Staff and Leadership


Executive Director: Juan F. Soto –

Juan Soto

312-666-2663 ext: 225

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 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 owners.





Sponsor Coordinator: Ana Padilla –


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/Latino Studies and a basics certification in Geographical Information Systems. 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. In 2015, Ana became the Manager of Operations for Pilsen Neighbors Community Council and the Fiesta del Sol Coordinator. In her free time, Ana enjoys running marathons.


Business Coordinator – Apply Here!



Media and Communications Coordinator: Edgar E. Lopez-Perez –

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 but hopes to transfer to a 4-year college to pursue education. 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.