Who we are
Andrea Samantha Paltzer
Founder and Director
“What motivates me every day is the fact that EEP genuinely does change people’s lives; it certainly has helped to shape me into the person who I am today. I also find working with our new hybrid model of an NGO with a social enterprise trading arm extremely exciting. Looking forward, I want to see EEP’s teaching programme officially recognised and rolled out through equivalent partner organisations that work with a similar demographic”.
Ana Patricia González Vanegas
“My favourite thing about EEP is seeing the participants of the programme graduate as it is at this point that they start to discover and live their dreams in life, a goal facilitated by EEP. I hope that over the next few years EEP becomes certified as an official centre of work training by the Ministry of Education. I would also love to see EEP’s model replicated in other parts of Nicaragua”.
“It’s inspiring to work alongside such a dedicated team everyday, many of whom have directly benefited from the employability scholarship programme. This to me is the ultimate confirmation that what we are doing makes such a positive impact on the lives of the participants. EEP truly empowers women, and is a champion for gender equality and the unlocking of women’s potential in Managua, and hopefully beyond”.
Belinda Cristina Barquero Perez
Psychologist in charge of EEP’s psychological development programme
“I love that my role allows me to help the participants identify and recognize the resources and potential they have on a personal level, which prompts them to develop actions to improve their quality of life. I wish to always remain working in this space that allows the development of positive action for the equality of women. Effective equality between women and men continues to be a goal rather than a reality; we must strive to change this”.
Meyling Susana Cruz Calderon
Teaches the Education programme (former EEP student)
“Having benefited from and been inspired by the EEP programme myself, the opportunity I have to share the knowledge I gained with other women so that they can excel is incredible. I love that I work with others that share the same mission and vision as myself: to bring better opportunities to the women of Nicaragua. In the coming years I want to see the expansion of EEP”.
Maria Silvia Guido Zeledon
Teaches the alternative arts and practical education programme (former EEP student)
“What I find interesting about my job is that the artisan work we do complements EEP’s psychological programme: through art we teach communication, and support women in learning to read and write. I want other women to experience the empowerment and develop the feeling of self-worth that I did when I was a student in the programme. I am grateful that the team saw potential in me and I hope that EEP can expand and reach more isolated communities, supporting a larger group of women”.
Adela del Carmen Calderon Espinoza
Teaches the recycling programme (former EEP student)
“I think being able to make new paper through recycling old scraps is really cool. I believe EEP really shines for its psychological development sessions that I myself benefited from when I was a student; they helped me grow as a woman. My time in the programme also allowed me to feel independent as I didn’t need to rely on anyone else for money. Right now I feel very happy as I never expected to be offered a job here… thanks to god that they gave me the opportunity”.
Nora Campos de Lankes
During her time as an ambassador of Nicaragua to the United Kingdom between 1998 and 2001, Nora negotiated emergency and reconstruction support following the crisis of Hurricane Mitch and helped secure debt relief for Nicaragua. She has also served on the International Monetary Fund’s Civic Programme and is a Special Adviser to the Board of Women for Women International, an NGO supporting women in war zones. It was Nora’s passion for Nicaragua and for women’s issues that engaged her with the work of Earth Education Project.
Andrea specializes in alternative investments that seek an integrated financial, environmental and social performance across asset classes. She is co-founder and Managing Partner at Blue Topaz Capital and, over her 25-year career, Andrea set up and managed thematic investment funds, private and public equity portfolios for private equity and hedge funds and led top-quality equity research teams. Andrea has worked for a number of world-renowned companies including McKinsey & Co, World Bank and has been an advisor to both Ashoka fellows and to Foundations pursuing sustainable investments. Andrea is a Harvard MPA, and additionally serves as board member and Trustee at the International HIV/AIDS Alliance.
Carmen Romero Von Banga
Chair of the board 2017
Carmen’s impressive career spans 18 years of creating impact, CSR strategies, skilled education/apprenticeships and job creation for youth living in disadvantaged areas, as well as forming social innovative projects in developing countries. For the past 3 years she has worked with ASHOKA mentoring women entrepreneurs. She is also a published author, writer and conference speaker. Carmen believes that each individual is a natural born leader, and lives by the saying: “It doesn’t matter how many times we fall… What defines us is how well we rise after falling”.
Saatchi exhibited Sophie Argles is a UK artist based in London. Her enthusiasm and dedication to empowering the women of La Chureca through art saw her join the team in 2010. She donates exclusive designs for the Christmas and Valentine’s collections as well as Sophie’s Summer collection. Sophie works on developing the quality, individuality and marketability of the workshop’s products.
As EEP’s company and charity secretary, Marianne keeps the cogs of EEP turning. Marianne was crucial in the setting up of EEP: as Andrea’s mother, without her encouragement and support EEP would not have happened.
A PR Manager at Strutt & Parker, Charlotte initiated her contact with EEP as a dedicated volunteer and supporter back in 2009. She then served as a trustee from 2011-2014 where she worked tirelessly to promote EEP to press, organise EEP’s annual fundraisers alongside her general trustee duties. Everything she did for us remains to this day hugely appreciated.