Juan F. Soto, Executive Director

jfsoto@gamaliel.org, 312-666-2663 ext: 224

Juan F. Soto is the Executive Director of Gamaliel of Metro Chicago, Gamaliel of Illinois and Gamaliel Network’s Director of the Civil Rights for Immigrant Department. Juan is also a senior trainer for the Gamaliel Network and mentors and trains organizers at the local and national level.

He oversees Fiesta del Sol, the largest four day Mexican cultural event in that draws in over 1.3 million people annually. Fiesta Del Sol is the largest, free, family orientated, non-alcohol and tobacco-free festival in the U.S. Fiesta has been an economic engine that has supported the creation of entrepreneurship for many small business minded owners.




Ana Padilla, Manager of Operations

ana@gamalielmetrochi.org, 312-666-2663 ext: 222

Ana was born in Jalisco, Mexico and grew up on the near-north side of Chicago since the age of eight. Ana attended Harold Washington College where she obtained an Associates degree in Art with a concentration in Latin American and Latino Studies and a basics certification in Geographical Information System. She is currently seeking her Bachelor’s degree in Latin American/Latino Studies.

Ana joined Gamaliel of Metro Chicago, at Pilsen Neighbors Community Council as a summer intern in 2008 and became a staff member in 2010. Ana has worked with the Fiesta del Sol vendors, ACT prep program and the Fiesta del Sol Scholarship Program. Currently, Ana is responsible for working with vendors and businesses and logistics for Fiesta del Sol.

In her free time, Ana enjoys running marathons, and this year she finished her third marathon. She plans to continue running.



Community Organizer-TBD: Apply Here


Edgar Lopez, Media and Communications Coordinator

edgar@gamalielmetrochi.org, 312-666-2663 ext: 223

Edgar Lopez grew up in the south side neighborhood, “Back of the Yards”. He is a first-generation U.S. citizen and his parents both migrated from Mexico in search of better opportunities. The struggles his parents faced as undocumented workers have influenced his path to working in the community.

He currently is a student at Harold Washington College. He is one of the leaders of Fuerza del Sol- Justice Task Force at PNCC. In his free time, he likes to watch documentaries, bike and do photography.





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