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“Cardinal Jaime Ortega” Foundation

Who we are
We are a set of individuals and legal entities that are dedicated to finance and promote the educational work of the Catholic Church that, inspired by His Eminence Cardinal Jaime Ortega, is being held in the Archdiocese of Havana.  We try to develop the education of young Cubans with training opportunities, professional experiences and degrees in humanities, inside and outside of Cuba, with Christian inspiration and according to the international context, with respect to religious freedom and philosophical opinion. Although young people are prioritized, the proposal is not limited to them.

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Mission and Vision


Provide Cuban youth in particular, but not limited to, a training environment and cultural and professional exchange, for their development in humanities through institutions belonging to the Archdiocese of San Cristobal de La Habana, in Havana, Cuba. This environment is of Christian inspiration, but respectful of the religious freedom and philosophical inclination of the participants.
The development of this mission, which is detailed in the statutes of the Foundation itself, implies the attainment of the institutional, corporate and economic resources necessary to carry it out; collaborating with other foundations, organizations, institutions or physical and legal persons, Cuban and non-Cuban that can serve the achievement of the goals pursued.

For the best fulfillment of its mission, the Foundation carries out:

  • The activities of the CULTURAL CENTER “PADRE FELIX VARELA” described in the Preamble of the statutes of the “Cardenal Jaime Ortega” Foundation and that are developed in the following areas of work: ACADEMIC-FORMATIVE AREA, CULTURAL AREA, COMMUNICATIONS AREA and AREA OF SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC RESEARCH.
  • Training and professional training in economic and social sciences. Organizing meetings and informative and exchange programs with business schools, universities and companies.
  • Bachelor, Bachelor and Doctorate in Humanities taught by the Institute of Ecclesiastical Studies Father Felix Varela. Where also conferences, seminars and debates on humanistic, social and natural sciences take place.
  • Chair of Sacred Music, Fine Arts, cinematography and publishing.
  • Realization of activities that can serve as a bridge between the realities of Cuba and Spain, as well as any other country of interest. Acopiando and offering information on the development in Cuba and ways of approaching the Cuban reality.
  • Training in Bioethics, understood as a constitutive part of the moral scaffolding of the human being and society, and developed in the BIOETHICS INSTITUTE JUAN PABLO II, where courses, conferences, workshops and a Master’s Degree are offered.
  • Training and hiring of qualified Cuban or foreign personnel in order to develop the CULTURAL CENTER “PADRE FELIX VARELA” and its influence and ability to dialogue with Cuban society.
  • Realization of activities that allow the maintenance of the patrimony of the Catholic Church in Cuba.
A major part of these activities, although not exclusively, are carried out and will continue to be carried out at the headquarters of the Padre Félix Varela Cultural Center, which is the same building that, from the 18th century to the first decade of the 21st century, has housed the historic Seminar San Carlos and San Ambrosio, beautiful colonial construction, with cloisters and rooms of impeccable style and high patrimonial, architectural, historical and patriotic value; admired place in the field of culture and of great significance for Cuban society.
This Ecclesiastical Seminary was open to the laity and it was formed a number of thinkers, jurists, teachers and priests who constitute the founding group of Cuban national thought. Among them stands the Venerable Felix Varela, virtuous priest, who was a student and illustrious professor of that Seminary, whose name is held by the current Cultural Center and its Institute of Ecclesiastical Studies, which, like its predecessor, is open to lay people.


The institutions sponsored by the Foundation are references for training in humanities, business skills, as well as cultural exchange and professional experiences from Havana, mainly for young people who feel this need. A training and human development ecosystem is developed at the service of people, institutions and societies.

They develop:

  • Courses and workshops of high level with different qualifications internationally comparable
  • Interchanges and professional and cultural internships with institutions of Cuba and the world.
  • Relationships and permanent alliances and in continuous evolution with related institutions of Cuba and the world
  • Events of different types to complement training processes and stimulate the development of various networks of interpersonal, inter-institutional and inter-national collaboration.
The Foundation was created February 1, 2018 in Madrid, by the Cardinal Jaime Ortega, from donations received by laypeople benefactors, who have wanted to provide financial support to the works of human promotion founded by the prelate. It is included in the Spanish Foundations Registry with the number: 2003 FROM 01/02 2018 Here is a summary of the financial year 2019/2020: Institute of Ecclesiastical Studies: € 124 776.34 Cultural Center: € 103 142.31 Web and video presence: € 3 550 Business Studies Center: € 178 640. Chair of sacred music: € 23 500.  The Foundation also plans to make the following investments according to activities for the concept of Acquisitions of Fixed Assets (except Historical Heritage Assets): Cultural Center: € 4 104.20 Business Studies Center: € 4 200 Total resources to use in the year: € 441 912.85














Expenses / Investments (€)

High Studies

Cultural Center

Web presence and video

Business Studies

Chair of Sacred Music


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 b) Non-monetary aid


c) Expenditures for collaborations and government



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Personal expenses






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Amortization of the fixed assets




Impairment and result from disposal of fixed assets



Financial expenses





Exchange differences



Impairment and result from disposals of financial instruments


Taxes on profits


Expenses Subtotal 








Acquisitions of Fixed Assets




Acquisitions of Assets Historical Heritage


Cancellation of non-commercial debit


Investments Subtotal













441 912.85

  • Honor President: Cardinal Juan de la Caridad Garcia Rodriguez
  • Executive President: Father Yosvany Carvajal Sureda
  • Secretary: Felipe González Abad, PHD


 Father. Lic. YOSVANY CARVAJAL SUREDA. He was born in Havana on September 16, 1975. He is currently the parish priest of the  Cathedral Sanctuary of San Cristóbal de La Habana.

He studied Baccalaureate in Philosophy at the Pontifical University of Mexico, and then Baccalaureate and Bachelor Degree in Theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.

He is Professor of Philosophy and Theology at the San Carlos and San Ambrosio Seminary in Havana, and at the Félix Varela Institute of Ecclesiastical Studies, of which he is also Director.

He is the President of the Jaime Ortega Cardinal Foundation and Rector of the Padre Félix Varela Cultural Center.




MARIO J. PAREDES. Currently, he is executive president of the Somos Community Care medical organization based in New York City.
He is a permanent member of the Board of Directors of the United States Bible Society where he previously served as president of the Catholic Ministry.
Former vice president of the Merrill Lynch financial organization.
Mr. Paredes graduated with a Master’s degree in Philosophy from the Catholic University of Argentina, and obtained the same degree with a specialty in Religious Education from Loyola University of Chicago, and did postgraduate studies at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. He received a Doctorate in Arts and Humanities from the Catholic University of America.
Mario J.
Paredes has been decorated by the Catholic Press Association. Recently the government of the Republic of Chile awarded him the distinction of the Order of Merit Gabriela Mistral 2018 in the Degree of Knight.


Dr. René ZamoraProf. Dr. RENÉ S. ZAMORA MARÍN. Hospital CQ Hnos. Ameijeiras . Institute of Bioethics Juan Pablo II. Doctor since December 1975. Doctor of Medicine. Specialist II Degree in Internal Medicine. Specialist of II Degree in Intensive Medicine and Medical Emergencies. Consultant Professor of Intensive Medicine Hospital Hnos. Ameijeiras . Director – Founder of the Bioethics Institute Juan Pablo II. Coordinating Professor of the Chair of Bioethics of the Institute of Ecclesiastical Studies P. Félix Varela. Teacher of the Baccalaureate and of the Bachelor´s Degree in Humanities of said Institute. Member among the first six Cubans of the Ibero Panamerican Society of Intensive Care. Member of the Latin American Federation of Catholic Doctors. Full Member of the Cuban Society of Internal Medicine. Associate Member of the Cuban Society of Anesthesiology and Resuscitation. Associate Member of the Cuban Society of Maxillofacial Surgery . Founding member of the National Brain Death Commission. Vice President of the Organizing Commissions of the International Symposiums on Death and Comma. Vice President of the Cuban Bioethics Committee of the Cuban Academy of Sciences. Founding Member of the Board of Directors of the International Federation of Centers and Institutes of Bioethics of Personalistic Inspiration. Member of the Governing Board of the Federation of Latin American and Caribbean Bioethics. Member of the Ibero Panamerican Society of Personalism. Ordinary member of the Pontifical Academy for the Life of the Holy See. President of the Cuban National Committee of Bioethics UNESCO / Acadamia de Ciencias de Cuba.


Dr. Prof. FELIPE GONZÁLEZ ABAD. Dr. Prof. FELIPE GONZÁLEZ ABAD . He was born in Madrid on 03-23-45. He is currently Senior Adviser , Amadeus. Company of AMADEUS GLOBAL TRAVEL DISTRIBUTION in Spain and Portugal. Implementation of Amadeus IT Group SA in Cuba. Development and Implementation of the Corporate Social Responsibility strategy. 1969: Bachelor of Physical Sciences, Specialty in Electronics / Automation. Faculty of Sciences, Physics Section. UNIVERSIDAD COMPLUTENSE, Madrid. 1996-2006: General Director of Amadeus Spain – SAVIA Amadeus. Company of AMADEUS GLOBAL TRAVEL DISTRIBUTION in Spain and Portugal. 1995-96: Marketing Director. IBERIA LÍNEAS AÉREAS DE ESPAÑA, SA 1992-95: Director of Intercontinental Routes. IBERIA LÍNEAS AÉREAS DE ESPAÑA, SA 1991-92: Coordination Director of the Management of Participating Companies of the Iberia Group (Aerolineas Argentinas, Viasa, Ladeco , etc ). IBERIA LÍNEAS AÉREAS DE ESPAÑA, SA Consultant of the WORLD TOURISM ORGANIZATION. Among others, he has worked on Air Transport Policy and Tourism Development for the governments of Argentina, Mexico, Costa Rica, Paraguay, the Central American Integration System, among other projects on tourism policy and air transport strategies. Expert appointed by the UN for the UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCE for the Development of Tourism Sector Capacity in developing countries. Advisor to different business groups.

MARIA-MANUELA S. DIEZ. Georgetown University, Linguistics Department, Washington, D.C. 
Department Administrator (1999-2015); Manager of Graduate Studies Program (1990-1998). Department of Education, Migrant Education Program, Salem, Oregon. Tutor and Counselor of migrant children (1988-1990). Spanish Catholic Center, Bilingual Secretarial Program, Washington, D.C. Director – Vocational Training for Hispanic women (1977-1987). Spanish Embassy, Washington, D.C. Personal English Secretary to the Ambassador (1975-1977). University of Oregon, Ethnic Studies Department, Eugene, Oregon. Department Secretary (1974-1975). University of Oregon, Psychology Department, Eugene, Oregon. Graduate Program Manager (1969-1974). Thompson, Mumford & Woodrich, Attorneys at Law, Eugene, Oregon
Legal Secretary (1967-1969). American Institute for Free Labor Development Assistant, Washington, D.C. Personnel Administrative Assistant (1965-1967).
EDUCATION: Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. M.A. in Conflict Resolution, Government Department (2010). Professional Management Certificate Program (10 courses) (1998). B.A. in Sociology with minor in Psychology (cum laude) (1996). Trinity College, Washington, D.C. Education for Parish Service Program (1987). University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon. Three years of undergraduate studies while working full-time (1969-1971). Lane Community College, Eugene, Oregon. Legal Secretary Certificate Program (1967-1968).
OTHER RELATED EXPERIENCES: Director of  NGO, ‘Puente de Amistad, Inc.’ a 501(c)3 Nonprofit Organization (2012-to present).  Founding Member of ‘Puente de Amistad, Inc., and Executive Board member (2006-2012).  Member of ‘Encuentro Eclesial Cuba-Diaspora’ (2002-2018). Organizer of ‘Tertulias Cubana’ in DC área (2005-2015).  Leader of ‘Pilgrimages to Cuba,’ over 20 trips from (1999-2018). Leader of ‘Tour on Architecture, Art, and Culture of Cuba,’ (2015-2019).  Board Member of ‘Archdiocesan Board of Education,’ Washington, DC.  Member of ‘Mixed Commission Task Force,’ appointed by Cardinal Hickey, Archbishop of Washington (1992-1994). 


JORGE MANDILEGO ALFONSO.  Executive Director, CubaEmprende Project. He was born in Havana in 1970. He is an entrepreneur with more than 20 years of experience. Jorge leads a team of professionals committed to the progress of the non-state sector and increasing the quality of life of these people, their families and community, training and accompanying entrepreneurs who wish to start or improve a company, through a space of relationships offered by various training and advisory services. Currently the field of action of CubaEmprende reaches the central provinces of Cienfuegos and Camagüey. In a process of teaching – learn , he and his team have impacted the companies of around 3600 entrepreneurs, in addition to other 960 that have only received business training, but do not work for this emerging sector. Jorge joined the CubaEmprende project after 18 years as CEO in a company that has maintained an accelerated growth for more than 20 years. He is an electrical engineer by profession and has received diplomas and master’s degrees in graphic design, social communication and business administration. I have been its executive director for 7 years and it has not only been an immense professional opportunity. The best thing is that I have met many great entrepreneurs, full of ideas and personal values that have confirmed the correctness of my decision to continue living and working in Cuba and for Cuba. Among them occupy a special place the team of professionals who accompany me daily or those who did it at the time.

Dr.C. Sergio Lázaro Cabarrouy Fernández-Fontecha. He was born in Pinar del Río, Cuba in 1971. Telecommunications Engineer from the Technological University of Havana in 1994, a Doctor of Technical Sciences from the Cuban Commission of Scientific Degrees in 2004. Diploma in Social Communication from the Institute of Pastoral Theology of Latin America, Bogotá, 2014. He has 25 years of experience in Social Communication for the Church. He is a professor at the Father Félix Varela Institute of Ecclesiastical Studies. Member of the National Communication Commission of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Cuba, and coordinator of the Cuban branch of the Computer Network of the Church in Latin America. He owns a small technology company.


Padre Félix Varela Cultural Center. Calle Tacón s/n entre Chacón y Mercaderes. Habana Vieja. La Habana. CP 10100. Cuba
Phone: +53 78667104