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The Committee

ALASDAIR GRANT

Chairman

I have been honoured to have been the Chairman of the Anglo Chilean Society for several years having previously been on the Executive Committee for more than 20 years. Highlights have included organising the dinner for the visit of President Frei Montalva and the recent 75th anniversary dinner in the presence of HRH The Princess Royal.

My involvement with Chile stemmed from a degree in Latin American studies which included a year at University in Chile. I then went on to study documentary making at USC in Los Angeles before returning to Chile to work on a TV production. I spent 20 years making documentaries and travel programmes around the world including in Chile. I also spent much of many years restoring a ‘masia’ in Eastern Spain which is now run as a boutique hotel. In my remaining time I have served 25 years in the Army Reserve. I married Gayle in 2015 and we have a daughter Edomé.

 

I have been very lucky to have been able to return to Chile on many occasions for work and pleasure and to enjoy the company of so many wonderful friends.

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CARMEN PEARSON

Executive Committee Secretary & Grants Coordinator

I was born in Valparaiso, but I grew up and went to school mainly in Santiago.
I lived in Spain for 8 years where I worked as a Bilingual Secretary in several companies.


In 1982 I went back to Chile where I met David my husband to be. We got married at the end of 1982 in Chile and we came to live in the UK in early 1983. We are a family of four our daughter Michelle and Andrew from my first marriage. We now have 3 grandchildren. 


I discovered the Open University and joined it in 1985.  After many years and extremely late nights I graduated with a BA in History of Art (Hon). Later I moved sideways and trained as a Conservator in a Private school in Richmond in 2001 for 3 years after which became an Accredited member of The City and Guilds of London. Shortly after I opened a Conservation Studio which I own until this day.
 

David and I became members of the Anglo Chilean Society in the late ‘80s and I have been a member of the Executive Committee for many years. I was Vice Chair for 10 years and now I am one of two Secretaries, the other one being Monica and we look after different aspects and good practice of the Society.


Like many of us, despite living in the UK for half my life, the links with Chile, family and friends have always been strong.

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CLAUDIO DURAN

Committee Member

I was born in La Calera, Chile, a small city 70 miles north of Santiago's capital.  After completing my secondary education, I served a voluntary service mission for 18 months in Concepcion in 1983. It was there that I met Clare Elvidge, a British nurse; two years later, we got married and moved to England, where I obtained a Diploma and then a Master's in Business Administration from the University of Bedfordshire.

I am a co-founder and Director of ENA Care Group Ltd. based in Hertfordshire. In 2008 I was given an award by the Chilean Red Cross.

In 2010 I was elected a local Councillor representing Marshalswick North- East in the Parish of Sandridge in St Albans.

I received the Freedom of the City of London and became a Freeman and Liveryman for the Worshipful Company of Carmen in 2014. I am also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. 

I have been involved with the Anglo Latin American Foundation since joining the Anglo Chilean Society back in 2009. For the last 10 years, I have organised a Carol Service in Aid of the poor children in Latin America.  My wife and I are proud parents of 7 grown-up children and 6 grandchildren.  

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FABIANA JARAMILLO

Committee Member

I am Chilean. My family come from Osorno. I moved to Barcelona in the 1990s where I graduated from university with a degree in Marketing and Public Relations.  I moved to London around 18 years’ ago. I have worked as Executive Secretary of the National Dance Awards since 2014. Together with my partner, I have been a member of the ACS for several years and I joined the committee in 2018.
I have an interest in arts and culture, especially dance, which I watch whenever I can.  I have travelled widely throughout Europe to see dance and I am a member of the UNESCO International Dance Council.  I am also a supporter and have assisted with its PR of the Cervantes Theatre, which is a theatre that promotes plays in Spanish. I have also helped to run dance galas in London for charity, such as the Gala for Grenfell in 2017 and for the British Spanish Society. In my free time I practice Fencing, archery and Ssireum.

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MAGDALENA JONES

Vice-Chairman

After finishing university, I packed my rucksack and travelled across Europe for a year. On my return, I opened a restaurant/café in Santiago, which I ran for three years. In 1983, I met my future husband, Brian, and moved to England the following year. We now have three grown-up daughters. I worked in insurance for five years while the girls were young but then decided to change careers and retrained as a teacher. I taught Spanish at Epsom College for ten years, where I was able to share my passion for Latin America with my students, opening up a whole new region to them that up to then had not been included in the standard language teaching.

Although I have spent most of my life in the UK, I have always maintained strong links with Chile, both socially and through charity work, and encouraged my students to learn more about the different cultures and life in South America, and Chile in particular, helping them organise work experience and gap year activities in Chile, attending conferences , etc.

The travel bug has never left me and Brian and I are not planning to stop quite yet.

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MONICA VOLPIN

Membership Secretary & Online Content Editor

In 2001, feeling that I needed a change of scenery, I decided to leave my career in marketing and set off on what was initially planned to be a year travelling the world. I landed on the gorgeous Caribbean island of Roatan, with its amazing coral reef (the second largest in the world after Australia’s), and immediately fell in love with the place. I stayed for four years and became a Divemaster, an underwater scuba diving guide. In one of the dives, I met my future husband Mike and in 2005, I swapped the warm waters of the Caribbean for the damp English winters.

I now work in PR in the asset management field. I am also involved with a number of UK charities, for which I have developed their websites and helped with content.

I have not given up on my scuba diving, and Mike and I try to do it as often as we can, wherever we are in the world. I am also a keen photographer, both underwater and on land. 

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CATALINA HERRERA 

Committee Member

I am a communications professional with an MA in Journalism from Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez in Chile and an MA with Distinction in Cultural and Creative Industries at King's College London. After working for several years in Chile in the cultural and higher education sectors, I travelled to the United Kingdom to pursue my postgraduate studies, also meeting my husband.

 

Since then I have lived and worked in London working at various arts institutions and I have held the role of Cultural and Press Attaché at the Chilean Embassy since 2017. We have one little Anglo-Chilean, Arturo.

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MARCOS STUARDO

Committee Member

I was born in a Chilean city located in the Biobío Region named Los Ángeles, from where I moved to Santiago to study Music at the Universidad de Chile. 

 

I first came to the UK in 2012 to study a Master in Music programme at King’s College London. A few years later, I finished my PhD in Music at King’s and have now become, alongside my wife, who is also Chilean, a UK national. As a musician, I have been able to meet with many interesting and exciting people who have devoted their lives to the promotion of music and, more importantly, Chilean music. That is why I am always available to help artists who want to come to the UK to present their art, acting as proud artistic ambassadors of Chile.

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ROBERT HART

Treasurer

In late 1978 I and my family, Judith, whom I married in 1967, and three children, arrived in Chile at the start of what was planned as a two-year posting as financial director of a multinational’s subsidiary. It was our first overseas posting and we enjoyed it so much that I took the option to stay on and we were there until 1983 when we went to the Netherlands. My final posting was in Italy and, after five years there, I retired back to the UK in 1997.

Throughout we maintained contact with the many friends we had made in Chile so I was delighted to discover the Anglo Chilean Society, which I joined in 1998. The treasurer’s post became vacant the following year and it has been a pleasure to fill that role since then. It was a great honour to be awarded the Bernardo O'Higgins medal for services to Anglo-Chilean relations in 2017 on the recommendation of the then Ambassador, Ronaldo Drago. All my children are equally fond of Chile and have returned and I hope at least some of my eight grandchildren will have the chance to get to know the lovely country.

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EDWARD DALLAS

Committee Member

I work as an Economist for London-based consultancy specialising in social impact evaluation.  I first visited Chile as a gap year student in the late 1990s and spent 6 months in Concepción and then travelled the length of the country. I developed a wider interest in the region as I studied economics at Cambridge. 

 

I joined the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, working initially on Latin American economic issues and subsequently being posted to both Taiwan and Colombia.  My connection with Chile was renewed when I met my wife Claire who, at the time, worked in the British Embassy in Santiago and had lived in Chile for 10 years. 

 

I now have two Chilean step children (as well as three others of my own!) and we regularly visit Chile.  

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CLAUDIA IGLESIAS 

Committee Member

I am a qualified lawyer from Universidad Católica de Chile and subsequently pursued an LLM at London School of Economics here in the UK.

My work experience has been mainly based in Chile, where I have had the privilege to work in government, banking and as  head of legal of a large construction group which is also the owner of a winery in Colchagua Valley. The latter - wine - is one of my interests.
My other passions include the arts and education.
In one way or the other, I have always been close to the arts either studying art or following / collaborating with artists. I have undertaken various vocational  art courses with Chilean painters  and attended  Instituto Per I’Arte e il Restauro Palazzo Spinnelli in Florence. In London, I have done courses at Heatherley’s, School of Art and Central St. Martin, where I have had the chance to see so much talent around me that I decided that my skill set was better directed to appreciating art rather than developing myself as an artist .
In the last few years, in an attempt to bring up my children bilingually, I have trained to teach Spanish to children and teenagers preparing for GCSE and A levels.

Education in all its forms is a way of overcoming poverty, and this is my main mantra when it comes to helping others to attain the best opportunities in life. This has always been a focus for me whenever I have had the chance to work with charitable institutions and I would be delighted to continue doing so through the ACS.

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PETER WEST  

Committee Member

I am an economist with degrees from the universities of Cambridge and Sussex. I specialise in emerging markets, in particular those of Latin America. I have spent my career working for financial institutions and international organisations, not just in the UK but also in Venezuela, Chile and the US. I am currently economic adviser at EM Funding here in London. My wife is Chilean, our son has adopted Chilean nationality and we visit the country regularly.

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