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colombians

 

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Mission
The Colombian American Coalition is a non-for-profit 501-C-3 organization established in Miami-Dade County since 1996. The Colombian American Coalition is committed to empowering Colombian Americans by fostering civic-engagement, advocacy and cultural initiatives. The Coalition works in cooperation with various local, state and national organizations and agencies to advance its organizational goals.

Executive Board
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marina Marina Araujo
Chairman
ma@colombianamericancoalition.org

Ms. Marina Araujo is a driven and consistent force in South Florida Colombian American Affairs. Ms. Araujo is deeply committed to public service, as well as political and community endeavors, where she serves in a wide range of leadership roles.
 
Ms. Araujo’s contributions to numerous boards and committees are well noted and are a testament to her passion in serving others.  The vast relationships she has developed, linked with her vision of service, have reaped many benefits for institutions she has served with.
 
Ms. Araujo began her community service with the “Jaycess International”, where she acted in various capacities. This organization is dedicated to conducting programs that assist community leaders around the world and help develop tomorrow's leaders. Ms. Araujo received much accolades for her commitment to business development, and international affairs during her time at the “Jaycees International”.
 
Later she spearheaded various activities targeted at solidifying business and cultural relations between Colombia and Miami Dade County. Ms. Araujo Co-organized an assembly between Mayor Alex Char of the city of Barranquilla Colombia, Governor Eduardo Verano de la Rosa of Atántico Colombia, and the South Florida Barranquilla community.  Due to the success of this assembly, she has been named Special Liaison in organizing a trade mission between entrepreneurs from Miami and Barranquilla.  Subsequently, Ms. Araujo led a delegation along with Mayor Julio Robaina of the City of Hialeah, and several members of the Chamber of Commerce to Barranquilla and Santa Marta, Colombia. 
 
Ms. Araujo is a principal and “Cronos Solutions Servicios al Inmigrante” a full service provider focused on assessing complex and sensitive legal matters for immigrants seeking assistance.

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jose_luis Jose L. Castillo
Vice-Chairman
jl@colombianamericancoalition.org

Mr. Castillo is currently serving as Vice-Chair of the Miami Dade County Jay Malina International Trade Consortium (ITC) where he champions issues on trade, job creation and economic development. The ITC plays a key role in promoting Miami-Dade County as a Global Gateway for trade. He has served as the Chair of the ITC’s Internal Management Committee where he worked on programmatic and administrative projects with the goal of strengthening the agency’s operations.

More recently, he serves as the Chair of the ITC Ad Hoc Seaport Committee, which has been charged with exploring ways for the Miami Seaport to retain and expand its market share with respect to the movement of cargo. Mr. Castillo was originally appointed to the ITC by County Commissioner Joe A. Martinez and subsequently appointed Vice-Chair by County Commissioner Bruno Barreiro.
His dynamic negotiation skills and proven ability to build consensus has gained him a reputation for effectiveness. These skills have proven useful in his public service. He was recently appointed by the Miami-Dade County Manager’s office to serve on the Economic Development Community Planning Team (CPT) for the County’s Strategic Plan update.
As a former board member of the Miami-Dade County Boundaries Commission, appointed by County Commissioner Javier Souto, he frequently applied his skills when confronting difficult annexation and incorporation issues that impact Miami Dade County.
Earlier in 2008 he was recognized by the Colombian government with the medal of the “Order of Democracy Simon Bolivar” for his contribution to the Colombian-American Community in the United States.

Mr. Castillo is a principal at Green Point Consulting of Florida, a consulting firm specializing in multilevel government affairs, strategic planning and media relations.

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betty Betty Marriaga
Treasurer

Betty Marriaga has written numerous stories, interviews and reports throughout her years as professional communicator. As a journalist for the past 25 years, she’s had the opportunity to interview both Latin and Anglo celebrities in the entertainment industry, which include singers, actors, writers and filmmakers. Some of them include, Andy Garcia, Vin Diesel, John Leguizamo, Catalina Sandino, Alfonso Cuaron, America Ferrera, Antonio Banderas, Shakira, Sofia Vergara, Juanes, Marc Anthony, Ricky Martin, Jennifer Lopez, Eugenio Derbez and Vicente Fernandez.

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cristina Maria Cristina Arrazola
Secretary

Maria Cristina Arrazola is a highly successful professional with proven experience in financial management, business development, logistical operations, and human resources. She has a strong track record in financial analysis and extensive experience in leadership, negotiation, strategic planning, and project management skills. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Business Administration from Florida International University as well an Associate in Science in Business Administration from Miami Dade College.

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