Honoring Dr. Guerda Nicolas and Mauricio Vivero

Honoring Dr. Guerda Nicolas and Mauricio Vivero

As we commemorate Caribbean American Heritage Month this June, we proudly celebrate the diverse voices that enrich Greater Miami. This month holds a special place in our hearts as we honor the Caribbean diaspora’s rich cultural heritage, resilience, and vibrant contributions to our community. At The Miami Foundation, we strive to empower our donors and Fundholders and help them meet their philanthropic goals. Their generosity and dedication to our community inspire us and drive impactful change.

This month, we had the honor of connecting with two Caribbean Fundholders who embody courage and our long-term commitment to creating a community where everyone can thrive. We are privileged to share a bit of their Miami story to honor their remarkable work.

Dr. Guerda Nicolas

Fundholder and President of Ayiti Community Trust

As a professional, what do you consider your life’s purpose to be? How does your current work align with this purpose, and what impact are you striving to achieve?

My life’s purpose is to create sustainable, positive change in communities through education, mental health support, and community development. This purpose is deeply rooted in my belief that every individual deserves the opportunity to thrive and that empowered communities can drive significant social transformation. My current work with Ayiti Community Trust and Rebati Sante Mantale project aligns perfectly with this purpose. Through these initiatives, I am working to enhance educational opportunities, provide essential mental health services, and foster community resilience. The impact I strive to achieve is a more equitable and supportive environment where individuals and communities can reach their full potential.

In celebration of Caribbean American Heritage Month, what does being Caribbean mean to you, and how has your heritage shaped your identity and journey?

Being Caribbean means embracing a rich cultural heritage of resilience, creativity, and a deep sense of community. My Caribbean heritage has profoundly shaped my identity and journey, instilling in me the values of perseverance, solidarity, and a commitment to giving back. Growing up in Ayiti’s vibrant and diverse culture has taught me the importance of celebrating differences

and working collectively towards common goals. This heritage has influenced my approach to community development and my dedication to creating opportunities for others. It has also provided me with a unique perspective that I bring to my professional and personal endeavors, continually inspiring me to advocate for positive change and social justice.

You chose to establish a fund with The Miami Foundation to support your work through Ayiti Community Trust. What motivated you to collaborate with The Miami Foundation, and how has this partnership benefited your organization’s mission?

Establishing a fund with The Miami Foundation was a strategic decision driven by their strong track record of supporting community initiatives and their deep understanding of the local philanthropic landscape. Collaborating with The Miami Foundation has provided Ayiti Community Trust with valuable resources, credibility, and a broader network of potential supporters. This partnership has enhanced our capacity to fund impactful projects in Ayiti, allowing us to support better civic education, environmental sustainability, and economic development. The Foundation’s fund management and community engagement expertise has been instrumental in amplifying our mission and achieving our goals.


Mauricio Vivero

Fundholder and Founding Board Member of Give 2 Cuba

As a professional, what do you consider your life’s purpose to be? How does your current work align with this purpose, and what impact are you striving to achieve?

I feel very fortunate because my profession and career are in philanthropy. I work for a private foundation in New York, where we grant $20 million a year in criminal justice and democracy initiatives. I feel blessed that my professional life allows me to help advance social change and improve lives. As a board member of the Give 2 Cuba Fund with The Miami Foundation, I get to leverage my skills and knowledge to help vulnerable people in my home country, which is very meaningful and rewarding for me. I am blessed that both my volunteer and professional lives align well, and I have the privilege of working with other donors to alleviate suffering in Cuba.

In celebration of Caribbean American Heritage Month, what does being Caribbean American mean to you, and how has your heritage shaped your identity and journey?

Being Cuban American is a significant part of my identity, and it is deeply intertwined with my personal and professional journey. As a refugee from Cuba, I witnessed firsthand the sacrifices made by my parents (and the broader Cuban community) in building new lives in the U.S. This lived experience instilled in me a strong sense of responsibility and determination, and also the responsibility to give back

in a meaningful way. My Cuban heritage has taught me the value of hard work, resilience, and the importance of making the most of the opportunities afforded to me It’s great to have Caribbean American Heritage Month – is a time to reflect on my culture and be proud of it. It allows me to honor my roots, stay connected to my culture, and recognize the collective sacrifices and achievements of the Cuban community.

What motivated you to collaborate with The Miami Foundation, and how has this partnership benefited your organization’s mission?

We started our humanitarian project for Cuba in Seattle in 2010, so we wanted “the home” for Give2Cuba to be in a community that understood our collective history and had compassion for the people of Cuba. Also, I have a close friendship with Javier Soto, who was president of The Miami Foundation for a long time. We have a lot of trust with the Miami Foundation and share its values, which made it an obvious choice for me.


We sincerely thank Dr. Guerda Nicolas and Mauricio Vivero, who graciously shared their stories with our team. As Fundholders, they play an integral role in helping The Miami Foundation build a community where all can thrive.

No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.