About Us


About Latin American House


Latin American House was established in 1983 and celebrated its 35th anniversary in 2018. We work for the integration, social inclusion and well-being of Latin American and other Spanish and Portuguese-speaking migrants in London, as well as communities in our local neighbourhood.

Our aims are to improve the life of Latin Americans, to provide a local Community Centre and to promote the rich diversity of Latin American cultures.

We are a registered charity and a company limited by guarantee. Our services include:

Legal and Social Welfare Advice providing advice on immigration, employment and family law. In 2018 we also started a EU Settlement Scheme to support disadvantaged and at-risk Latin Americans. 

Children’s Education - This consists of our bilingual Menchú Nursery and the Spanish Saturday School.

Adult Community Learning - In partnership with local authorities, colleges and recognised education organisations, we provide practical adult education for Latin Americans and local residents.

Comunity Centre - a well-established centre where people can come for activities, information and orientation.

Culture - promoting and showcasing Latin American cultures, for people of all ages and backgrounds.

EU Settlement Scheme - Latin American House offers assistance to vulnerable Spanish and Portuguese-speaking EU citizens and their families who need help applying for temporary or permanent residence under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS).

A voluntary Management Committee, elected at the organisation's annual general meeting, runs Latin American House. The Committee meets every six weeks and is made up of Latin Americans who are committed to actively promoting the interests of the Latin American community and Latin American culture in the United Kingdom.


The current Management Committee, is as follows:

Enrique Saenz (Chair), BA MSc

Of Mexican origin, Enrique moved to the UK in the 80s. His work in communications and journalism continued outside his homeland as a correspondent for Mexican media. Most of his professional life in the UK has been in London in the not-for-profit sector. He was Director of Latin American House in the 80s and 90s, before becoming Director of an international NGO and then working for 15 years for a local support and development organisation, including five years as CEO He worked as a development consultant for AdviceUK, a membership organisation on independent legal and social welfare advice services, and continues to support them on a freelance basis. He is now back at LAH as a member of its board of trustees.

Miguel Mercado

Miguel landed in Britain in 1979 as a Chilean refugee, and is one of the active founders of the Latin American House. He is an experienced executive in strategic planning, training and communications with a considerable record of international work. A successful organiser with proven ability in the area of team leadership, Miguel is skilled at negotiating on behalf of organisations. He has recently been working to promote ITC on territorial planning and distance learning. Miguel has studied various discipline, including Languages and Social Sciences at Universidad de Concepción, Chile, Latin American Politics and Government at the University of Essex, and Computers in Education at King’s College, University of London. 

Judith Abanto, BA MA

Originally from Peru, Judith holds degrees in Politics, Philosophy, and Law. She is a solicitor (England & Wales) and an associate in the Energy and Natural Resources department of a US firm based in the City of London. Judith is also a member of the Society for Computers and Law (SCL) Junior Lawyers' Group. She is a keen advocate for pro-bono and passionate about promoting diversity within the legal profession. Judith volunteered in the Immigration department of Latin American House at the start of her legal career and currently chairs the Legal and Social Advice subcommittee. 

Juan José Jaramillo, BS, PGDip, PMP

Born and raised in Colombia, Juan José has worked in the private sector for 20 years. He has experience and training in Marketing and Project Management (Agile and PRINCE2), most recently in the technology sector, supporting businesses in implementing new efficiency-creating technologies. He has also worked as programme leader, running a volunteering programme that partners with different NGOs in order to create the right experience for employees, so that they can give back to the community and affect change. Juan José's relationship with Latin American House began as a volunteer, and he now chairs the Building subcommittee. 

Carolina Rodriguez

Born in Colombia, Carolina relocated to London in 2009. Her own migrant journey has enriched her outlook on how a career can be restarted or reoriented. She is enthusiastic about flexible, vocational and employability programmes for adults. In addition to working as an Exam Advisor, she is committed to supporting the Latin American community in many ways, including the OCA Community Kitchen and the cleaning workers cooperative Essential Workers. Her educational background and training is in Public Administration and Project Management. She chairs the Adult Education subcommittee at Latin American House. Carolina is a Colombian coffee enthusiast! 

Raul Valdivia Murgueytio, BA MA MSc PhD

Originally from Peru, Raúl has worked in the charity and education sectors in the UK since 2005. He has considerable experience in project coordination and evaluation, teacher training, and global education. Raúl has been a trustee of IH London, one of the largest language teaching organisations in the country. At Latin American House, he chairs the Culture subcommittee and is also a member of the Adult Education sub-committee. Trained in psychology, public health and sociology, Raúl also holds a doctorate in Iberian and Latin American Studies from Birkbeck, University of London. Currently, he works as an independent scholar and curator.  


The staff team is headed by the director, Carlos Huascar Tapia Montes.

Menchú Nursery is managed by Gabriela Glardon.

Other staff members are

Natalia Basotti - Office Manager

Xihomara Zentner, Cultural Coordinator

Manuel Padilla, Immigration Solicitor

Rosa Mercedes Crowley, Legal and Social Advice Casworker

Jacob Lagnado, EU Settlement Scheme Officer

Swati Patani, Finance Controller and Nursery Administrative Assistant

Diana Giraldo, Nursery Deputy Manager

Diana Lozano, Nursery Nurses.

Suzana Jodar, Nursery Nurse

Gabriela Barrionuevo, Spanish Saturday School Coordinator and Teacher.

Ernesto Rivera,  Spanish Saturday School Teacher

Jenny Tito,  Spanish Saturday School Teacher

Karina Llaneza, Spanish Saturday School Teacher.

Meherun Zaman, Lunch Time Assistant Menchu Nursery.

Zenaide Bernardo de Souza and Carlos Janjacomo.


They are all supported by an extensive team of dedicated volunteers, who are the real spirit, basis and engine of Latin American House.


Latin American House is a member of the following organisations: 








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