In Spanish Mama Tierra stands for Mother Earth, especially the indigenous woman inspired us: she earns the family’s living, brings up the children, struggles for the preservation of the environment and passes on the indigenous heritage.
By selling ethnic art, we support the financial independence of the indigenous women.
5400 Baden, Schweiz
FUNDACIÓN MAMA TIERRA
Nazaret, La Guajira, Colombia
We are Mama Tierra
Katherine Klemenz is CEO of Mama Tierra in charge of fundraising and marketing. As Swiss, Colombian and Venezuelan with indigenous roots, she builds a bridge between both countries. Her studies in communication science and marketing, professional experience in top communication agencies allowed her to build the Mama Tierra brand, driving sales and donation of the Mama Tierra’s online shop. Her degree in fundraising management helps to increase Mama Tierra’s fundraising. Currently she is studying at the University of Zürich social anthropology with a special focus in material culture.
Katherine speaks 6 languages.
Lourdes Grollimund is a Swiss-Venezuelan currently living in Toronto. She grew up reading stories from indigenous tribes and was particularly fascinated by the rich fantasy of the Wayuu people, which allowed her to develop a love and respect for the Wayuu culture. Lourdes completed her studies in Geophysics at the Simón Bolívar University and in the US, where she graduated from a Masters and PhD degrees in Geophysics at Stanford University. Through Mama Tierra, Lourdes has been able to put into practice her knowledge in colors and design, and most importantly, she has been able to work together with the Mama Tierra team in order to bring into reality her goal of empowering people through education, employment and humanitarian help. All this while being engaged in her community as well. Lourdes is a mother of three.
Rolf Klemenz is Swiss and has been working as an IT manager for the past 20 years, mainly in the financial services sector. He holds the position of the treasurer at Mama Tierra and maintains the IT infrastructure. Rolf brings important experience in strategic development and economics to the team, having supported projects worth millions of Swiss Francs for a leading Swiss bank.
He holds a Bachelor in Business Information Systems.
Board of directors
Alex Steele is a member of the Board of Directors at Mama Tierra. He has worked as consultant and coach for the last 25 years. As such, Alex has been leading organisational development and innovation within industry and government. Alex is a Visiting Professor in Transformational Learning and Sustainable Development at ULAB University in Bangladesh and he is an associate academic with the London Business School and Ashridge Business School in the UK. Alex's expertise includes environmental management, sustainable development, community development, corporate social responsibility, innovation and leadership development. Alex is the Founding Director of Improwise, an organisation supporting organisations and communities to bring about change and innovation, in Europe, Africa, Asia and South America. Alex has a parallel career as a professional jazz pianist. He is a father of three.
Board of directors
Heliana Grütter-Zambrano is a Venezuelan living in Olten for the past 10 years. She is a human rights activist, internationalist and holds the position as Vice-President of Mama Tierra. Heliana is eager to help improving the life of women and children of La Guajira. She holds a diploma in international relations of the Central University of Venezuela. In Switzerland she studied English & Spanish Literature at Basel University. She is a mother of two.
Board of directors
Monica is a social innovator focused on the link between international trade and sustainable development. She is an expert in fair trade, fair operating practices, human rights and community development.
Monica was born and raised in Colombia and now lives in Switzerland. She is currently working at the University of Bern, coordinating the advanced master studies programs offered by the World Trade Institute.
Monica supports Mama Tierra convinced of the importance to promote fair-trade opportunities in international markets to artisans from developing countries, and to promote the international intellectual property protection of their traditional knowledge.
Monica has professional studies of Law. She holds an MA in International Law and Economics from the WTI of the University of Bern and a MA in Development Studies from the ISS of the Erasmus University of Rotterdam. She has further training in social entrepreneurship, project management, and leadership from the IMD business school.
Coral Hernandez Finol
Coral Hernandez Finol creates the Mama Tierra designs with passion. Her work for the fashion company Custo Barcelona led her to participate in the finest fashion collections in Madrid. In 2012, Coral won the Roland Creative Award in Japan in the International Latin American Competition.
As an illustrator, Coral worked for brands like Betsey Johnson, Santoro London, Puig and Zara. Coral holds a degree in graphic design from Zulia University in Venezuela and a master's degree from the Elisava Superior School of Design in Barcelona. She has developed her passion for the indigenous people in her hometown of Maracaibo. A place with the densest indigenous people in the north of South America.
Michelle von Dach
Fundraising and events
Michelle von Dach studied ethnology and political science at the University of Zurich. She grew up in a multicultural environment and is passionate about human rights in general, but in particular about women's and children's rights, migration policy and environmental protection. Michelle is committed to working for Mama Tierra for the self-determination of the Wayuu women and conservation of indigenous culture. Michelle supports the team of Mama Tierra with the organization of events and other administrative tasks.
Douglas Fernandes DaSilva
Research and Development
Douglas Fernandes DaSilva was born in Brazil and has lived in the USA, UK, Nepal, Uganda as well as Switzerland. His passion for traveling has taken him to other 46 countries. Douglas obtained his Biochemistry bachelor’s degree at University of Wisconsin and an Environmental Sciences Masters at University of Zurich. He has worked most of his life within scientific research and development, health capacity building and health education in developing countries. His master thesis involved studying the link between the ongoing desertification of La Guajira in Colombia affects the livelihood and health of the Wayuu people.