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about us


Genesis Foundation seeks to create a more inclusive society for Colombian children by improving the quality of their education. We enhance programs that provide children in vulnerable life situations with better opportunities to develop and succeed.


Our vision is to empower children who have the skills to pursue their dream.

Genesis Foundation was founded in the United States by a group of Colombian business leaders who believed in giving back to the communities where they lived and worked.


Genesis Foundation was founded in the United States as a private non-profit foundation with 501(c)3 status in 2001 by a group of Colombian business leaders who believed in the concept of “giving back.” They believed that education had been instrumental to their success and wanted to replicate that opportunity for children in Colombia by supporting quality education initiatives.

Genesis’ grant making role expanded in 2005 with the opening of its office in Bogotá and by becoming actively involved with its grantees. Thus, besides providing approximately $1 million USD per year in grants, Genesis began to assist the organizations with much needed technical support with the purpose of strengthening their operations and results. In 2009, Genesis set up its local sister organization, Fundación Génesis para la Niñez, to facilitate local fundraising activities and the creation of alliances with the public and private sectors in the country.

In 2010 Genesis shifted from acting strictly as a grant-making foundation to designing and managing educational programs run by trustworthy local partners and replicating these models nationwide. We support the operating organizations by giving technical assistance, providing funds, monitoring the investments and evaluating results.

As a result of its methodological work and successful track record, Genesis has become a leading organization in the field of education in Colombia, implementing the government’s strategy for early education and partnering with both the public and private sectors to leverage resources and increase the impact of all of our investments. Currently, Genesis oversees the disbursement and execution of approximately $18MM USD per year, composed of private donations, public funds, and joint projects.


Jaime Bermudez - Chair and President

Susan Mayer, Treasurer

Herbert Selzer, Secretary

Carolina Esquenazi-Shaio, Founder

Juan Carlos Garcia Cañizares

Andrea Lawson Gertsacov

Cristina Gutierrez de Piñeres, Executive Director


Jimmy Mayer

Antonio Puerto


Edmundo Esquenazi (1935-2014)

Our team

Cristina Gutiérrez de Piñeres - Executive Director


Phone: (+1) 212-421 1149 /   (+571) 542-9171

Lucila Cecchi - Director of Development & Communication


Phone: (+1) 542-9610 ext 562

 Natalia Henao - Project Manager


Phone: (+571) 542- 9171

 Karin Kramer - Project Manager


 Phone: (+571) 542- 9171

Carolina Uribe - Project Manager


Phone: (+571) 542- 9171

Patricia Trujillo - Administrative Manager (Colombia) 


Phone: (+571) 542- 9171

Jennifer Gerbereux - Administrative Manager (USA)

Email: <>

Phone: (+1) 212-421 1933

Events & awards


2007-2012: BeLive Colombia

Genesis Foundation along with Give to Colombia, Formula Smiles and ArtNexus Foundation hosted one of the most recognized fundraising events in South Florida to raise funds to support Education, Health and Economic Development in Colombia. BeLive raised over $4 million dollars in donations with the support of over 100 corporate sponsors, 3,000 attendees and the support of international media outlets.

 2010-2014 ING Miami Marathon - Colombian Team

 For four consecutive years a group of supporters ran the Miami Marathon to raise funds for Genesis Projects. Genesis Foundation was the only Colombian Charity participating in the marathon during those years.


 Genesis Foundation and Dar por Colombia joined efforts to host a Poker Tournament in Bogotá to raise funds for both organizations.

 2013- Toca Colombia

 Genesis Foundation supported the first concert of the Colombian Youth Philharmonic that took place in the magnificent New Word Center in Miami Beach. Over 700 guest enjoyed a fabulous concert of some of the most talented young musicians of Colombia.


 Genesis Foundation got an honor award by Fundación Alejandro Ángel Escobar in Colombia.

 2014 & 2015 Walking for Water Bogotá 

As part of the international initiative lead by the United Nations to commemorate World Water Day, Genesis Foundation and the Council of International Schools in Bogotá have hosted, for two consecutive years, Walking for Water. Hundreds of private school students have walked carrying water in honor of millions of children worldwide from vulnerable rural communities that walk daily in order to have access to clean water. This walk raised funds to support Genesis programs. 


Genesis Foundation was invited by the Qatar Foundation to share its experience on early childhood education and participate in the debate: How Do We Best Prepare the Youngest Ones For School and Life? at the WORLD INNOVATION SUMMIT FOR EDUCATION (WISE) that took place in Doha.