Mariel Sanchez

Mariel is a graduate student at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, focusing on human security and international development. She is originally from Mexico and has spent time studying in France and doing volunteer work in Costa Rica. Prior to her graduate studies, she was a case manager and legal representative at the YMCA International Services, a refugee resettlement agency in Houston, Texas. Her cases involved immigration relief for victims of crime, asylum seekers, and family reunification for refugees and other low-income immigrants. Before starting in immigration law, she worked for a disaster relief program, where she provided case management and direct assistance to hurricane survivors. She also has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from The University of Texas at Austin. This summer, she continued her work in the human rights field with EPAF, further exploring issues of transitional justice and post-conflict development. After the fellowship, she wrote: "The fellowship kept me very busy and I enjoyed having variety in the work. I liked being able to contribute practical skills in preparing a grant proposal and a marketing plan, while also having the opportunity to be creative in designing a website, writing AP blogs and making videos. For me, the best part about the fellowship was that I wasn’t just doing a job, but that everything I did had the greater benefit of supporting human rights. Also, working with the people of EPAF and learning the stories of the conflict directly from the victims were the most rewarding aspects." Contact:


03 Oct

As I near the end of my series of blog posts, I want to use this entry not only to give an overdue introduction to the faces of EPAF, but also to thank all of the staff at EPAF who made my fellowship such an interesting and rewarding experience. Despite the challenges during 10 very busy weeks of work, the energy and welcoming attitudes of everyone at the organization made me look forward to going to this office every day:

Goodbye EPAF office!

From guiding me through the chaotic bus routes of Lima and showing me how Peruvian ceviche is made, to sharing insights on Latin American politics and advice for working with survivors of armed conflict, the following people were a great support in my day-to-day life in Lima and became an inspiration to my broader work as a human rights advocate:

Meet EPAF: Natalia

Natalia Ortiz

Ysabel VillanuevaMeet EPAF: Ysabel

Natalia is the administrative assistant at EPAF and Ysabel is EPAF’s accountant. Both of them always greet you with a smile and take care of all office needs that are key to the management and operations of EPAF.

Meet EPAF: FrancoValezca, Franco and Oscar carry out the forensic investigations. They conduct excavations, recover evidence and analyze human remains to determine the identities of the disappeared or assist in other law enforcement processes.  They often travel to train forensic teams or act as consultants for specific assignments in other countries. Franco is a lead facilitator for EPAF’s Somaliland Field School.

Franco Mora

Meet EPAF: ValeskaMeet EPAF: Oscar

Valezca Martinez                                                                 Oscar Loyola


Meet EPAF: Jesus

Jesus Peña
Percy Rojas (not pictured)

Since I shared an office with Jesus and Percy and collaborated with them on most tasks, they were mentors to me as much as I was a mentor to them. I have mentioned Percy, who heads the field school in Peru, throughout the blog. Jesus is the project coordinator at EPAF and also researches topics of human rights and human development. Jesus and Percy work in a variety of memory reconstruction and economic development projects in communities affected by the conflict.

Jose Pablo Baraybar (not pictured)Meet EPAF: Gisela
Gisela Ortiz

Jose Pablo is the founder and executive director of EPAF. Gisela is the director of operations. They both have impressive backgrounds, knowledge, and a long list of achievements, but what I found most remarkable about their leadership is their kindness and the genuine passion with which they pursue justice for victims of human rights abuses.



Posted By Mariel Sanchez

Posted Oct 3rd, 2015

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