professor

A native of the rainforest, Silvia has a great appreciation for nature and for nurturing communities. Silvia has been an active member of her community in Lomo de Corvina for years. She has served as as an official community leader, a public health promoter, a facilitator at the Women's Emergency Center, and as a volunteer and now instructor at the Center for Development with Dignity. As a professor, Silvia is nurturing children and mother's love for plants and teaching them how to organically establish gardens that also serve in nourishing families. She is helping add color and life to Lomo de Corvina.

Hugo Daniel Espinoza Huamaní | Plastic Arts Professor

Since he can remeber, Hugo has been drawing. Born in Lima, Villa María del Triunfo and now living in Villa El Salvador, Hugo has spent his childhood in precarious neighborhoods and for that he understands what it is like to be a neighborhood child. It is his motivation to help children similar to him to meet their artistic potential. Hugo studied automotive mechanics, then graphic design and finally found plastic arts. His work now ranges from figurative paintings, abstract painting, automata, but is always looking to further develop his art. As the Plastic Arts Professor, he is excited to engage student's curisority to help them create art.

Jhon Ruiz | Sports Professor

Born and raised in Villa El Salvador, Jhon is passionate about giving back to his community. Having studied physical education at the renowned National University of San Marcos, he is now using his skills at the Center for Development with Dignity to make sports inclusive and fun for children. His classes focus on breaking gender stereotypes and on promoting camraderie, solidarity, respect, among other skills that he hopes the students will employ within and outside the institution.

Paul Herrera Zavaleta | Karate Professor

Sensei Paul Herrera Zavaleta is a 3rd Dan Black Belt in Shotokan Karate style. He is the director and founder of the HerreraKai karate school. As an instructor of the Center for Development with Dignity, he is teaching Shotokan style Karate with the aim of improving the students' physical and mental health and helping them develop their potential.

Oscar Llamocca Huamani | Voices of Youth Professor

Oscar studied education and is currently a high school teacher in Lima, San Juan de Miraflores. At the Center for Development with Dignity, he is in charge of the Voices of Youth class, where he works with adolescents and yound adults on themes relating to personal development. Such topics include conflic resolution, entrepreneurship, self-esteem and others that are promoted by the Ministry of Education. Additionally, students in the class are working on social programs, including to help deliver donations, to help many residents in La Encantada.

Martha Huamán | Director of Logistics

Born in the highlands of Cusco, Peru, Martha migrated to the capital city of Lima in the 1990s where she and her husband Jesús Valencia helped found the neighborhood of La Encantada in 1996. Since then, she has helped La Encantada become a thriving community. In 2008, Martha and Jesús donated the use of their land to the Center for Development with Dignity and they now live on the second floor of the building, with their children Karina, Jean Pierre, and Rolando, and their nephew Plinio.