Joel, who was born in Puerto Rico, has lived and traveled in many countries and considers himself a citizen of the world. He holds bachelor’s degrees in Landscape Architecture and in Environmental Studies from Iowa State University, and his passion for creating a better world for all living beings took him to Bolivia as a Peace Corps volunteer for community ecotourism projects. Since then, he has formally worked as a conservation volunteer for natural areas and parks in Puerto Rico.
In 2007, together with his life partner Karla Durán, he founded EcoTienda La Chiwi, a social microenterprise focused on conscious lifestyle and Puerto Rico’s first Fairtrade store. With a newfound ecopreneurial spirit, Joel studied and promoted solidarity economics, which led him to collaboratively create and lead the newly formed Social Solidarity Network of Puerto Rico, and to teach courses and workshops on conscious consumption and fair trade.
Professionally, he is now focused on Theory U and social transformation through systemic thinking and capacity building, working with non and for-profit organizations internationally. He was recently certified at MIT’s Presencing Institute on ‘Activating and Holding Transformational Change Online’ which has proven essential for his work as Coordinator for Filantropía Puerto Rico’s [Action Dialogues] program. As the new member of FiPR, Joel shares the team’s vision of a more equal, just, and prosperous Puerto Rico for all.
As our Action Dialogue Coordinator, he lays the organization’s strategic course, can be your sounding board or will connect you to entities and resources. Gets the conversation flowing, missions aligned and members working together in our four Action Dialogues.