The Latin Elephant Team is a group of passionate people dedicated to addressing the needs and rights of Latin American and other migrant and ethnic groups in London.
Natalia has been involved in the frontline delivery of services at Latin Elephant for the last 5 years including as a Migrant and Ethnic Business Project Officer and the last 2 years as Co -Director. Natalia has over eighteen years’ experience in the voluntary sector involved in the operational and strategic development of large and small frontline organisations including Latin American and other Migrant and Ethnic led initiatives. Natalia has also been part of an infrastructure organisations providing capacity building and training in different aspects of running and resourcing services as well as quality assurance.
Santiago Peluffo Soneyra
Latin American bilingual writer and community organiser.
He has been doing research, supporting and advocating for the rights of racialised communities in South London for the past six years. He is passionate about equality, migration and identities. A journalist and published author, Santiago holds a BA in Journalism and a MA in Political Communication. Also speaks Portuguese and Italian. Chevening scholar.
After studying languages, I was drawn to work with people and strengthen my ties to my local community through work and volunteering. Over the past 8 years, across Bristol, Glasgow and London, I have supported children with additional needs as a reading assistant and playworker, worked as a carer/access worker/PA — the language varies! — as well as volunteering for a number of grassroots projects. Since becoming part of Latin Elephant, as a volunteer in 2018 and staff member in 2020, I have worked across advocacy, campaigning, co-ordinating projects and teams, communications, and outreach.
Research and Policy Officer
Sarah (she/her) is originally from Los Angeles, California, where she was involved in community activism and organising projects on issues of climate justice, housing justice and reimagining community safety. She moved to London in 2020 to complete an MRes Interdisciplinary Urban Design; her dissertation discusses how the post-WWII development of Downtown Los Angeles can be understood as racialised and settler-colonial ‘spatio-legal violence’. In addition to Latin Elephant, she works for another London-based charity that brings together tenants’ groups around strategic social housing issues.
Chair of Trustees
Patria is Founding Chair of Latin Elephant. She is the author of The making of Latin London: Music, place & identity and director and co-author of the report The Case for London’s Latin Quarter: Retention, growth, sustainability. Patria specialises in migrant and ethnic economies, urban regeneration and urban communication. Senior Lecturer in Media & Creative Industries at Loughborough University London.
Katie is a Reader in International Development at the University of East London. She is the author of International Migration, Development and Human Wellbeing (Palgrave, 2012) which draws on empirical research with London and Madrid-based Peruvian migrants and their relatives in Peru. Her latest research explores the intergenerational transmission of human wellbeing amongst Latin American migrant mothers and their daughters in London.
Cathy is a Professor of Geography at Queen Mary University of London and director and co-author of the No Longer Invisible and Towards Visibility reports on the Latin American community in London.
Jorge Saavedra Utman
Jorge is Affiliated Lecturer at the Department of Sociology, University of Cambridge. He is the author of the book The Media Commons and Social Movements: Grassroots Mediations Against Neoliberal Politics (Routledge, 2018). He has written on media and communicative practices of non-mainstream politics, media systems and cultures of participation, and Latin American cultural politics.
Dr Catalina Ortiz is an Associate Professor at the Development Planning Unit. Catalina is committed to a negotiated co-production of urban space grounded on ethics of care and engaged scholarship. Using decolonial and critical urban theory through knowledge co-production methodologies, Catalina engages with critical urban pedagogies, planning for equality, and southern urbanisms in Latin America and Southeast Asia. Catalina’s latest work can be found in the pages of Planning Theory and the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research.
Isabella Albarran Chavez
My name is Isabella Albarran Chavez and I am from Lima, Peru. I studied International Development in the UK and now work at my university in Norwich. I got to know Latin Elephant as part of my Urban Geographies module field trip and instantly felt connected to the organisation’s work engaging migrant and ethnic groups with their urban surroundings. I am involved with the charity’s Newsletter production.
Akemi Higa Flores
Born in Lima, Peru. Since 2017 she has worked in the areas of architectural and graphic design, teaching, museography and research on infrastructure and urban planning in the global south. She has worked in the public and private sector in projects with surrounding education, culture, and heritage. She moved to London in 2021 to study the MSc of Building and Urban Design in Development at UCL, graduating in 2022.
Julian Segura Vahos
I’m Julian (30). I’ve been in London for a year and a couple of months now, so I’m still discovering this enormous city (and its people). I work for a tech company around sports, data and betting and although I like it, at the same time I miss working with people and social causes; and that’s why I like being part of Latin Elephant. I also love eating, playing football and knowing places/cultures.
Elina is a King’s College London English Literature graduate specialised in communications and PR. She is passionate about Latinx representation in the arts and specifically theatre industry.
Joselyne is a curator and researcher, specialises in Contemporary Art in Latin America. Currently on the PhD in Curatorial Knowledge at Goldsmiths, University of London.
Luciana Perc is a composer, performer, director and educator. Her work combines vocal and instrumental forces with fixed and live electronics, live video and film. She is a PhD candidate in Composition at the Centre of Creative Technologies, University of Portsmouth, where she teaches the module Composition for Visual Media. Her practice-based doctoral research is supported by a Faculty bursary and focuses on new materialist feminist approaches to meaning-making in music theatre practices.