Rocio Velazquez brings over 15 years of public service and international childhood advocacy experience to The Children’s Movement of Florida and serves as Statewide Engagement Director.
Born and raised in Guatemala, Rocio’s first job was as a kindergarten teacher in 1996-the same year the Central American country signed peace accords that put an end to a nearly 40-year civil war that devastated many, mostly women and young children. Participating in the rebuilding of her country’s young democracy led her to pursue a law degree in Guatemala. Thereafter, she worked for a series of public institutions from the nation’s Supreme Court of Justice to The National Office of the Registrar and the Ministry of Education.
In 2012, she became Chief Counsel for International Affairs at the Guatemalan Ministry of Education. During her tenure, the ministry was charged an overhaul and reform of the nation’s school system, as well as overseeing the execution of internationally backed projects with donors such as the Inter-American Development Bank, the World Bank, KFW Bankengruppe and USAID. One of her most cherished projects was the implementation of a readiness program, “Leamos Juntos, Chqasik’ij Qawuj” (Let’s Read Together), which sought to dramatically improve children’s reading and writing abilities. Guatemala is second to Haiti for the lowest literacy rate in the Western Hemisphere.
Rocio holds a Master of Laws degree -LL.M- from Florida International University and is a passionate breastfeeding advocate. She has been a volunteer leader of La Leche League International since 2009, a lactation counselor since 2016 and is a board member for Florida Breastfeeding Coalition. She currently supports Hispanic families around the state. For her contributions to health, human rights and human welfare in the community, she was awarded the Alexandra Bach-Lagos 2018 Scholarship from the Miami-Dade Chapter of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers.
She and her husband, Gleis, live in Miami with their two sons, Marcos and Santiago.