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our Team

Alfonso Corona

FOUNDER, Executive Director & Lead Facilitator

Alfonso is the Founder of Art Essential and lead designer of the programs. He discovered one of his life's biggest passions in his early 20s when he landed his first job as a photography teacher in one of the top IB Schools in Mexico City, seven years later he also played the role of International Examiner for the IB Organization.

While developing his career as Professional Photographer Alfonso worked as a College Professor for seven years at Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City. He LOVES to teach and facilitate classes or workshops.


Alfonso is also the founder and CMO of Kite Mix Marketing a boutique marketing firm founded in 2004.


On the wellness end, Alfonso received his L.M.T. License in 2007. In recent years, he has accumulated over 1,500 hours of studies in 9 different bodywork, mindfulness, and wellness modalities including Manipulative Therapy, Thai Yoga Massage  TMJ Therapy, HydrotherapyMusic Therapy, Art Therapy and diverse Energy Work Modalities.


Alfonso's first experience with meditation was when he was 11 years old, he found his life passion by helping people to learn mindfulness, meditation, and find their 'happy place' within their personal artistic flow.

Since 2010, he has facilitated hundreds of team building workshops, education, and retreat programs for global corporations, families, couples, and groups in high-end resorts, as well as community centers in California, Florida, Texas, Florida, and Arizona.

Alfonso is also a fine-art photographer, his latest artworks may be found at 

Elizabeth Aguilera

Treasurer & Business Development Coach


Elizabeth is an Industrial Engineer, Emotional Therapist, and Business Coach. She has over 25 yrs of experience in the food industry.  Elizabeth is also the owner of Mi Cocina by The Hour and Nuts & Cows. 

She is the recipient of SBA District and Regional Awards, State of Texas Award also has received 4 additional Small Business Grants. She also teaches the business development components of our Academic Program as well as the Latina Hope Program and 1MillionCups in McAllen TX.


José Uribe Gaudry

ACADEMIC Director & Academic Program C0-Creator

José has a Bachelors Degree in Law, from la Universidad Panamericana, where he obtained an honorary mention with the thesis “Brief study of the Mexican educational legislation, "in the light of humanity fundamental rights”. He is also an applicant to a Masters degree in Mexican historiography by the

Instituto Cultural Helénico.

He has thirty five years of experience in the educational field, in different levels such as elementary school, middle school, and high school. Throughout these years, he has imparted learning techniques, civics, law, and teacher training and school management.

Alongside his teaching, José Francisco Uribe Gaudry occupied various positions at the Bachillerato Alexander Bain, where he finally became the school principal for over a decade.

He has also been elected to occupy different positions, both at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and at the International Baccalaureate in Geneva, Switzerland, where he currently served as Governor of the Foundation Board and member of the Education Committee.

Mr. Uribe Gaudry has assessed schools in Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, and Mexico.

He has participated in conferences and educational symposiums in differencountries all over the world, such as Argentina, Canada, Costa Rica, Chile, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Spain, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Thailand.

He also participated in the educational transition team of former Mexican President Vicente Fox. José is also a published author and public speaker.

Jorge Vera de Castillo

Academic Program Coach & Facilitator

Jorge is a specialist in corporate sales, managing big groups, and is results-oriented. Specializes in opening new markets, companies with an ecological perspective, getting new clients on board with a service-oriented mentality and an interest in self-sustainable, green environments. Jorge has the ability to interact internationally due to extensive travel experience and fluent in 5 languages.


Jorge graduated from Universidad Iberoamericana with Honors in 1987, he has a degree in Engineering and an MBA from ITAM. Other studies include 'Strategic Business Alliances' in the Wharton School of Business, Business Administration at Disney University, and Corporate Finance in ITAM.

Jorge has worked as Channel & Sales Director for Placove/Zilkum/Verdek, as Territory Manager for Intellilabs, Country Manager for NLMC responsible for offices in Miami, Brazil, and Argentina. Also as Executive Director for Buro Express, and Business Development Manager for NCubo/Kio Networks.

He has been teaching for 35+ years at Universidad Iberoamericana in the Engineering Department.

Veronica M. Farías

Academic Program Coach & Facilitator 

Veronica has a degree in Literature and a Masters Degree in History of Though from Universidad Panamericana in Mexico City. She also completed studies of Philosophy in Rome Italy, and Barcelona Spain.

She also graduated from the Cordon Bleu in Paris, Veronica is a Corporate Coach from IMPEL, and currently working on her Art Therapist Certification.

For over two decades Veronica has worked as International Baccalaureate teacher, also working with students with learning disabilities.

Veronica has also worked as Editorial Director for academic publications focusing on leadership development, she also currently manages an art space in Mexico City focused on providing diverse activities and programas for all ages.

Myriam Compeán

Academic Program STEM Coach & Facilitator 

Myriam is a passionate teacher with 36 years of experience in Physics and Math in middle school, high school and college grades, including the Middle Years Program and the Diploma Program from the International Baccalaureate Organization, with motivating, challenging and innovative ideas. She uses many resources both didactic and technological.

Myriam discovered her love for teaching since her first years as a middle school Math and Physics teacher, and has been preparing herself ever since with several courses including Micro Computing as a Teaching Support, Significative Learning, Bancubi, Smart Discipline, Communication and Closeness, Middle Years Program courses, Moderating Process (IB program), Collaborative Learning, Micro-Teaching, Astronomy, Teaching Abilities Development Program, Apple Teacher Certification, Kahoot Certified Teacher, and earned
the Teacher of the Year Medal, awarded by the UN and SEP in 2000, plus an Academic 
Excellence Recognition, granted by Universidad Anahuac in 2006. 


Myriam also loves music and she sings, plays piano, guitar and mandolin. She loves to
travel by road and get to know all the “Pueblos Mágicos” from her country.

Kathya Maceda

Academic Program Wellness Coach & Facilitator 

Kathya is a registered Yoga Teacher in Hatha Vinyasa by Yoga Alliance, an international association with recognition world wide. She has been practicing Yoga since 2013, and teaching since 2016.


She loves to practice but to teach is a passion for her, each and every yoga student should look to a better body-soul-mind centered practice, and to achieve that, they must have an inspiring guidance and continuous practice, Kathya is constantly working with continuing preparing herself in new yoga styles and sharing them with their students.

Kathya combines her professional practice working in a K12 school as administrative director and working with high school students in a business administration program, since 2001.

Karla Figueroa

Academic Program STEM Coach & Facilitator 

Karla has a Bachelor’s Degree in Food Chemistry from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. She has worked in different areas of the industry such as a researcher for the National Institute of Pediatrics (INP) as well as a chemical quality control analyst in the pharmaceutic area.

She has 6 years of experience in the educational field, especially in the science domain. She has worked in different levels such as middle school and high school teaching Chemistry, Physics and Food Preservation.

Karla also works an actress and commercial broadcaster, she is the voice of different consumer brands and e-learning courses.

Roxana Borgio

Academic Program Facilitator 

Roxana grew up in the Valley of Oaxaca, she was grew up surrounded by the influence of Native herbal medicine from the curanderas of Oaxaca. It was here where she first encountered the world of herbal medicine. She is an Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Professional who is very passionate about the treatment of different conditions through the use of herbal medicine and its different preparation methods. These focus mostly on herbal teas, tea pills, and skin topicals. Roxana studied and practiced TCM in China and Japan, she learned about ancient medicinal techniques, many practices and uses in the Hospital environment in Asia. She is a Moxibustion practitioner and a firm believer of its results.

Her second life-passion is the field of Essential Oils and its application in combination with her Oriental Medicine Practice. She loves working with small essential oil manufacturers that preserve ancient practices and work with communities practicing fair-trade with these people who grow medicinal herbs.


Roxana has a private TCM practice in Mexico City. Her current focus is providing Acupuncture treatments for pain management, stress, and overall preventative care in people of need. Roxana LOVES reading books about Ancient Medicine and its infinite uses.

Silvia Díaz

Academic Program Facilitator 

Silvia has a Bachelors Degree in Pedagogy from Universidad Panamericana. She has been teaching English for ten years from preschoolers to adults and working with online and face- to face formats. 


She has post-graduate studies in learning therapy, children development and, learning problems and disabilities regarding reading, writing, math, reasoning, listening, and speaking. These studies have taken her to always pursue and work form the child’s strengths to accomplish their goals. 

Silvia has worked as English coordination for IB schools where she has developed and strengthened language programs. 

Edgar Galicia

Academic Program Facilitator

Edgar is an IT expert, he has a degree in Computer Systems Engineering from the Superior Computer School of the IPN. He has extensive studies in Computer Security, and Information Systems Development Methodologies.


Edgar is also a Business Coach with experience in both private and public sectors. From 1998 to 2006 he worked at the Fundación Miguel Estrada Iturbide, later that year Edgar joined the Felipe Calderón Presidential Campaign and collaborated as part of the transition team.

From 2007 to 2011 he was Manager at the Training and Certification of Labor Competency in Social Assistance, and from 2011 to 2013 in the Information Engineering of Social Assistance, both are part of the Sistema Nacional para el Desarrollo Integral de la Familia (SNDIF). In 2013 he founded Agartha Systems, they are dedicate to Information Technology Services.

Ángeles Castañeda

Academic Program Facilitator 

Angeles has a bachelors degree in History, for over 25 years she has taught History and Geography for the IB program, She has a Masters Degree in Contemporary Latin American Studies. Angeles has numerous diplomas in Pedagogy and International Studies.

She also loves to do yoga, meditation, reading, and weaving.

Lázaro González Morales

Academic Program Facilitator 

Lázaro has a Bachelors degree in History and Social Sciences from Instituto Superior Pedagogico and an MBA in International Studies from ISRI, in Cuba.

Lázaro taught Political Studies in Universidad de la Habana. He has done numerous academic collaborations as guest teacher in UT at Austin, John Hopkins University, George Washington University, UCLA, San Bernardino University, Massachusetts University, and others. 

Throughout his career, Lázaro has facilitated many conferences in all the top Universities in Mexico. He also teaches International Relations in UPAEP. Lázaro is also a Faculty Professor at CEPE

Lázaro is also our chess coach! He's always excited about the opportunity to teach anyone how to play chess, all this while enjoying an enriching conversation filled with fun and interesting history facts too.

Paola Uribe Guadry

Academic Program Facilitator 

Paola is a professional Artist with a degree and Masters Degree in Visual Art
from Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México in Mexico City.

For over three decades she has been participating in many national and international,
individual and group Art Shows. Paola has been recognized with two honorific mentions at the Museo
Nacional de la Estampa in Mexico City
; a member in the Program Young Creators from Fondo
Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes
, Mexico City; and a Masters Degree Scholarship at Academia de San Carlos, graduating with honors.

She also has thirty years of experience in educational field in different levels and institutions
such as Bachillerato Internacional Alexander Bain, Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey,
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Universidad de Guanajuato, among others. She also
participated as a resident artist for the Solomon R. Guggenheim Program “Learning Through Art”


Currently she works at Guanajuato University where alongside her teaching position, she has

worked as Academic Coordinator for the Visual Art Degree.

Diana Estrada Galicia

Academic Program Stem Coach & Facilitator


Diana graduated with a Biology Degree from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Diana has worked as a science teacher at educational levels from preschool to high school for more than two decades.


Her second passion (after teaching) is the Ocean, she is internationally certified as a diving professional. She's also a diving instructor of basic and advanced levels.


She is very patient and creative when interacting with his students; She likes to innovate and manages to make her students enjoy what they do. Diana is committed to underserved communities and likes to help anyone in need. Diana is also a certified first aid and CPR instructor, endorsed by the AHA (American Heart Association). 

Armando Palacios Audirac

Academic Program Coach & Facilitator

Armando is an Architect and Urban Designer from IBERO University, where he graduated with honors. With an interest in the urban and territorial complexities, Armando has developed projects that range from urban interventions to small scale rural housing.


He has also been assistant professor in various Design Studios. Academically, Armando has been awarded various awards, including the IBERO White Chair for best thesis project, the LafargeHolcim Student Competition in Cairo, Egypt and the ArchDaily Best Thesis Project. His work has been published in various online magazines as well as recognized publications. Apart from architecture, Armando has interests in narrative and storytelling, graphic and parametric design, video games and music.

Mario Bringas

Music Program Coach & Facilitator

Mario has nine years of experience composing, producing and recording music for film, TV, radio, and independent artists. His experience encompasses the whole process of audio production: music composition, arranging, recording, audio editing, mixing and mastering.

As an International Relations graduate from ITAM, with a specialty in Environmental Economics, he worked for three years at Reforestamos México, an environmental NGO. 


From 2009 to 2020, he was a member of The Plastics Revolution, an indie rock band that released 2 albums, and 2 EPs. In 2015, with his associate, Carlos Medina, he co-created Chimychanga Estudio, a recording studio in Mexico City aimed at up-and-coming musical talents.  

In 2018 Mario attended Point Blank Electronic Music School in Los Angeles, where he took Creative Production and Audio Mastering.  Since 2019, Mario has taught music at Avalon International School

Manuel Gorka

Music Program Coach & Facilitator


Manuel Gorka has worked full time as a professional singer and voice coach for 27 years. He was classically trained in opera in New York City with Mario Talavera, whom also trained Placido Domingo and other great signers.


 Gorka has appeared on stage in Broadway musicals like La Traviata, Les Miserables, Cats, Fiddler on The Roof, Carmen, La Boheme, and many others.

He's also a voice coach and as part of our Team he's focused on empowering people by helping them to find their own voice, as well as teaching them how to project it and use its power on our daily lives.

You can learn all about Manuel Gorka here

Paloma Dueñas

Music Program Coach & Facilitator


Paloma graduated with honors from Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA, where she obtained a Bachelor's Degree in Music in  Voice and Music Therapy. 

In addition, she an experienced music therapist and teaching artist for children with and without developmental disabilities, specializing in the Autism Spectrum and sensory disorders, providing therapy services to children, helping them learn, develop and express through the arts.


Paloma also performs with her Brazilian jazz project: 

Camille Western


Camille is passionate about helping others in their journey to learn and expand through the arts, wellness and education.

Camille has worked in most areas of the Spa and Wellness Industry for over 25 years, she held management positions in top spas such as Golden Door Spa in Puerto Rico, Grand Bay Hotel & Spa in Mexico, and Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa in California. She is the owner and formulator of Thaiyurveda, they're devoted to crafting aromatherapy and herbal body products as well as training and customizing products and protocols for top spas around the world including the Ritz Carlton Reserve, JW Marriott, Pebble Beach, and Ventana Inn.

Her early career studies were focused on massage therapy, skin care, cosmetology, yoga instruction, Thai Massage Teacher Training and Thai Herbalism. She has also certifications on LaStone Therapy, lymphatic drainage, Reiki, Puerto Rican healing traditions and Craniosacral Therapy, these days she is also a wellness coach and bodywork therapist on demand. 


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