Casa Cultural de Las Americas (CCA), Rice University, Julia Ideson, Houston Public Library, and St. Mary's University, San Antonio, Texas, are pleased to present the International Literature Festival 2019.
Countries represented at the Festival this year include Boliv...
A conversation presented by renowned musician Leo Blanco, Berklee College of Music – Boston, exploring the history and influence of African rhythms in the diverse music of the Americas, including, but not limited to salsa, merengue, punta, and bachata.
She was born in Chihuahua, México, in the year of 1993. She has a bachelor’s degree in Latin American Literature at the Universidad Iberoamericana (IBERO) in Mexico City. She started her professional career writing for Altertexto a litera...
Elizabeth Quila is a writer, journalist, psychologist and psychoanalyst. Now, living in Houston for the last ten years, she is the founder and Chairman of the Board of Casa Cultural de las Américas, in Houston, Texas a Non-profit Organization.
In her country, Ecuador, she was General Editor of Agencia Literaria El Conjuro, Guayaquil; Creative Director of Citra Publicidad, Quito; Creative Director of MS & S Agencia de Publicidad, Guayaquil.
In the area of education Elizabeth has teached at: Universidad Del Salvador, Buenos Aires; UDLA, Quito; Universidad Autónoma de Quito; Escuela Superior Politecnica, ESPOL, Guayaquil; Fundacion Teleducando, Guayaquil; and ITV, Guayaquil. She also gives workshops and conferences around the world for prevention of child abuse, female emotional intelligence and therapy through the arts.
She has obtained awards in Madrid, Guayaquil, Cuenca and Houston, both for her literary work as well as her work as a psychotherapist and pioneer of social projects in education and health.
Publications in chronological order are: “La mirada ciega” (short stories), “Conjuros y Maldiciones”(novel), “Cristina”(novel), “Travesti de Almas”(short stories), “El Culto”(novel), “Oblivion” (poems), “El amante despiadado” (novel), “El pueblo de los ahogados”(novel)
Chairman of the Board
Chairman of the Board
Born and raised in Buenos Aires where he owned a Ladies Boutique in a fashionable avenue, studied Theatre and acting before coming to Houston in 1973.
Started a restaurant career at the then very famous Brennan's, Restaurant in Downtown Houston, that ended in 1999 with the Ninfa’s restaurant chain, where he acted as, Director of training, Purchasing, and Real Estate, among other duties assigned by the President of the Company
From 1999 to 2005 was sales adviser at Advantage BMW, where he resigned being a part at a national level of the company’s Professional Sales Council.
In 2006, created with two partners and was president of Night-Bright, a company dedicated to manufacture and distribute Photoluminiscent exit signs and emergency evacuation systems, where he retired in 2012.
As a founding member of CCA, in August 2012, he now is the VP of public relations and fund raiser of the Organization.
V.P. Public Relations
Vice President Public Relations
Bachelor in Communication and Bachelor in Education, solid experience in pedagogy and teaching Spanish as a second language. Specialist in corporate communications, social responsibility programs and community relations.
Experience on writing and edition of children´s books. Journal articles writer in magazines and newspapers (Spanish). High analytical ability, effective communication, critical thinking and interpersonal skills.
Jocelyne Flores, Mexican, raised in Morelia, where she studied International Trading and lived for 28 years. Specialized in Supply Chain since 2016, Jocelyne worked for the movie theater industry on a multinational company based in Mexico, leading the logistic strategy for 14 countries from 2010 until 2018 before she decided to focus her logistic expertise to the humanitarian cause. She volunteered to work on a project in South Sudan with Doctors Without Borders on March 2018, implementing the supply strategy for the hospitals and clinics across the country, which was a life changing experience both personally and professionally. Jocelyne married the love of her life in 2018 and moved to Houston where she continues her studies of French and Portuguese and pursuits her dream of being a writer. Devoted reader of Latin American literature joined Casa Cultural de las Americas in 2019.
Bachelor in Communications with solid experience as events coordinator, Radio and TV sales executive, radio personality in the media industry in Venezuela. Main capabilities: talent on voicing for Commercials (Radio and TV), e-learning, natural entertainer event host and master of ceremony. Skilled in Protool and Audio Vault.
Director of Media Relations
Director of Media Relations
She studied Latin American Literature at the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City. She obtained the State Prize for Youth in Artistic Expression, she was Elected by Foro We as one of the 60 outstanding young women. She has written for national and international media such as Nexos, El Universal, El Heraldo de Chihuahua, Altertexto of the Universidad Iberoamericana, Punto en Línea at UNAM, Harpers Bazaar and Esquire Latin America and Spain.
She has worked as a correspondent in Spain, New York and Toronto.
She was a Qualifying Jury in the Juan Rulfo National tale contest. She is Member of Dialogues Mexico.
She has given lectures and presentations on literature and cultural management. She had interviewed dozens of illustrious characters of art and culture with the desire to show the world their great work.
She went to the School of El País- Autonomous University of Madrid, in Madrid, Spain in order to complete her academic life, in addition she studied Cultural Management at the University of Salamanca in Spain in conjunction with UNAM. She currently writes for various media jointly she is a founding partner of Olbios publishing house and has a cultural network called Casa Fábula.
Born in the small town of Mariquita, Colombia, Barrios has a realistic painting style, with a specialty in murals. She is known for letting her inner talents break any boundary the canvas may have by transforming a blank space into a wonderful work of art. Barrios considers herself a self-taught artist. Through the development of her own painting style and complete originality, she is able to reflect and become inspired by elements of nature which leave her clients in awe. Through wood, fabrics, wires, and metals, Barrios is able to create wonders with a mixture of textures, colors, and emotions.
Her passion for art didn't go unnoticed and she was commissioned to paint a portrait of the President of Colombia at the time, Andres Pastrana. Barrios' art was displayed in the Orlando Museum of Art and throughout various art festivals in Florida and Georgia.
Barrios is regarded as a professional art designer that lets her paintbrush flow with her imagination as she paints to express herself with an open heart.
Projects and Logistics
Projects and Logistics
Gabriela is an Industrial Engineer, graduated from USFQ University in Quito, Ecuador. She has more than seven years’ experience in the Project Management realm, working as a consultant in banking and higher education. For this reason and in order to improve her knowledge, she is currently studying a Project Management online certification at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. She brings exceedingly organized, process-focused, and analytic attributes to each assignment.
Valeria Perez, born August 18, 2003, is one of the youngest volunteers in the Casa Cultural de las
Americas. She is a diligent, loyal, and reliable teenager who is always prepared for anything at any given
moment. Her strong discipline allows her to respond maturely and give constructive feedback, be it either
positive or negative. Valeria is very passionate and enjoys bringing the most out of everyone, which
generates happiness and excitement, followed closely with success. She is a well rounded person who
enjoys STEM programs, but also has a love for the arts and literature. Throughout her life, Valeria Perez
has always had an interest in the arts and literature, so when her mother gave her the opportunity to join
the Casa Cultural de las Americas, she readily accepted, though she was only eight at the time. Since her
mother was already a part of the Casa Cultural de las Americas as the Event Coordinator, it was easy for
Valeria to join at such a young age. After graduating from Wood creek Middle School, Valeria was
accepted into Quest Early College High school. She won a scholarship that allowed her to take college
classes alongside her high school courses. This achievement jump started her goal of receiving a doctorate
degree in a field relating to STEM. Not only did her entrance into the school allow her to take college
classes, but it also provided opportunities for her to volunteer and join diverse clubs. Valeria chose to
volunteer at other schools and help elementary school teachers in need, which she takes great pleasure in
doing. Some of the clubs she has been able to join are the Asian Culture Club and the International
Language Club. These clubs have given Valeria a more rounded cultural view on the world, and have
even motivated her to begin learning a third language, German. During her participation with the Casa
Cultural de las Americas, Valeria kept up with her grades, even while actively participating in the
program. She has also been able to participate in almost every event produced by the Casa Cultural de las
Americas, most notably during a signature event in 2015, involving the famous Nobel prize winner,
Mario Vargas Llosa. Valeria has also been able to travel to Spain in 2018 and Mexico in 2019 with the
organization, while befriending the authors and other fellow creators. Throughout her time in the Casa
Cultural de las Americas, she is the Volunteer’s Event Coordinators Assistant. Valeria has gained
experience in management, logistics and interpretation through her work. Having the advantage of
speaking both Spanish and English, Valeria was able to help the Casa Cultural de las Americas in more
ways than one. Not only is she the Event Coordinators Assistant, she works and aids many honored
speakers, including some famous artists and singers who are widely known in Latino communities. Over
her years of volunteering with the Casa Cultural de las Americas, Valeria has been recognized and
awarded for being a wonderful volunteer through her extensive experience and participation. She is
extremely glad to be a part of the Casa Cultural de las Americas, and will continue to be a valuable asset
to their amazing program for a very long time.
Coordination Of Volunteers
Coordination of volunteers
Thalía Krüger is a Naval Architect & Marine Engineer with 20+ years’ marine/offshore experience providing innovative strategies and precise project execution. She is a Senior Marine/Offshore Consultant at SomarcTech, a partnership of highly skilled and experienced professionals serving clients worldwide.
She was elevated to the grade Fellow of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers in recognition to her outstanding personal contributions to naval architecture, marine and offshore engineering through significant achievements in design, production, operation, and associated management.
She is an entrepreneur and influential leader of multidisciplinary teams, engaging mentor with a passion for the promotion of education specially empowering women in STEM careers, actively participating in industry forums, various professional and community associations:
SNAME – The Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers - currently Vice president of the Gulf and Central Region
OTC – Offshore Technology Conference – program’s committee member
IADC - International Association of Drilling Contractors - member
MECA – Multicultural Education and Counseling Through Arts – board member
POLCHAMTX – Polish American Chamber of Commerce in Texas – founder and board member
Diploma in Literature by the Association of Authors Literalia, A.C. He obtained the Juan Grijalbo & Caniem edition scholarship in 1997. Poet, essayist and director of Mantis Editores. National Poetry Prize Aguascalientes (1996), National Poetry Prize Ramón López Velarde (1999), National Poetry Prize Efraín Huerta (1999), Jalisco Prize in Literature (2008), José Emilio Pacheco National Poetry Prize (2011), Prize of Poetry at the International Literature Contest Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz (2013), tribute and Prize at the III Encounter of Poets Enrique González León (2016), Diplôme d'Excellence Librex at the Iaşi Book Fair, Romania and Jaime Sabines-Gatien Lapointe Prize, Canada-Mexico (2017). He was declared a Humanist and Illustrious Visitor by the Mayor of Esmeraldas, Ecuador (2015), Cavaler al Poeziei Capitalei Marii Uniri Iaşi, during the Poetry International Festival at Iaşi, Romania (2018), and finalist of the Letterario Internazionale Camaiore Award (Italy) 2019 (received by recognized poets as Evgenij Evtusenko, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Bernard Noël, Ana Blandiana, Jorge Boccanera, Ernesto Cardenal, Seamus Heaney, Homero Aridjis, Claribel Alegría or Nuno Júdice), among many other recognitions.
Author of twenty-five books of poems, the most recent being Llámenme Ismael (FOEM, 2014), The Drunkenness of God (Medio Siglo, USA, 2015), Götterdämmerung. Antología personal (El Ángel Editor, Ecuador, 2015; Praxis, Mexico, 2017), Götterdämmerung. Antologie minime (Écrits des Forges and Ministry of Culture of Jalisco, Quebec, 2015), Greetings to the Family (Vaso Roto, Spain, 2016), Voinţa luminii (CronEdit, Romania, 2017), Chiamatemi Ismaele (Fili d'Aquilone, Italy, 2019) and Enola Gay (Vaso Roto, Spain, 2019). Books and poems of his authorship have been translated into German, Arabic, Catalan, French, Galician, English, Italian, Mayan, Dutch, Portuguese, Romanian and Russian.
For his editorial work he received the Silver Pen (Patronato de las Fiestas de Octubre, Guadalajara, México) in 2006, and in 2014, the Nichita Stànescu Prize for the promotion of contemporary Romanian literature, during the Chisinev International Book Fair (Republic of Moldova). Trece mantis en un jardín germano, selection of Luis Armenta Malpica (bilingual Spanish-German edition, Mantis Editores, 2013) received the Best Book Award for Poetry 2013 during the V Independent Book Fair organized by the FCE and the AEMI in 2014. Finalist of the Caballo Verde Prize 2018, awarded to the best independent publisher in Mexico. In addition, three other books by Mantis Editores have been awarded the prestigious Sabines-Gatien Prize for poets Anthony Phelps, Louise Dupré and Paul Bélanger.
Luis Armenta Malpica
Since I was a child I had developed a special interest in social work, my mother was the inspiration for that. She was always volunteering in different public institutions, especially hospitals trying to help people with cancer, either finding money or medicine to give them hopes.
The most rewarding volunteer work I did was when I went to live in a camp after the big earthquake of 2016, when the coast of Ecuador suffered one of the most devastating earthquakes in history, hundreds of people died and the cities were badly destroyed, many houses and roads just disappeared from the surface of earth. With a group of university professors and students, we traveled to the affected areas, bringing food, clothes, and medicine to ease their pain and give them some sense of security.
For about three months we lived among 900 people in temporary emergency camps, people who had lost everything, relatives included. I dedicated most of my time to the children, I wanted to make sure I kept them busy attending to classes, involved in pedagogical activities in order for them to continue with their education and overcome the traumatic experience. Many international organizations also helped during the emergency, such as Unicef, Acnur, United Nations among others. They all provided help to the affected population and recovery was very well organized.
Experiences like that one inspired me to get a bachelor’s degree in Communication and PR, specializing in Social Responsibility and Sustainability. I think that us, as a society, the private and public sector, as well as big corporations have some responsibility to get involved in helping the community in need. The only way to improve the life of all people in our home, the Earth.
Brittzia holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Communication and Public Relations from USFQ University in Quito, Ecuador. She also holds a Specialization in Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability from ITSM, Monterrey, Mexico. She has more than 20 years’ experience in Communication, Public Relations, Interaction with Media, and Event Management in the public and private sector, especially in international non-profit organizations, such as Fundagro (Fundacion para el Desarrollo Agropecuario), UNDP, (United Nations Development Program) coordinating different regional development projects in Latin America.