Board of Directors

Manuel Contreras

Manuel Contreras

Board Member

Chairman and President

Manuel is a civil engineer with 20 years of international experience covering a vast arrangement of civil engineer works: bridges, tunnels, buildings, highways and dams. He is the founder and Managing Partner of micp engineering, an independent consultant firm.

He completed the Social Entrepreneurship Program at INSEAD in 2019 and the Nonprofit Management Executive Certificate Program at the Center for Public & Nonprofit Leadership at Georgetown University in 2019. Currently, he is a member of the Technical Advisory Board of the NGO Bridges to Prosperity.


Eli Bravo

Board Member


Eli holds a degree in media with a major in journalism. He is an author, a speaker, and a certified mindfulness teacher with an M.S in Psychology MFT.

Before dedicating himself to the study and teaching of Mindfulness, Eli developed a successful career in international media.

He is a former member of the advisory board of the Instituto Prensa y Sociedad, and a former Friend of UNICEF.

Vicky Azpurua2

Victoria Azpúrua

Board Member

Victoria is a lawyer with studies in financial management from New York University.

She has a successful career as wealth manager in renowned institutions like Raymond James and Morgan Stanley. She currently holds the position of Vice President of Investments and Wealth Management at Raymond James.

She supports many local organizations in Miami Dade where she lives.

Eljuri 2

Elisabeth Eljuri

Board Member

Elisabeth Eljuri is an energy executive and an independent arbitrator.  Ms. Eljuri was with private-equity-backed Sierra Oil & Gas until 2019 where she was the Vice President, Chief Negotiator, and Chief Legal Counsel.  Before venturing into private equity, she spent nearly three decades in legal practice at two of the world’s largest law firms. Ms. Eljuri was Head of Latin America of Norton Rose Fulbright where she was a senior partner of the Firm focusing on the areas of international arbitration, energy and natural resources, and projects/infrastructure.

Ms. Eljuri graduated from Universidad Católica Andrés and then attended Harvard Law School.  She sits on multiple industry and academic boards and is also a Guardian Ad Litem for foster children in Florida.


Alexander montoya

Board Member

Alexander is a businessman with a long career in the insurance sector in Colombia, Venezuela and the USA.

Alex had a short but successful stint as an entrepreneur fresh from college, before he moved to the insurance world. Since then, he has had a successful corporate career, first at AIG and now at Liberty Mutual.

Currently, he holds the position of Chief Operating Officer at Liberty Mutual Insurance.

He is known for applying his entrepreneurial spirit to every new role.

José Gonzalo Muci

Board Member

José Gonzalo is a lawyer with a career in the Financial Services industry.

He has been Director or President of several Investment & Retail Banking Institutions, as well as Trade Organizations representing those sectors in Venezuela, Colombia, Uruguay & the United States of America.

He is currently CEO of bbo Capital Partners LLC

Executive Team

Cecilia Neher

Cecilia Neher

Managing Director

Cecilia is a professional in the field of media and public relations with 25 years of experience in both corporate and nonprofit environments in Latin America, USA and Europe.

She has completed an MBA, a Master in Nonprofit Management and a Master in Publishing.

Cecilia helped Manuel develop the concept and the structure of Bastion when she started working with him in his company.

Cecilia is a member of the Board of the Cambodia Community Dream Organization (CCDO).

Natalia Araujo

Natalia Araujo

Managing Director - Operations

Natalia joined Bastion in September 2019 as a Managing Director overseeing the finance, operations and processes areas with the idea of building a solid platform that allows Bastion to deliver its mission.

She is a Mechanical Engineer with masters’ in Business Management and Engineering Management. She has extensive experience in process management for corporations like PepsiCo and nonprofits like UNICEF.

Her volunteer work includes several nonprofits in the education field.

Photo courtesy of Meals4Hope
Bastion: Helping to help
Photo: Fabricio Ojeda
Bastion: Helping to help
Photo courtesy of Caracas Mi Convive

What is Bastion

Bastion Life is a nonprofit corporation established under the laws of the State of Florida as a (501(c)(3).

Bastion provides comprehensive support for education as the keystone of social development and personal growth.

We partner with nonprofits and philanthropists around the world to support projects that provide access to education and a suitable environment for learning.

How do we accomplish our mission?

We work to increase the impact and effectiveness of social investments and programs without charging any fee to donors or nonprofits.

We evaluate and vet the most impactful, effective, and transparent charities in foreign regions working in Bastion’s area of focus.

We provide operational and grant management support to these selected charities at no cost.

We connect these selected charities to grantors and donors

What do we do?

We invest time and skills. We work with each organization on their individual needs and get involved in the development and implementation of the project.

Continued care. We require close project monitoring and long term follow up.

Close and recurring funding management. We tie recurring funding to the success of the project and timely reporting.

Administrative services. We offer donors the administrative and logistics support when making the donation. We do the paperwork and the donors send the grant directly to the selected organization. No money goes through us.

More details in our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Page

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