Nathaly Cuesta propels vulnerable communities through art

Nathaly Cuesta, a fellow of Cohort 4 of the Propel Fellowship and Commercial and Marketing Director at Fundación Timbalé, works to develop soft skills in young people in vulnerable situations through art.

Fundación Timbalé en el TimbAllero Fest 2023

Nathaly didn't always work in the social sector. For years, she worked as a marketing specialist engineer. However, she had a deep connection with the arts: music, theater, and writing had always inspired her.

In 2022, she had the opportunity to join a social organization. Fundación Timbalé was born in 2015 as a dance academy, which later became a catalyst for change to develop soft skills in youth from vulnerable communities in Medellin. For Nathaly, combining her passion for art with the opportunity to contribute to Colombian communities gave her career a new direction.

With a focus on creating an environment of physical, emotional, and social well-being, Timbalé uses dance and singing as a universal language that can unite and improve the quality of life for hundreds of young Colombians.

"For Timbalé, art is a tool that allows communities and individuals to be transformed on different levels".
Fundación Timbalé

According to Nathaly, the most valuable aspect of Timbalé's work is giving young people the opportunity to feel part of something and giving them the message of "you are important for what you know, but also for how you give it back to the community." Thus, they created incredible initiatives such as "Bailemos Juntos," with salsa casino wheels to stimulate effective communication and leadership skills, or "Cantemos Juntos" to strengthen confidence among themselves.

Nathaly joined the Propel Fellowship in 2023 to drive the digital transformation of her organization. She tells us it was the opportunity to make tangible everything she had dreamed of for Timbalé since joining:

"When we thought about how to improve the organization, Propel came along. It made the journey of starting to incorporate digital tools into our daily lives and understanding how to increase our impact much more enjoyable".

She also highlighted the opportunity to meet new social organizations in the region. For Timbalé, connecting with other leaders from their purposes has been key. For this reason, they created the "Culture and Leadership Forum," a space for cultural organizations to come together from their needs to build together.

Thanks to Timbalé's incredible work and their motivation to connect with new organizations, they participated in a social mission in Brazil alongside COMFAMA to drive social impact from cultural spaces. Additionally, they have won the "Cromatica Alterna," were recognized as Global Leader Programs, and their founder, Juan Cuesta, is a fellow of Acumen.

Nathaly believes that the most important thing for a social organization is to strengthen together and open conversations to generate greater impacts in each community.

Sign up for the Propel Fellowship to start connecting with new organizations from across Latin America and digitize your organization like Nathaly did here.

Written by Alexandra Guerra.