About Us

Our dream is to transform Latin America and change the world together - shall we?

The Latin American Leadership Academy

LALA is a non-profit institution that aims to develop a new generation of diverse, entrepreneurial, and ethical leaders who will serve the Latin American region. We identifies high-potential, purpose-driven 14-to-20-year-olds — many of them from historically marginalized communities — and gives them access to programs that build skills in leadership, entrepreneurship, social innovation, social-emotional learning, and critical thinking. LALeaders join a lifelong community of changemakers and partner organizations that are working together to address the region’s most pressing challenges.

“We want to bring young Latin American leaders together in a continental network and empower them to bring change to the region."

Diego Ontaneda, CEO

Our Virtues

The traits we look for and aim to further cultivate in our staff

Passion for impact. Is truly here for the mission and to push the change that LALA is spearheading. Obsessed with understanding the theory of change. Needs to be working on this problem, and has a compelling relationship with the mission.

Grounded in personal development. Skilled at leading and participating in perspective-taking. Demonstrates inclusive but practical approaches to multi-stakeholder problems. Deeply investigates knotted contexts in order to untangle for themselves and others.

Care & commitment to each other. Attentive and inquiring about each other’s professional and emotional needs. Caring enough to be clear about providing and asking for work expectations.

Seeks to understand. Works on understanding and developing awareness: emotional, social, reactive. Questions their current self-awareness.

Obsessed with mastery. Forever curious, obsessed with investigating and iterating on knowledge. Humble in the pursuit of knowledge with a beginner's mindset.

Our Methodology


Selection Process

LALA finds high-potential young Latin American leaders from all backgrounds for our virtual camps by using non-traditional selection strategies. When selecting, we focus on leadership potential, sense of purpose, acts of service, and values alignment. We care more about your concern for fostering a positive impact in your community than your grades, resumé, or test scores.



In our 5-day immersive camps, we seek to develop our students' networking, sense of community, and social innovation skills by proposing intrapersonal and interpersonal activities. Our purpose is to connect them to their social impact leadership identity and other young Latin American leaders.



After being inducted into our community through participation in camps, the students become lifelong members with access to inspirational peers and mentors, leadership opportunities, and exclusive events, as well as resources, scholarships, and opportunities within LALA or partner organizations.

Our Milestones

July 2017
First leadership Bootcamp in Brazil with 24 students
December 2018
First alumni program “Camp Staff: Coaches”
December 2019
First pilot of the Mentorship Program
July 2020
First Season of Virtual Leadership Bootcamp
July 2021
First pilot of the Career Internship Program
August 2021
We hit 30 camps and 1000 participants
February 2022
First Ecosystem Application with 20 programs
July 2022
Official launch of our new brand co-created with our community

Impact Data

Read more about our impact in the Reports page

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LALeaders in the community
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Received financial aid
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Come from underrepresented backgrounds
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People impacted by these projects

Community Newsletter

All of our updates, none of the spam

Applications Open

Register now for LALA virtual and in-person camps! They intensive leadership programs that provide the tools, community support, and training needed for deep social and personal transformation.