YLAI 2017: Meet the Participants

The U.S. Embassy is proud to announce the 2017 cohort from Honduras for the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) Professional Fellows Program.  The YLAI program supports the United States’ commitment to increase trade and investment in the region and, in the words of Vice President Mike Pence, “bring even more of our business culture of entrepreneurship and innovation all across Latin America so that your prosperity and our prosperity will continue to expand together.” The five-week program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, will bring 250 young leaders from 36 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean to the United States to augment their business or social venture plans, learn from U.S. counterparts, and share best practices.

Eda Aguilera A. is the Co-Founder of Cumorah Daycare & Bilingual School. The school supports parents and children in limited economic conditions and recognizes the importance of a bilingual education. She previously worked as a Director for Customer Experience for Mott & Bow. Eda holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the Universidad de San Pedro Sula and a Bachelor’s Degree in Music from the Escuela de Música Victoriano Lopez.

Amy Campos is the Founder and CEO of Auge Boga, a platform where both established and emerging artists can present their work. Auge Boga seeks to provide artists with a way to promote their work and obtain patrons. Amy previously worked as an English teacher at a bilingual school for at-risk youth. Amy has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business from UNITEC.

Ricardo Diaz Meraz is the Co-Founder of Trigona, which produces eco-friendly, market-quality products derived from honey and beekeeping. Trigona provides new technology for beekeepers in rural areas of Honduras to enhance their production. Additionally, it establishes fair trade between consumers and producers. Ricardo holds a Master’s Degree in Tropical Beekeeping from the National University of Costa Rica.

Katharine Espinal Chirinos is the Founder and General Manager of the custom jewelry company, Kaleido´s Jewelry & Crafts. This company strives to create personalized and affordable accessories that express their customer’s unique sense of style. Katharine has previously worked in quality control and project management for Collective Solutions. She has also participated in the Vital Voices Honduras program. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business from the Universidad Católica de Honduras.

Marian Ferrufino is the COO of Helping Hands for the Community. This non-governmental organization seeks to provide food, shelter, clothing, health care, and education to the homeless and orphaned children from their local communities. Marian also works as an Educator at Sheridan Bilingual School, where she teaches writing, grammar, and literature to high school students. She holds an Associate’s Degree in English Teaching from the Universidad Pedagógica Nacional de Honduras.

Karla Inestroza is the founder of Honduran Physicians for Medical Brigades, an organization that allows medical brigades to work alongside a local, bilingual physician. The goal of this organization is to provide medical brigades with an individual who is familiar with the local health system and local diseases. Karla also works as a General Physician at the Honduran National Northwest Hospital Mario Catarino Rivas. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Medicine from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Honduras.

Regina Ponce is the Founder and General Manager of ArteShop: Creative Market. This organization seeks to solve the lack of opportunities local artisans face by providing a space in which their products, crafts, and human talents can be featured. Regina also works as a Project and Local Development Coordinator for Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos Honduras. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the Universidad Tecnológica de Honduras.

Homero Rojas is the Co-Founder and CEO of MediaCity Labs, the first videogame development academy in the country. MediaCity Labs seeks to provide world-class educational services in the areas of traditional and emerging technologies to promote community development. Homero also founded MediaCity Games, one of the first videogame development studios in Honduras. Homero has served as a mentor and speaker in many technology and entrepreneurship initiatives like Startup Weekends, Angelhack, Barcamps, TEDx Tegucigalpa, TEDx SPS, and multiple hackathons.

Frank Solorzano is the Co-Founder and CEO of Caité, a Honduran-made footwear company. Caité shows culture, tradition, and iconic sites through graphic design showcases in Central America from an innovative perspective. Frank has previously worked as a Manager at Commercial Los Gemelos, a company that sells used and imported clothing. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Engineering from UNITEC.

Dania Valle is the Founder and CEO of Reciclatecc, an electronic waste recycling company. Reciclatecc offers free e-waste collection services to companies and sells recycling materials in the local market and internationally. Dania has previously worked as a Project Analyst for Central American Capital Partners and as an Assistant Manager for Productores de Energía Renovable, a company that develops renewable energy projects in Honduras. Dania holds a Master’s Degree in Business Management and a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance from UNITEC.