WHO WE ARE
Roberto Meléndez, director
Born in Lima, Peru, Mr. Meléndez is a primary school teacher, early education developer, teaching trainer, coach and photographer.
Photo by Thomas Ives © 2018
With a background in education, business and the arts, Meléndez brings many skills to the Biblioteca para Niños including
- Pedagogical methods at the primary and secondary levels
- SME trainer and lecturer (small business management)
- Publication of the photography book South America’s Flavours
- Mobile and online marketing
- Problem solver and mediator
- Photo exhibitions in Lima, London and Ecuador
- Publisher and distributer of a holistic health magazine
Roberto has lived in and experienced diverse cultures in several South American countries during the last seven years while doing charity work in Peru, Brazil and now in Ecuador. He recently travelled the continent of Europe, finding it most educational and inspiring. Roberto also has extensive experience and is an authority on non-profit entities. He presently lives in the Valley of Eternal Spring, Malacatos, Loja, Ecuador.
Jessica Fields, founder
In 2015, when she joined Arte Intercultural Vilcabamba, an artist cooperative, it was with a proposal in hand for what has now become the Biblioteca para Niños de Vilcabamba.
As a retired producer, writer and graphic artist with a career spent in theatre, electronic and print medias, Ms. Fields came to Ecuador, first volunteering at Arte del Mundo in Baños, Ecuador. The inspiration for BNV was deeply seeded there. If you like, please visit their website at http://www.artedelmundoecuador.org for a peek at the phenomenal places this program could go with the right support. In 2015, when she joined Arte Intercultural Vilcabamba, an artist cooperative, it was with a proposal in hand for what has now become the Biblioteca para Niños de Vilcabamba.
Ramona Garduño, accountant
Keeping it straight. Ramona has been a full-charge bookkeeper and QuickBooks expert working with many non-profit and for-profit businesses while living in her home of Santa Fe, NM. She not only worked the “books” but also set up procedures for streamlining meaningful data collection and presenting the information in a way that was helpful for business owners to make informed decisions about their businesses. Ramona has been a volunteer with the BNV since its inception.
Elena Noonan, educator
With a passion for early childhood development, Ms. Noonan has been an educator for three decades. She brings her expertise and enthusiasm to every session, saying, "The children at the Biblioteca will win your heart! They are enthusiastic and artistic. Without any prompting they help each other and share our limited materials. Every child enjoys books, art projects and wants to learn English.
During this, my second year at the Biblioteca, I have increased my involvement because it is so rewarding. I appreciate the opportunity to nurture the children’s love of learning. The volunteers here touch the future of Ecuador."