meet the wonderful people that built yanapana
President, Education team director and
Diego Núñez (he/him)
Diego Núñez just graduated as a Materials engineer from the University of British Columbia. Orginally, from Ibarra, Ecuador, where Diego has gained most of his volunteering experience.
Prior going to UBC, He has worked in different social activities including helping the eldery living in nursing homes, organizing activities for a youth group, and assisting and working with limited income communities in the Ecuadorian Coast.
During his time at UBC, Diego and his friends participated in the World’s Challenge Challenge competition with a project focused on tackling the malnutrition issue of Ecuador, which now is on of the pillars for YANAPANA.
Diego describes himself as an enthusiatic and carismatic person who is always open to new ideas for the benefit of others, especially for those in most need.
Vice president, communications team director AND
Abigail Ayala (no preferred pronouns) graduated from the University of British Columbia in 2020 with a Bachelor of Music in Opera Performance.
Born in Quito, Ecuador, she has had extensive volunteer and leadership experience since elementary school.
Her volunteer experience ranges from working with kids, adults, and seniors in hospitals and schools, to psychiatrics and special centers for people with different abilities.
During her time at UBC she has been in different student leader positions such as an executive member in the Ecuadorian Student Association.
In 2018, she created her own community project with a local non-profitable organization in Vancouver, Canada. Her project was fully funded by UBC CCEL. The project consisted in teaching music to kids with special needs at Seaquam secondary school.
Abigail is starting her Master's Degree in Ethnomusicology. She hopes her future studies will inform her more about the cultures where Yanapana Project are working with.
Daniela Yánez (she/her)
Daniela Yánez is a student in the Faculty of Science at UBC.
She was born in Quito, Ecuador but currently lives in Vancouver Canada.
She is a curious person by nature and She really enjoys her time meeting people interested in the field of science and education.
She is currently working in the Haney’s lab at UBC in projects related to plant microbiology.
Previously in Ecuador she was a volunteer in several foundations and fundraising organizations from which she learned a lot.
During her years at UBC she worked on projects focused on teaching science to children and adolescents, as well as projects related to nature conservation.
For Daniela, YANAPANA Project means a way to giveback to her country and a great opportunity to share her passion for education. Daniela recognizes that times are difficult in her home country, but the strength and the force that a committed and united team provides, gives her great hope that better things will come.
Luis Simbaña (he/him)
Originally from Ecuador, Luis Simbaña is a recent Economics graduate from the University of British Columbia. Along with his friends, he is a co-funder of the YANAPANA Project.
During his university life, he gained extensive leadership and volunteer experience focused on community engagement. Committed to supporting his community, he led the Ecuadorian Student Association at UBC. And for a couple of years, he engaged in linguistic-based activities and recycling workshops with the Vancouver’s South Granville Seniors Centre Hispanic Group.
His commitment for providing support to his community and identifying problems led him to develop “Nútrete Ecuador: A maternal and child nutrition project”, as part of his final undergraduate research project. The core idea of this project now is one of the pillars for YANAPANA.
Recognizing the social and economic difficulties of the Ecuadorian families, Luis is now committed to support the YANAPANA Project.
national External relations team
Pamela Chávez (she/her)
Pamela was born in Quito, Ecuador. She graduated from the University of British Columbia as a Political Scientist with a Minor in Sociology. Pamela is a compassionate and empathic woman that is passionate about helping people who are most in need. She has experience volunteering in Ecuadorian non-profits like Fundación Tierra Nueva, and in nutritional programs with the Quito Municipality. In her time serving at her local church, she travelled to different rural parishes across Ecuador in order to help poor communities. At UBC, she participated in organizations like the Ecuadorian Students Association and the Global Lounge. She also worked for non-profits like HOPE International and Check Your Head. Yanapana means for Pame an opportunity to contribute to her country, while working with an increíble group of people for a more inclusive society.
international External relations team Director
Daniela Gallegos (she/her)
Daniela holds an Honours degree in Political Science, minor in International Relations from the
University of British Columbia. While studying, Daniela collaborated with the Ecuadorian Students
Association, overseeing projects and grant applications. Daniela is also an educator and community
organizer with experience volunteering for the non-profit sector. She has assisted research at the
Canadian International Resource and Development Institute, Check Your Head, and UBC. Additionally,
Daniela was proudly a Program Assistant at the WISH Drop-in Centre supporting female-identifying sex
workers. A passion for feminism, human rights, and good governance are at the centre of her
professional and personal pursuits. Daniela is studying a Master of Public and Social Policy at the
Pompeu Fabra University. In her free time, she likes cooking and talking about life. Daniela is excited to
share her ideas to help families in Ecuador gain the dignity they deserve.
Logistics team director
Jodie Panchi (she/her) is a recent Management graduate from The University of British Columbia.
Originally from Quito, Ecuador, Ms. Panchi had the opportunity to network and work with professionals from various industries ranging from Consulting to Operations throughout her university career. This allowed Ms. Panchi to develop skills that help supporting teams in the achievement of goals and metrics of success.
Coming from Ecuador, Miss Panchi observed how hard it is for Ecuadorian people to get enough resources to overcome some of the most difficult social, academic and economic challenges. Her desire is to provide guidance, leadership and administrative support to the YANAPANA Project EC while providing value to Ecuadorian families with the help of all the team.
Therefore, her desire is to provide guidance, leadership and administrative support to the YANAPANA Project EC to generate value in all logistic tasks that can support Ecuadorian families to nourish themselves with the support of all the team.
Human resources director
María Totoy (she/her) just graduated as a psychologist with a minor in occupational psychology. She graduated with the Magna cum laude honor from the San Francisco de Quito University.
She's 23 years old and speaks three languages: German, English, and Spanish. María has vast experience as a volunteer in different foundations such as Club de Leones Quito Central, Fundación Batán COVI, Acción Animal Ecuador, among others. Currently, María is the director of the Human Resources team at Yanapana Project.
María describes herself as a person who is passionate about courage, freedom, and justice. She likes to learn and be valuable to society, especially to those who need it most.
Rafaela Muriel (she/her) graduated from Memorial University of Newfoundland in 2020 with a BA in Sociology and a minor in Psychology. Currently, she is pursuing a graduate degree in Childhood and Adolescent Studies at Mount Saint Vincent University in Canada.
Rafaela is passionate about helping others and the desire to create a world with more opportunities for everyone. She has participated in volunteering from an early age in groups such as Vivamos la Fiesta en Paz, Operación Sonrisa, The International Students Association, and the Autism Society of Newfoundland.
For Rafaela, being a volunteer is a way to return the opportunities she received to the world and create a more inclusive society.
Nutrition team director
Andrés Moreno (he/him) was born in Ibarra, Ecuador, and studied Nutrition and Community Health at the Universidad Técnica del Norte (UTN).
In this institution, he gained a lot of experience as a collaborator and leader by supporting the association of students of his career and faculty (FCCSS).
Later, he was a student volunteer as part of the projects of Vinculación con la Sociedad. He helped children, pregnant women, elderly, among others. Also, he collaborated in brigade groups at the 'Hospital de Especialidades Baca Ortiz y Eugenio Espejo'.
At home, he began his spirit of generosity and humanity with the group Fraternidad de Hermanos. He provided staple foods to people with low economic resources. He currently collaborates in the Yanapana Project.
'When you can help someone, do it from the heart without expecting anything in return; personal satisfaction is priceless.'