Senior Management

Antigua, Guatemala

Alitzá Andretta, IT Manager

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Armando García, Chief Accountant

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Denise Lorenz, Operations Manager

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Eugenia Durán, General Manager

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Karen González, Donor Relations and Communications Manager

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Alitzá Andretta

Alitzá was born and raised in Guatemala City. She studied at the Guatemalan Austrian School from age four until her high school graduation. She studied Computer Science and Systems Engineering as well as post graduate studies in Information Systems at Galileo University.

Alitzá knows firsthand the difficulty of being an entrepreneur as she once tried to start her own business. A better job fit came when she worked as a web developer for a small company producing software for publicity agents. Next she worked with software used to track funeral services for Banco de la Republica and Capillas Señoriales. Her final job before coming to work with Namaste was with Xerox as a developer where she was promoted to lead nine talented developers who served one of Xerox’s important IT clients. Her duties at Namaste are to maintain and improve the systems Prosper and Qlikview and help with the regular duties of the IT department.

Alitzá is married and will celebrate her 7th anniversary in 2015. They have two beautiful children: a two year old girl and a six month old boy.  Alitzá affirms that destiny has led her to Namaste. This is the right moment for her to work full time with her son ready for day care. When we ask Alitzá what was the most rewarding aspect about working for Namaste she said “I know that my work helps people in my country in need, and especially women (like me) that want to improve their own lives and the lives of their families. By helping them, together we will create a better country.”

Armando García

Armando grew up in Antigua Guatemala. He is an experienced and efficient accountant and received his Certified Public Account Degree from San Carlos University.

His education also includes s Certificate Program of Internal Control, training program National and International Labor laws and Integration projects and a certification from a Microfinance program from Fundamicro El Salvador. He received an outstanding student award from both the Liceo Antigueño school and San Carlos University.

Armando has worked for the NGO Alianza as a General Accountant and also for The Ministry of Labour in Guatemala City as an Internal Auditor.

He has an excellent understanding of accounting systems and software. He proposes audits on a solid legal basis. He also recommends and implements better internal control processes for Namaste.

He likes being part of a team that wants to achieve a decrease in economic inequality for Guatemalan women who have no access to credit and want to succeed through their own businesses. For Armando the rewarding aspect is to see Guatemalan women entrepreneurs overcome their challenges through the proper education and loan credit that Namaste provides, as well as to see these women managing their businesses satisfactorily, which benefits both the women and their families.

Denise Lorenz

Denise was born in Rockenhausen, a small village in the forests of southwestern Germany. Denise got her Master´s Degree in Educational Science, Sociology and Spanish at the University of Mainz in Germany. She is also a teacher for German as a foreign language, which she still teaches in night classes. She moved to Guatemala in 2007 to work in international development and has fallen in love with the country and its people, which made her decide to stay.

Denise previously worked as an Adult Literacy Director for the NGO Safe Passage and also as the Project Manager for the NGO Unmarked Streets, which supports women entrepreneurs in Guatemala City. Here at Namaste, Denise is our Operations Manager. She lives in Antigua with her boyfriend and enjoys traveling and outdoor activities, such as rock climbing, hiking and yoga. Namaste is a good fit for her because she strongly believes in educating and empowering women to make this a better world.

Eugenia Durán

Eugenia joined our team in July of 2012 as our Program Coordinator and got promoted as a General Manager in December, 2013. She came with extensive business experience including 16 years with Swiss company CIBA-GEIGY (now Novartis). Through her persistent devotion and ambition, Eugenia advanced through many positions in the company- starting as a secretary, moving to logistics, then as a Plan, Information and Control assistant, next as the Manager for the Marketing Services Department, promoted to Marketing Manager of the Caribbean, and finally Manager for the Department of Materials. Throughout this time, Eugenia was able to work and visit in over 20 countries in Europe, North, Central and South America and the Caribbean.

Eugenia left CIBA-GEIGY to assist in the construction of a coal Power Plant in China. She then returned to her homeland of Guatemala where she bought a piece of land in Sacatepéquez, about 40 kms from Guatemala City and started her own Hass Avocado farm. The farm became a very successful venture, and was visited by UCLA, Riverside among many others.

Joining Namaste in 2012 presented a new set of opportunities for Eugenia. She said, "I had the great opportunity to start working with Fundación Namaste Guatemaya as Program Coordinator and explore new challenges for me in helping women that appreciate the education and advisory services we provide to them."

Like many of the women we work with, Eugenia is a mother of 3, and grandmother of 4. Her business acumen and experience will help to guide the way as we work to maintain a consistent base of 500 women per year enrolled in our program.

Karen González

Karen González was born in Puerto de Iztapa, Escuintla. At 14 she moved away from home to Quetzaltenango for high school. As an only child, it was both a big step for her parents as well as a great independent experience for her. She started her professional career in Antigua where she fell in love with the City and its people. Her first job was with well-known tour operator Antigua Tours where she gained five years of experience in the tourism industry. Karen returned to school to receive a degree in Business Administration from Galileo University and then accepted a job as the Outreach Coordinator for the NGO Safe Passage for four years. At Safe Passage, Karen had amazing experiences supporting the community around a Guatemala City Garbage Dump.

Her work at Safe Passage motivated Karen to get more direct experience working in the education field. Karen combined business administration and education as the Managing Director at Oxford Bilingual Montessori School where she guided a group of young teachers to be both more professional and effective. Montessori also gave her the opportunity to learn more about children’s behavior. Her passion to support education in Guatemala led her to Namaste. Karen is excited by the opportunity to work with an NGO that will directly contribute to the economic empowerment of the country through education. Her position at Namaste is Manager of Donor Relations and Communications. Karen is not married yet, but one day would love to have two children. During her spare time Karen volunteers with her boyfriend by supporting a community near Antigua called Mano de León where she tutors two girls and her boyfriend offers physical education classes for approximately 40 children. She enjoys riding her bicycle around Antigua (and to work) and loves running.

Karen loves Namaste´s vision, especially because it is focused in empowering women. She wants to see development in her country and she wants to be part of the positive change. Karen says, "I strongly believe in the power of education”