We believe that people with disabilities have much to offer to society, and to get to know them is to fall in love and appreciate them. Also, we know that people with disabilities suffer from isolation and a lack of authentic friendships.
Viamistad exists to fill that void in the lives of people with disabilities in Guatemala.
We are a large group of friends who celebrate human diversity through projects and activities with a marginalized and isolated population. Our focus is to create a community of impoverished people with disabilities in Guatemala. We achieve this goal with three recreational summer camps in which we meet at the beautiful Lake Atitlan and live together for eight days.
At camp, we erase divisions and categories. We are simply friends enjoying an annual vacation in which we create original art, dance, and participate in amazing activities.
After more than ten years hosting summer camps, we expanded the type of programming that we offer to our community.
We now help our families when they face an emergency or when our friends with disabilities need something specific and out of reach to improve their lives, such as being able to start up their own business or make a living with a special talent. We started an educational program that did not previously exist in the country, which keeps growing.
"To create opportunities to enrich the lives
of people with disabilities"
"To create a world in which human
diversity is celebrated"
Joseph Argilagos is Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board of Viamericas Corporation, a consumer focused money transfer company with operations in forty-five U.S. states and throughout Latin America. Viamericas has a rapidly expanding presence in Canada, Southeast Asia, and Africa with call centers in Mexico, Colombia and the Philippines.
Prior to that, Joseph was a Managing Director at Merrill Lynch in New York. Over his 16 year career at Merrill, he was one of the persons responsible for establishing the fixed and equity linked derivative business as Global Head of the Investor Strategies Group. He was appointed Chairman of Merrill Lynch International Bank and was Co-Head of the firm’s Global Foreign Exchange division.
Joseph has served on the Advisory Board of the MIT Financial Engineering Tract. He is currently a Board Member of Home Boy Industries in Los Angeles, the largest gang rehabilitation and re-entry program in the world.
Ms. Argilagos is one of the founders and serves as General Counsel of Viamericas. She advises on strategic issues and oversees all legal matters across the business of the company, including corporate, commercial, regulatory, intellectual property, litigation, employment, ethics and governance. She also serves as President of Viamistad, the non-profit organization through which the Company organizes its corporate social responsibility initiatives.
Prior to founding Viamericas, Ms. Argilagos worked for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Inter-American Dialogue, as Executive Director of the Group of Fifty, a non-profit initiative that promotes economic and social progress in the Western Hemisphere.
Ms. Argilagos received her undergraduate degree and Juris Doctorate at Boston College.
Sarah Peller, PH.D. currently serves as the Director of Operations for Viamistad Camp. Dr. Peller is part of the founders of the camp along with friends from Zeno Mountain Farm. While studying Spanish in Antigua, Guatemala, in 2003 she volunteered in classrooms for students with cerebral palsy. Through the friendship she made there and her history volunteering at Camp Jabberwocky and Zeno Mountain Farm, she decided to start a camping program in Guatemala.
Dr. Peller received her PH.D. in School Psychology from the University of Massachusetts in 2014, her research focused on a second language learning, early reading ability, and identification of learning disabilities among Spanish speaking students in the public schools.
Joe Massie serves as the Chief Compliance Officer and Legal Counsel of Viamericas Corporation, where he is responsible for leading all aspects of regulatory and financial crimes compliance. Mr. Massie also proudly serves as Secretary for Viamistad, the philanthropic arm of Viamericas Corporation.
Ken Rosak is the SVP of Finance for Viamericas Corporation. He has worked for Viamericas for the last 12 years responsible for the treasury and other finance functions for the company. Prior to Viamericas, Ken has worked in the banking industry for 19 years in various auditing and operational roles. Ken is honored to serve as treasurer for Viamistad Corporation since its inception.