Ana, Kiara, Álvaro, and Vilma
Our staff of four Nicaraguans is dedicated to the mission of the Fundación.
Vilma Bustos, Executive Director, is one of Fundación A Jean Brugger's success stories, having been sponsored through university.
Program Director Álvaro Novoa is a social worker by profession and has built a strong community service program that is an important component of the scholarship program.
Administrative Assistant Ana Isabel is a native of San Juan del Sur. Ana is currently also a Fundación-sponsored student studying accounting and finance.
Community Outreach and Marketing Coordinator, architect Kiara Olivas is another of Fundación A Jean Brugger's success stories, having been sponsored through High School and University.
Vilma started her working life as a teenager in San Juan del Sur and completed high school with the help of her parents. After graduation she worked full time at Pelican Eyes Resort, and through the help of the Fundación was enabled to continue her education. She participated in various community projects as one of those proud students.
After earning her Bachelor of Executive Science degree and completing English studies, Vilma is now a professional whose purpose is to contribute to the educational development of the Fundación. Vilma credits and thanks Jean Brugger personally for the support and love given to her over her long, multifaceted tenure with Pelican Eyes and the Fundación. As one of the beneficiaries of Fundación grants, and having played a role in the development of the resort and the Fundación, Vilma is extraordinarily proud to now be a working contributing part of the Fundación.
Watch a video of Vilma
Ana Isabel was born in San Juan del Sur, where she began primary school. At the age of 8, her family moved to the city of Masaya, where Ana finished primary school and 4 years of high school. In 2004 she returned to San Juan del Sur to take care of her maternal grandmother. Ana took this opportunity to complete her secondary education and graduate from high school.
In 2005 Ana took the admissions test at the Autonomous University of Nicaragua UNAN, where her desire was to study Computer Engineering. She was admitted into her second career choice, Computer Science. Having the support of her family, she started her college career. She studied for a year but failed to finish for economic reasons.
In 2012, intending to fulfill her dream of a professional career, Ana started classes in public accounting and finance at the Polytechnic University of Nicaragua-UPOLI Sede Rivas, with the support of caring people of the Christian community. The following year she no longer received aid from this group, but decided to continue because this time she was determined to reach her professional dream. In 2014 she obtained a college scholarship from Fundación A. Jean Brugger (Robert and Laurie Carter are her sponsors).
Two years later, the Fundación offered her a job as office assistant. Ana, surprised and at the same time happy for the opportunity, is proud to be part of the Fundación team.
Kiara Argentina Olivas Alvarez
Kiara was born September 6, 1991 in Moyogalpa, Isla de Ometepe. When she was one year old, her family moved to San Juan del Sur, just days before the tsunami that hit the city on September 1, 1992.
She attended primary school at Stella Maris College where Kiara often represented the school in competitions in writing, spelling and math at the municipal, departmental and national level.
Secondary studies were in the Autonomous Emmanuel Rubio Mongalo, a National institute, where she also had the good fortune to represent the school in competitions for writing, mathematics, and this time also in sports. In her fourth year of high school, Fundación A. Jean Brugger approved her request for a Scholarship, which consisted of money to buy school supplies and materials for homework.
Kiara completed high school in November 2008, and in March 2009 began studying architecture at the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua (UNAN MANAGUA) with a scholarship from Fundación A. Jean Brugger and a new sponsor - Melanie Hamilton. She finished her studies at the university in 2013 and in early 2015 completed and defended the Monograph Thesis for the title of Architect. The title of her thesis was "Preliminary Architectural Design for the Fundación A. Jean Brugger Art Gallery, San Juan del Sur.”
Kiara writes, "I was so happy that Melanie accompanied me on this special occasion. In addition I had the opportunity to present my thesis to the board of the Foundation. It was a very special and moving moment for me; in those minutes I remembered the great effort made by all of them to support the Fundación, and especially I felt so grateful to my sponsor Melanie Hamilton for the 5 years she supported me to fulfill my dreams to be an Architect."
From 2014 until the beginning of 2016 Kiara worked for real estate companies in the area of architectural design. Currently she is working independently offering professional architectural design services.
Kiara says, "I feel very happy and satisfied to work in my career field and to do so where I grew up and have lived all these years."