Laurie IJzerman

The founder of Casa de la Alegría, Laurie IJzerman,
has been leading the organization in Cochabamba since
2012. She studied Cultural Anthropology and Development
Sociology and completed her research master’s degree in
Latin America Studies in Bolivia.  She has been an apprentice
to various specialist therapists and coaches with various
specializations (music, theater, dance, trauma processing)
who are now all board members of Casa. Its main mission
is to help underprivileged young residents of Cochabamba
create a better future for themselves. Within the organisation,
Laurie is the driving force: she leads the training courses
for the teachers and facilitates the therapeutic process.




Walter Daniel Casazola Dávila has been
active in the field of alternative education
for children and adolescents since 2010.
Walter’s mission is to help children and
teens build their future, help them make
the right decisions in life, and strengthen
and develop their personalities. With his use
of art, puppetry and playful pedagogy,
he is a constant source of inspiration for
the entire team in Cochabamba.



Guelly Eugenia Quiñones Escobar, from
Cochabamba, has a degree in psychology
and has dreamed of working with children
and young people since she started her
studies. Since then, she has been busy
earning degrees in working with children
with special needs and children with
learning disabilities. Her patience,
eagerness to grow and perseverance are
inspiring to the entire team



Lizeth Rosales Barrientos from
Cochabamba is a social educator.
Already at the beginning of her studies
she realized that she wanted to devote
herself to vulnerable population groups.
Her greatest motivation is the love she
feels for the children we work with.
She is creative, eager to learn and always
up for something new!


Cinthia from Cochabamba has a degree
in social communication. From an early age
she often participated in social projects
and this is how her passion for working with
children and young people was born – for
example in the field of human rights and
theater. Cinthia has an infectious
enthusiasm and is known for her creativity.


Vivian Bertha Maldonado Maldonado
is a teacher. She has worked withchildren
and young people of all ages and her
passion is teaching and educating. She
dreams of revolutionizing traditional
education, which is why she is now
increasingly adopting new teaching
methods she is learning at Casa de
la Alegría.



Karlijn Lessmann

In 2015 and 2017 Karlijn worked
as a creative therapist at Casa in
Bolivia. While training teachers,
observing classes and coordinating
work in Cochabamba, she fell in love
with the foundation. Now she helps
us as an advisor for creative therapy.
“What I especially like to see is how
much the children have grown. I am
very proud of the work we do!”

Loulou Baudoin

Loulou Baudoin did an internship at
Casa de la Alegría while studying
music therapy in 2016 as part of her
minor in international sustainable
development cooperation. During her
internship Loulou developed the Libro
de metas (objectives book) and the
Libro de ejercicios (work book with
forms/exercises). She is now a board
member of the foundation and her
knowledge is occasionally used for
therapeutic advice.


Carolene Pessies

Carolene graduated in 2013 as a
music therapist. She feels blessed to
have worked as a creative therapist
for a year at Casa de la Alegría in
Cochabamba in 2015/2016. She
now works as a music therapist in a
large children’s and youth village in
Germany and enjoys being involved
as a board member for Casa de
la Alegría.

Sabine Seijerlin 

Sabine  is a dance/movement
therapist who offers guidance,
training and dance/movement
therapy to children, youth and
adults within forensic psychiatry.
In 2013, Sabine went to Bolivia to
transfer her knowledge to the
team, something she enjoyed
immensely. When she came back,
she wanted to stay involved with
the foundation and so she started
on our advisory board for
vocational therapy.


Esmée Pluijmers

Esmée is a psychologist and has a
Master’s degree in Development
Studies. Her goal in life is t
strengthen the resilience of individuals
and communities. Esmée works as a
psychosocial volunteer at Casa de la
Alegría and is waiting for the borders
to open up to move to Cochabamba.
In Cochabamba she will work as coordinator of psychosocial support.
In the meantime, Esmée has been
developing a tool to assess the
effectiveness of the interventions by
measuring social behavioural change
in the children. Besides that, Esmée
assists in training new employees.

Véronique Everts

Véronique joined Casa in 2020
as coordinator. In addition to
Casa, she works full-time in the
policy department of a healthcare
organization. Healthcare is the
common thread on her resume,
but she has also completed
internships at the Dutch Council
for Refugees and in the House of
Representatives. Because of her
great love for South America, she
ended up at Casa!



Bianca Wieman

Since 2020 is Bianca one of the
coordinators in the Netherlands. She
completed the master programme
pedagogy and international
development at the Universiteit
Utrecht. In 2012 she lived in
Nicaragua during her research
internship. There’s where her love
for Latin America arose. With great
pleasure she commits her spare
time for Casa de la Alegría.


Carla Cecconi

Carla joined Casa de la Alegría in
the end of 2020, motivated by the
positive impact that the mission of
Casa has in Bolivia. She is from Chile,
and had the opportunity to visit
Bolivia some years ago, where she
fell in love with the authenticity of
the people and their connection to
nature. She currently lives in Leiden,
The Netherlands, and works for a
Knowledge Institute related to social
impact and sustainability.


Anna Luiken

Anna has recently joined Casa de la
Alegría. Her background lies in education
and Germanic languages, but she also
loves Latin American cultures and history.
She has traveled to Latin America several
times and dances various dance styles
from Cuba. At Casa she focuses on social
media and report writing.


Michelle Pineda van ‘t Hek

Mies is responsible for Casa’s visual
communication. In 2020 she joined the
team of volunteers to design our new
logo and in addition she create a brand
identity for posters, presentations, the
new website and social content. Besides
doing design work, this half Dutch – half
Colombian also works with children at the
International Community School in
Amsterdam. She is very proud to be involved
in the foundation that helps children in
Bolivia in such a unique way.

Maartje Neven

Maartje has been working as a volunteer
for Casa de la Alegria since October 2020.
She contributes to the newsletter and social
media channels. ‘For me, the most fun and
rewarding part of volunteering for Casa
is the fact that you can see the results of
your work, for example with the Christmas
presents that were bought with the
money from the Facebook campaign.’


Atty-Marije Horjus

Atty supports Casa de la Alegría
by giving advice in the field of
communication and organization.
She gained her working experience
by working for the government,
corporate organizations and NGOs.
Supporting a Bolivian foundation is
important for her because her husband
was born in Bolivia and therefore her
children are half Bolivian. “Not every
child is lucky enough to grow up in
a safe environment. Everywhere in the
world children deserve the opportunity
to develop themselves towards
happy, healthy adults.”


Frederique de Jong

Frederique is involved with Casa
and Beyond South America since
2019. In the past she has traveled to
Argentina to do volunteer work, and
when I she was 24 she  returned to
South America (this time Peru) to do
it again; so the volunteering fits
closely to her personal interests. She
is helping Laurie with several small
jobs and has been marketing
coordinator for a while. She is
happily connected to BSA and Casa
and committed to it’s important and
beautiful purpose.

Thysa Beekman

Thysa recently joined the Casa
communications team as an editor
because she wants to learn more
about charities and hopes to find
a job in this sector one day. She
finds it imperative that everyone
tells their story, and it is her
mission to contribute to this. This is
why Thysa is very excited to create
beautiful content for casa, to ensure
that these stories are shared with
the world.

Nadine Kool

Since June 2020, Nadine is part of the
marketing communication team of BSA,
she really enjoys it. Besides that, she has
been helping out with various marketing
projects within Casa and helped building
the Juntucha website. Fun projects she
enjoys giving her time and energy. In her
free time she loves to travel, eat good
food and practice some yoga. 

Judith Junier

Judith – passionate photographer, world
traveler and story collector – has been active
for Casa since May 2020. She helps Casa
and the world, together with the other
volunteers, to make it a bit more beautiful,
contributing with her passion for images and
communication. In addition, she also loves
working as a career coach for young people
(via Jinc) and helps companies clarify their
story as a freelancer. From communication
and email strategy to content and from
(front-end) development and websites to
design. Only together, we can build a better
world for tomorrow.

Laura Berghuis

With a background in Latin America
studies, Laura has learned a lot about
and gained (travel) experience in the
region. She currently works for a Dutch
charity organisation, but the region still
has her special interest. That is why being
able to support the Bolivian children as a
volunteer at the foundation is something
she really enjoys.


Elsewietske Biever

Else is doing the promotion for the
Juntucha Language School in
the Netherlands. Her interest in
Latin America started while studying
Spanish and literature at Leiden
University. After a period of teaching
and translating, Else was active as
a consultant and account manager
for e-learning. This expertise has
proven to be a useful tool for the
promotion of Juntucha.

Susan Vernij

Susan  is the fundraising
coordinator in the Netherlands.
She completed her studies in
Spanish language and culture
and Public International Law.
She has always been interested
in other languages and cultures
and loves to travel and discover
new places in her free time.


Joni Beintema

Joni from Amsterdam is a part of
Casa’s volunteer team since June
2020. She has a background in
nutrition and health, but at Casa she
is mostly involved in applying for and
reporting to funds. She travelled
through South-America and lived in
Guatemala and Colombia. She loves
the Spanish language and Latin-
American culture, although she is
well aware of the downsides of
these countries. This is why she really
supports the work and goals of Casa.


Sem Lindeman

Sem has been active as a volunteer
for Casa de la Alegría since October 2019.
In January 2021 she started doing her
master’s research with the organization
as well, slowly learning more about their
work and falling in love with it. She has a
background in Cultural Anthropology and
a great passion for travelling. She hopes
to find herself in Bolivia soon, to learn more
about the country and about Casa de la
Alegría from up close.

Judith van den Hurk

Judith studied Spanish Language
and Culture and works as a translator
of EU texts. In 2009, she volunteered
during six months at a primary school
in Cochabamba. Ever since, the city
and its people have a special place
in her heart. At Casa de la Alegría, she
helps out as an editor and translator.



Ellen van der Linde

Ellen Has a background in cultural
anthropology (bachelor), and social health
(master). As soon as she could travel, she
set off, with India as her first destination.
Ten years and many destinations later, she
lives part of the year in Mexico. This is where
her love for Spanish-speaking cultures began.
In addition, Ellen has a passion for writing,
from poems to children’s stories, and now also
for Casa de la Alegría.


Ton van der Born

Ton has been volunteering for
Casa de la Alegría since 2016 and
is a member of our editorial
team. During his studies he did an
internship in Spain, and later
trained as a Spanish interpreter
while studying journalism in
Utrecht. He currently works
freelance and, while still writing
about green education, gender
diversity, for example for the
website of Transgender Network

Carolien Jonker

Carolien has been a volunteer
for Casa de la Alegría since
2015. During her studies she
took several Spanish courses.
In 2011, she studied in Mexico
for half a year, and then made
a trip through Central America.
Through these great experiences,
she feels a deep connection to
the Latin American language
and culture.

Kim de Oude

Kim has been an editor at Casa
since early 2013. After receiving her
bachelor’s degree in cultural
anthropology in Amsterdam and
a master’s degree in medical
anthropology in Edinburgh,
she wanted to do something good
with all this knowledge and
experience. Working for the
foundation allows her to perfectly
combine her passions for
anthropology, theater and language.


Sophie van Denderen 

Sophie is 22 years old and originally
from the Netherlands, but prefers
to call herself a ‘citizen of the world’.
In addition to studying international
law, she is active as a mindfulness
trainer and mainly as a translator
at Casa. Working here to make this
world a little better makes her
especially enthusiastic because it also
brings her in contact with the beloved
South American cultures, languages,
cuisine and dance.. always up for


Sita Bhagwann

Sita was born in Suriname and
studied Indology in Utrecht.
Her hobbies are yoga and Indian
classical singing and dancing,
and she enjoys volunteer work
where her skills and interests
can be put to good use. Sita has
been helping Casa de la Alegría
with the financial administration
since September 2016.

Henry Coca

Henry is from Santa Cruz, Bolivia
but currently lives in Ecuador. He is
a telecommunications and CISCO
technician whom supports Casa on
the field of IT and the web pages.
He has a passion for technology,
the beach, traveling and football.

Want to join our team?

For current vacancies, take a look on and search
for Casa de la Alegería. Is the role you want not listed there, but you still
want to help out? Send us an e-mail and we will contact you asap!