SOAR - Bogota Chapter

Bogota joined the SOAR family in July 2015. “Armenia” is a medium-sized city located between Bogota, Medellin, and Cali, the three largest cities in Colombia. The city was founded on October 14, 1889, by Jesus Maria Ocampo, also knows as “Tigrero” (translates to “tiger killer”) due to his love of hunting tigers. The city was originally called Villa Holguin, in honor of Carlos Holguin Mallarino, the then President of the country. The name was changed to Armenia in memory of the Armenian people murdered in the Ottoman Turkish Hamidian Massacres of 1894-1897 and later the Armenian Genocide of 1915-23. Approximately 100 Armenians live in Armenia and Bogota today.


Mariya Petrosyan

Mariya earned her Master in Global Economics from the Russian-Armenian (Slavonic) University, Russian Federation/Republic of Armenia, and her Master of Business Administration from Purdue University-Krannert School of Management, USA Leibniz University, Germany. She also holds a variety of certifications.

Currently Mariya is a professor of English at the Montessori British School in Bogota. She has held many diverse positions in different countries, from Client Relationship Manager, Product Leader, and PR and Logistics Controller in Armenia, a Leader of Consulting Project Team for Volkswagen Financial Services in Germany, to a Promoter of High Technology in Learning in Bogota. Mariya has volunteered her services in many causes; collecting and delivering clothes and toys for children in orphanages, participating in Yerevan city landscape gardening, and conducting social research for RAU.

Carlos Castellanos

Carlos earned his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez, continuing on to earn his Master’s in Business Administration from the Krannert School of Management, Purdue University/Leibniz Universitӓt, Hannover, Germany.

Carlos currently is the General Manager for BARTEC in Colombia. Previously, he has worked for General Electric Energy in Vega Baja, PR as an Operations Management Leadership Program Lean Leader and Productivity Leader, also developing the plant´s technical Lean moonshine team. Carlos also held a volunteer position at ENLACE Cano Martin Pena Corp. tutoring high school students of the eight communities that conform the Cano Martin Pena District, and developing a proposal for funding through EPA’s programs on environmental justice and public health. Because of his work here, he earned project recognition for support of education and environmental justice in low income communities.

Anahit Galstyan

Anahit was born in Yerevan, but lived most of her life in London. Her career in non-profit management and development has taken her all around the world, including to Ecuador, Armenia, Kosovo, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

Anahit spent a period of five years living and working in Armenia, where she worked with some of the most innovative organisations including TUMO Center for Creative Technologies, and more recently ONEArmenia, for which she ran operations as the Country Director in 2015-2017.

Since leaving Armenia in late 2017, Anahit has been working in the humanitarian sector with a landmine clearance charity to which she is bringing her insights on development and sustainability. She is currently based in Bogota working on Armed Violence Reduction projects in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

Anahit is completely fluent in both English and Armenian, and is working towards proficiency in Spanish. She has a mild obsession with dogs and can be seen taking selfies the world over with dogs both known and unknown to her.