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. 

 

 

 

Community Organizer and
Media and Communications Coordinator
:

Melissa Salinas , melissa@gamalielmetrochi.org, 312-666-2663 x223

Melissa believes in religiously reading her horoscope every morning. She gets a kick off reading that her most positive characteristics include creativity, spontaneity, loyalty, and generosity. Although, she hates sharing her french fries and believes a day well spent is being indoors catching up on her favorite show, Grey’s Anatomy. She is passionate about women’s right and is a domestic violence advocate speaking regularly at school events on self-love and self-respect. Melissa is currently finishing off her BBA at Loyola University Chicago.

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Fiesta del Sol
Learn more about our annual festival now in its 45th year.