Allan Ortiz: Executive Director
Allan Ortiz first received an Expert Accountant degree from Dr. Rodolfo Robles School. He worked for a time in a home for abandoned children where he worked with children with disabilities and saw first hand the complex social problems that many Guatemalans face. He subsequently decided to dedicate his work to addressing social issues, and he went on to obtain an additional degree in Psychology from the Universidad de San Carlos. While working towards his degree, he volunteered at Caras Alegres and was inspired by the mission and work being done at the organization.
In 2013, Allan became the first Guatemalan Director of Psychology, Education and Administration at Caras Alegres. He has since poured himself into his work at Caras Alegres where, as a trained psychologist, he plays a crucial role in supporting the children in the program both educationally and emotionally.
Many of the children in Las Rosas are victims of the vicious cycles of poverty and violence, and Allan brings important expertise and perspective to the challenge of addressing their myriad needs. The majority of children at Caras Alegres have attended the program since they were very young. Allan works to ensure that Caras Alegres is a second home and a second family to the children of Las Rosas.
Irma Oomen: Program & Volunteer Director
Irma Oomen is originally from the Netherlands, where she studied at Tilburg University and received a degree in communications with a minor in Spanish. During her time at university, she developed a passion for the Spanish language and Latino culture, and she studied abroad in Mexico. As part of her degree she also interned in Barcelona, Spain, where she continued to hone her Spanish language skills.
After graduating from university, she resolved to return to Latin America, and she worked for a time in both Costa Rica and Guatemala. In Quetzaltenango, Guatemala she worked with both Quetzaltrekkers and Caras Alegres. She fell in love with the mission and spirit of Caras Alegres, and she jumped at the opportunity to join the organization as the Program and Volunteer Director in 2013.
Irma is deeply dedicated to supporting the children and families of Las Rosas through the work of Caras Alegres. She has worked tirelessly to ensure that Caras Alegres provides a safe educational and emotional space for the most vulnerable in the Las Rosas community. Though most days she has administrative duties to attend to, the highlight of her day always comes in the afternoon when the children arrive and she gets to teach, play with, and support them in every way she can.