Venezuelan Canadian Society of BC

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Board of directors

Our Board of Directors is elected by the membership every year during our Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Members.

Each director serves the Board for one year according to our Constitution and Bylaws.

For the current Fiscal Year (Jan-Dec of this year) and until the following AGM, our Board of Directors is composed of the following volunteers.

President | Vancouver, BC

Javier Badillo

Javier is a film-maker and musician residing in Vancouver since 2002.  When he is not rolling film in his camera or singing in concerts with his rock band “Caracas”, he is processing books at the Vancouver Public Library or preparing Lattés at The Laughing Bean café.

Javier was the recipient of the RBC Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Award in 2019.

Secretary | Victoria, BC

Maribet Balestena

After living in the United States for almost 40 years, Maribet moved to beautiful Victoria in 2018, where she now lives with her husband. She is a graduate from the University of Miami where she received a Bachelor Degree in Architecture, Landscape Architecture and a Master Degree in Urban Planning. In 2021, Maribet became a certified Pastry Chef Expert in Healthy Baking.

Serving others is a great joy of hers, which led her to become a member of VCSBC in an effort to share the Venezuelan culture, and aid those in need in Venezuela and abroad through the funds raised at our events.

Treasurer | Victoria, BC

Antonio Oquendo

Born in Caracas, Venezuela, Antonio  is a Lawyer with a Masters Degree in Business Administration and an entrepreneur with a passion for international business development, knowledge transfer and empowerment; a passion that he brings into practice as a partner associate at We Speak BC Inc.

Antonio is married with Carolina, has two daughters – Mariana and Sara – and they have been living in Victoria, BC for more than 11 years.

Director of Operations | Victoria, BC

Carolina Trejo

Carolina graduated as a Production Engineer in Venezuela.  She now works as a Real Estate Advisor in Victoria, where she has lived for the past 10 years.

Her favourite sport is tennis and she loves to dance. It is her dream to form a Venezuelan dancing group as a way to promote our culture, our colourful traditions and the diversity of our traditional dances.

On her days off she enjoys sharing good food and a good time with her partner, kids and friends.

Director of Communications | Coquitlam, BC

Alejandra Ilarraza

She holds a Bachelor’s in Social Communication and graduated from UCSAR in Caracas, Venezuela. Her passion for promoting culture and showcasing her country has led her to actively collaborate in social initiatives, working with community groups to facilitate the integration of new immigrants and strengthen solidarity ties among diverse cultures.

Her hobbies are sharing Venezuelan cuisine with others, and teaching and learning new recipes to spread culinary knowledge. Her love for performing arts and media is reflected in her support for freedom of expression and information, aspects she considers fundamental in a democratic and pluralistic society.

Vice-President | Burnaby, BC

Ivan Contramaestre

Ivan is a Software Developer that has resided in Metro Vancouver for more than 30 years.  When he is not playing Lego, or watching “Brooklyn 99” in the company of his two children, you can see him performing with Los Parranderos De Vancouver, walking his dog or volunteering at the North East Burnaby Community Association (another non-profit).  He likes baseball, the beach, and jogging 3 times a week.

Ivan currently works as a Senior Software Developer at The University of British Columbia and this is his 8th year as a member of the Board of Directors.


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