Juan Soto

Executive Director:

Juan F. Soto, jfsoto@gamaliel.org, 312-666-2663

Juan F. Soto is the Executive Director of Gamaliel of Metro Chicago, Gamaliel of Illinois and Gamaliel Network’s Director of the Civil Rights for Immigrant Department. Juan is also a senior trainer for the Gamaliel Network and mentors and trains organizers at the local and national level.

He oversees Fiesta del Sol, the largest four day Mexican cultural event that draws in over 1.3 million people annually. Fiesta Del Sol is the largest, free family orientated, non-alcohol and tobacco-free festival in the U.S. Fiesta has been an economic engine that has supported the creation of entrepreneurship for many small business owners.



Ana Padilla

Manager of Operations

Ana Padilla, ana@pilsenneighbors.org, 312-666-2663 ext: 222

Ana was born in Jalisco, Mexico and grew up on the near-north side of Chicago since the age of eight. Ana attended Harold Washington College where she obtained an Associates degree in Art with a concentration in Latin American/Latino Studies and a basics certification in Geographical Information Systems. She is currently seeking her Bachelor’s degree in Latin American/Latino Studies.

Ana joined Gamaliel of Metro Chicago at Pilsen Neighbors Community Council as a summer intern in 2008 and became a staff member in 2010. Ana has worked with the Fiesta del Sol vendors, ACT prep program and the Fiesta del Sol Scholarship Program. Currently, Ana is responsible for working with vendors and businesses and logistics for Fiesta del Sol. In her free time, Ana enjoys running marathons.



NurysUcetaCommunity Organizer:

Nurys Uceta, nurys@gamalielmetrochi.org, 312-666-2663 x224

Nurys was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, but move to the United States at the age of eight with her family. She grew up in Wisconsin on Milwaukee’s South side. Nurys obtained a Bachelors of Arts in International Studies with a certificate in Chicano/ Latino studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in May 2015. She is passionate about social justice and is committed to working towards the betterment of our communities. Nurys recently joined Gamaliel of Metro Chicago/Pilsen Neighbors Community Council. 




Business Coordinator: Alfredo Echeverria – alfredo@pilsenneighbors.org
Alfredo received his BA from Columbia College Chicago. He is very passionate about working within the Latino community. His previous experience working as a Student Outreach Coordinator and Special Events Coordinator for the Chicago Latino Film Festival has prepared him to work as a Business Coordinator for Pilsen Neighbors Community Council and Fiesta del Sol.During his spare time, you can find Alfredo reading or practicing his photography.

Media and Communications Coordinator: Edgar E. Lopez-Perez – edgar@gamalielmetrochi.org

Edgar Lopez grew up in the south side neighborhood, “Back of the Yards”. He is a first generation U.S. citizen and his parents both migrated from Mexico in search of better opportunities. The struggles his parents faced as undocumented workers have influenced his path to working in the community.

He currently is a student at Harold Washington College but hopes to transfer to UIC to pursue education. He is one of the leaders of Fuerza del Sol- Justice Task Force at PNCC. In his free time, he likes to watch documentaries, bike and do photography.







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