Founder & Principle

Maria Beatriz Garcia-Rincon is an urban and climate change specialist at The World Bank specialized in environmental financing. Her work is mainly to establish a paradigm shift within financing tools that will enable CSOs, NGOs as well as national and local governments to work on building a strong governance model for the world's future populations. She explores an implementation policy package for effective climate actions undertaken by national governments under observer organizations.


Her work specializes on an urban development sustainable city agenda, story-telling to achieve a development agenda, and Africa as well as Latin America development goals in sustainable holistic life-cycles. She has a keen commitment on developing sustainable cities. In addition, she is an international development professional, policy analyst, and project manager, specialized in urban economic trends, sustainable growth with a business development edge and experience with developing pilot programs across Latin America/West Africa.

She is an executive director and founder of  Urban-Elements. She has been working on an interdisciplinary set of objectives such as Inclusive Sustainable Growth (ISG) to improve upon energy, climate change, and resilience, climate finance, and women’s empowerment in urban settings at a global scale.


She loves to integrate many sectors into her work and has experience in working with the transport, infrastructure, gender, international relations, environment and education sectors. She has worked with donor partners to achieve their goals, specifically from South Korea, Japan, Norway, Finland, Germany, France, UK, USA, Switzerland, and more.  ​

International Development - Forestry Expert 

Rodrigo has been working on natural resource resource management for more than a decade. With several specialized graduate degrees on resource management, he is currently working on his Masters of Finance and Business from John Hopkins University. There he uses the work he is currently undergoing to manage a interdisciplinary portfolio. Rodrigo works at UEF as a manager in developing a new vision for Colombian cities. He is especially interested in merging the arts, film, publishing, poetry and other in the fine art of city living, while enhancing these topics within the scope and realm of natural resources, their conservation and their further sustainable use.

Urban Particpatory and Community Engagement Director

Rafael Machado is a true urban designer, with a multifaceted portfolio of work. He is passionate of community development and managing participatory city living. He loves the literature that is best conveyed in "Rights to the City", and is the most aligned in living what he believes. He encompasses and vibrates city living, from his art work to his day-to-day life vibrates and emanates love for his neighbor and sustainable yet equitable prospects. Rafael is native from Caracas, from his very caraqueno accent, to his truly interdisciplinary background, Rafael brings architecture and urban planning to UEF. He is a professor of Universidad Central de Venezuela and also manages an NGO based in Colombia, called In Situ. His work is displaced as an intersect between urban life (rap, graffiti, poetry, street music and life), with landscape architecture and design of a flexible city that molds itself to the world as it expresses itself. he is divinely in the with life in different landscapes across the globe- China, Ethiopia, Colombia, Mexico, Brazil, and more.

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Brazilian Lead

Helene is a graduate of London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). She worked in financing before she decided to shift careers in International Development. She currently works for World Bank in Brazil, were she has begun to test different urban interventions with community groups in favelas and middle income areas. Her work is catalyzed with her curiosity for developing in natural ways. She leverages her keen skills in finance and business into the world of urban agriculture, examining different ways to save water and soil through natural infrastructure in various areas. She is our middle-man between UEF DC/NY and Brazil. She covered the cities of Brasilia, Sao Paulo, and Rio de Janeiro, in finding opportunities, and spreading the EUF network. Helene is an inspirational traveler, do-er of all things adventure with an almost amazing and equally innovative eye for business and poverty human development mprovement indicators. After having her research on the side for UEF alongside Mabe, she will be able to intervene on a topic that she has understood from the ground work and over 5 years in Brazil. We are happy t have this loving French national working in Latin America. 

Helene Meurisse

Costa Rican Lead

Mariana Rendon is a graduate of University of London (UCL). She studied International Development and has worked on a series of international development projects since 2011, when she left UCL.


Mariana worked under Governor Capriles in Miranda, Venezuela as an attorney on public sector issues pertaining to the legal framework of the state scale regulatory policies. She was a lead lawyer in the state office, and led very solid cases at the state where Caracas (the capital) is located. Mariana Rendon moved with her husband to Costa Rica, where they manage a micro-brewery, however, her passion for merging natural capital wth social capital, led her to seek opportunities with UEF.


She manages her own research project in Ciudad de Colon, Costa Rica under the UEF guidelines and international governance board. UEF and Mariana are managing talks with Mayor Edgar Mora Altimano, to co-create projects and hope to include Universidad para La Paz as well as other women-led projects in the small city adjacent to the capital. With the vast natural resources and renewable resource grid, we hope to integrate natural infrastructure systems as a vision for her spatial context. 

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Caracas, Venezuela 1010

All Images and Videos © Mabe Garcia

Except for the Image ofJudith R., Helene M, Mariana R., personal images taken above.