Ati't Ala' | Executive Director | San Juan La Laguna SO Guatemala
Blessed to have traveled to 16 countries by the time I was ten-years old and to have studied six languages by the time I was thirteen, these early seeds have manifest in a life-long desire to experience different cultures and ways of living. In my professional career, I have enjoyed facilitating bringing people out of their comfort zones - even within their own communities - to experience the richness of our collective humanity through service.
San Juan La Laguna perched on the banks of Lake Atitlan, Guatemala captivated me during my first visit to this charming pueblo. After three years of bringing volunteers here from the US to live with Mayan families and engage in service work, I accepted a position as a permanent member in this community, agreeing to lead a 20-person team of both highly-educated Ladinos from the city and local indigenous professionals in their work to restore the natural balance between the environment and the local population. It is amazingly gratifying to be embraced into the family of San Juan where the human-to-human connection transcends ethnicity, spirituality, culture and education.
Finding myself in a small pueblo in Guatemala that not only integrates different ethnicities but also juxtaposes ancestral knowledge with modern technology, I yearn to integrate the two into solutions for our planet, ones that tap into the innate wisdom of mother nature and offer a path to return to our innate harmony.
Laura brings to Ati't Ala' seventeen years of professional experience with a focus on the non-profit sector including developing a nationally-recognized volunteer program for Oracle Corporation involving more than 1000 employees in community service; providing strategic consulting for corporate giving and corporate social responsibility initiatives; and working at the White House.
Laura attended the Sidwell Friends High School in Washington DC, received an A.B. in English and French Literatures at Stanford University, and a Masters in Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School at Harvard University. Her international education includes home-stays and formal schooling in Holland, France and Guatemala with life experience broadened in Syria, Japan, Nepal, Ethiopia and Tanzania.