This year we received an awesome news for the history of our organization: the international recognition to Catalina Escobar Bravo with the South By Southwest Community Service Award 2018.
Catalina Escobar is co-founder of MAKAIA and for 11 years was the Executive Director of our organization, guiding the growth and recognition we have achieved in Colombia, Latin America and the Caribbean. Since 2017, she is the Director of Strategy and she is responsible for designing the long-term vision of the organization. This recognition of SXSW is the result of its work and other alliances and relationships that will undoubtedly have an impact on the social and economic development of the region.
MAKAIA was instrumental in this individual recognition of SXSW, where Catalina’s leadership was highlighted by saying that “Since its creation 11 years ago, she transformed an idea into an organization that has served hundreds of non-profit organizations and social projects in Latin America (…)” and presented MAKAIA as “(…) a non-profit organization that promotes capacities for social development through cooperation, technology and innovation. MAKAIA’s work is implemented on two pillars, technology for social change and international cooperation and partnerships. MAKAIA has reached more than 25,000 people and 3,600 organizations abroad.”
Catalina defines herself as a civil society leader and entrepreneur with more than 18 years of experience who has demonstrated her strong commitment to the social sector. Before creating MAKAIA she lived in Costa Rica, France and the United States and worked for six years with the World Bank on the Development Gateway and as part of the Intranet team, managing web-related projects that promote collaboration and knowledge sharing. She is a Mechanical Engineer and MBA, as well as a specialist in International Development Cooperation and a certified manager in non-profit organizations. In 2006, she was proposed to create MAKAIA by the hand of two other entrepreneurs: Camilo Mondragón and María Claudia Camacho, coinciding in their desire to contribute to the development of the country, taking advantage of their contacts, knowledge and experience.
While SXSW defines the goal of the Community Service Awards as a celebration of the spirit of its creative community and an opportunity to honor outstanding organizations and individuals selected for their level of impact and clarity of their mission, from MAKAIA we want to express our deep joy, pride and satisfaction to see validated the effort, dedication, boldness, vision and determination with which Catalina has guided us for more than a decade.
We also express our deep gratitude to her leadership, on behalf of all the individuals and organizations that have benefited from the work of MAKAIA, and express how honoured we feel as her collaborators, by having a person whose transformative work and perspective will continue to nourish and inspire us in the years to come.