CET Colombia

Your Community in Colombia

Your local network in Cali plays a big part in bringing your academics to life. You’ll have knowledgeable, hand-picked instructors from our host university, Universidad del Valle. You’ll live alongside Colombian roommates that can show you the ropes in a new country. You’ll have staff passionate about the development of Afro-Colombian communities and want you to be, too. With a community like this, race, identity, and ethnicity won’t just be something you learn about in class—it will be an active part of your everyday life.

The Resident Director helps you get the most out of the program. She handles housing, excursions, and day-to-day logistics. Want recommendations for your weekend? Need to see a doctor? Just want someone to talk to? The Resident Director is your best resource.

Mariela Palacios
A schoolteacher by vocation, Mariela holds undergraduate degrees in economics (Universidad de La Salle en Bogotá, 1998) and education (Universidad Tecnológica del Chocó “Diego Luis Córdoba” Quibdó, 1989). She has pursued graduate work at London Metropolitan University and is currently completing her thesis for an MA in Population Studies at Universidad Externado de Colombia Bogotá. Mariela has more than 20 years of experience working in the development of Afro-Colombian communities across the country, under the auspices of both government and international cooperation agencies. She has served in a variety of positions, from managing one of the biggest cultural festivals in Colombia to devising a job creation plan for 200 people in the city of Quibdó.

Mariela Palacios

Resident Director

Cyntoya McCall
Cyntoya, a native of Niles, MI, graduated from Michigan State University where she studied Spanish (Secondary Education) and Sociology (BA, 2012). She has since been active in education, teaching Spanish, mentoring students, and eventually moving to Colombia as a two-time recipient of the Fulbright ETA scholarship (2014, 2015). Most recently, Cyntoya lived and worked with Afro-Colombian communities in the department of Chocó. Over the years, she has developed a passion for empowering the lives of people from diverse communities of the African diaspora through language education, arts and music, and promoting awareness of Afro descendants in U.S. and Latin America.

Cyntoya McCall

Resident Coordinator