Sisi Portuondo:


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Silvia (Sisi) Portuondo-Smit graduated from Lourdes Academy in 2008, and from the University of Miami (UM) in 2012 with a B.A. in International Relations and English Literature, and a minor in Business Law.

In 2010, Sisi spent the summer in Chennai, India volunteering with Rising Star Outreach, an organization that works with the leprosy population in India to become thriving, self sufficient communities. This turned out to be an extremely formative experience for Sisi, and would inspire her to pursue continued work in international development. 

After she graduated in 2012, Sisi began working at the Foundation for Human Rights in Cuba (FHRC), a nonprofit organization dedicated to the empowerment of Cuban civil society in their effort to bring a durable democracy to the Island. She served as Fundraising Manager and later Project Manager, and participated in the conceptualization, implementation, and management of several on-Island projects, including the Somos Un Solo Pueblo scholarship program that sponsored 17 Cuban students on J1 visas for a semester of study at Miami Dade College.

In April 2015, she organized a delegation of 24 independent Cuban Civil Society members to attend the VII Summit of the America’s Governability and Civil Society forums in Panama City, Panama. She worked with the FHRC until December of 2015.

She currently works as Project Manager at the Cuban Soul Foundation where she assists in the planning, funding and implementation of cultural events as part of a multidisciplinary approach to bring music, art, dance and film to Miami’s diverse community, with an emphasis on Cuban art and culture. 

To learn more about Rising Star Outreach and their work in India, click here