Who Are We?

PASO is composed of a group of activists from around the world who share the belief that we can more effectively promote justice, protect the environment and confront human rights violation in Colombia through international partnerships and support for local organizing efforts.

Laura Engshuber recently came to Colombia after working in the human rights education sector in Cambodia.  Raised in Germany and the United States, she holds a Bachelor’s Degree in political science from Georgetown University and a Master’s Degree in international law from The University of Edinburgh and has worked with a number of international and national organizations, including the UN Environment Programme and Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, on matters such as human rights, advocacy and engagement, environmental rights, and corporate social responsibility. She is particularly interested in post-conflict reconstruction and capacity building.

Neil Martin is an activist and organizer from Cincinnati, Ohio. He has lived in Colombia for the past eight years working with unions and grassroots human rights, indigenous peoples’ rights and environmental organizations. Neil has worked previously with Peace Brigades International’s  Colombia Project and the Bogota-based Jose Alvear Restrepo Lawyers Collective.

Jeff Ordower has been a labor and community organizer for more than 20 years.  Ordower was the Midwest Director of ACORN, founder of Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment, a co-founder of the Home Defenders League and was deeply involved in Ferguson, where his organization provided critical jail support to protestors.  He is delighted to working with the SINTRACIHOBI and PASO on his too-short sabbatical, and as he says, PASO is a unique organization that provides the right mix of accompaniment, support and capacity building for Colombian unions.

Nate “Pacho” Miller  came to Colombia after working at SEIU Local 1199 in New York. He was raised in San Francisco, California in a household very much shaped by historic struggles such as the free speech, civil rights and farm worker movements.  In past positions he has worked as an organizer with the Latino immigrant population at a homeless drop-in center located in San Francisco’s Mission District, and as coordinator in a number of candidate and initiative campaigns.  He holds a degree in Community Studies from UC Santa Cruz and was recently recognized by members of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors as being ‘San Francisco’s secret weapon’ for his successful campaign work.

Victoria Pozos Bernal is a student from the University of California – Santa Cruz majoring in Community Studies and an organizer and advocate for Farmworker/Labor Rights. Growing up in Watsonville, CA, a small agricultural town, she saw firsthand the exploitation of farmworkers in the United States through her own eyes and through her mother’s experience as a farmworker. Since then Vicky has been working with Rooted in Community, “Food, What?!”, Center for Farmworker Families, Coalition of Immokalee Workers and other Food Justice and Farmworker/Labor Rights organizations to bring a consciousnesses of the everyday struggles that agricultural workers face in the Americas and how people can get involved in supporting the movement and empowering workers to organize among themselves to create a greater change.