We partner with communities in Latin America to empower them to assert their democratic, economic, cultural, and social rights. We strive to improve quality of life by addressing needs such as food security, clean water, health care and education so that communities may become self-sustaining.
Katrin HoffmanVice President
Katherina Orgtega ValenzuelaChair Social Enterprise Ventures
Rick BerubeChair Governance & Policy Committee
- Richard Heikkila
- Katrin Hoffman
- Sandra Cuadra
- Jeff Goldie
- Peter Schalk
- Jamie Klassen
- Kate Reynolds
- Bronwyn Petersen
- Nancy Tran
- Cheryl Caul
We would like to thank the students of the Spanish 406 class at the University of Alberta who, through the UofA Community Service Learning (CSL) partnership with Sombrilla, volunteered to translate our website. As well as putting many hours of work into the translation several students brought new ideas to our board meetings and have offered their ongoing support. So many thanks to:
Liliana Cunha Alfredo, Cindy Julieth Ausique Rubiano, Daniella Batres, Jeffrey Austin Bennett, Daniela Castro-Zolezzi, Hilary Anne Dyck, Clinton Luke Ford, Emily On Ying Fung, David Andres Herrera, Maria Korsountseva, Ana Carolina Lara, Carla Camila Lara, Richard Larson, Kirsten Louise Leslie, Jarrett Rocky Steve Mancell, Amanda Diane Marshall, Lesley Cleo McMillan, Andreina Del Valle Mendoza, Jillian Amber Louise Metchooyeah, Bethany Lucienne Polis, Chelsea Dawn Ramsey, Saul Anibal Rodriguez, Anastasia Soichuk, Alanna Joyce Supersad, Ka Ying Szeto, Jacquelyn Varinia Szydlowski, Danysia Alexis Tash, Ryan Curtis Wascherol, Jamie Kadoglou, and their professor Odile Cisneros.
Sombrilla International Development Society is an Alberta-based, independent Non-Governmental Organization (NGO). It is non-denominational and non-partisan. It was founded in 1985 as a registered charity by a group of Canadian journalists and professors disturbed by the gross human rights violations in Central America. The society was subsequently joined by people from a variety of other occupational and professional groups. In the first years as an organization Sombrilla's primary focus was to provide settlement sponsorship for Guatemalan refugees whose efforts in the struggle for social justice made them targets of repression.
Since the mid 1990's, Sombrilla has shifted its focus onto the conditions that create refugees. As a result we strive to facilitate respect for human rights, social justice, sustainable development, and gender equity in solidarity with Latin American communities.
Sombrilla develops partnerships with Latin American NGO's that share its values in order to assist them in their development. Sombrilla focuses on providing assistance that is result oriented and sustainable.
In Canada, Sombrilla implements a public engagement strategy with two main objectives: the first focuses on presenting the Canadian public with the issues resonating from Latin America and the Global South, in an effort to develop basic awareness. Secondly, the strategy attempts to move from this basic awareness to the involvement of groups and individuals in organized action in support of communities in Latin America.
"Sombrilla" is the Spanish word for "umbrella," which symbolizes the partnerships between organized communities from Canada and Latin America that assist in sheltering vulnerable populations from oppression while promoting community participation.
Communities of Population in Resistance (CPR)
- develop a collaborative working relationship with the media, popular sectors, churches, human rights groups as well as international NGO's,
- gather and document information at the village level and communicate it to the appropriate national and international level,
- coordinate public awareness campaigns on their constitutional rights and international visits,
- prepare print, photographic and electronic materials for media circulation,
- conduct meetings with government and judicial officials to voice their concerns, and
- determine and solicit appropriate national and international solidarity in support of their goals.