Katie Cunningham, Founder


Katie is a British Ex-Pat who is an advanced student of Monty Roberts and an advocate of Join-Up. In 2012 she was awarded a certificate by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth for her efforts to reduce violence in the training of horses in Guatemala. This inspired her to develop a program in collaboration with Join-Up International that would further reduce violence and abuse towards horses and humans in Guatemala. This program led to the creation of Lead-Up International.

Monty Roberts, Founder of Join-Up

Monty Roberts is the renowned author of The Man Who Listens to Horses and the creator of the revolutionary equine training technique called Join~Up. Monty travels the world demonstrating that non-violent horse training creates breakthrough performance as you partner with your horse. Monty grew up on a working horse farm as a firsthand witness to traditional, often violent methods of horse training called ‘breaking’ with an abusive hand. Rejecting that, he went on to win nine world’s championships in the show ring. Today, Monty’s goal is to share his message that “Violence is never the answer.”

Mindy Grantham, Program Manager

Mindy initially came to Guatemala for 2 weeks to volunteer, but like so many others, never left. She has dedicated herself to making the world a better place. With over 20 years of experience, Mindy’s accomplishments reflect superior business development instincts, strong leadership skills, and a demonstrated commitment to organizational growth.

Andres Pinto, Clinical Psychologist

Andres is Lead-Up’s principal in-house Clinical Psychologist. He is a true asset to the program and invaluable to our work creating peaceful leaders. Andres is providing individual therapy sessions to the participants whose personal stories and situations are the most complicated and challenging. Andres has experience working with youth-at-risk and is particularly good at creating a safe, compassionate and fun environment for the participants. He is a natural leader and facilitator.

Faida Pereira, Clinical Psychologist

Faida is providing individual therapy sessions to the participants whose personal stories and situations are the most complicated and challenging. Faida has a lot of experience with youth-at-risk. She was formerly the clinical psychologist to the 600+ students at Education for the Children, the organization with which we work principally.

Onanchi Djéli, Certified Yoga and Pranayama (Breathing) Instructor

Onanchi owns Nomad Shala, a yoga studio, in Antigua Guatemala where she primarily focuses on yoga and pranayama for children and youth. She has practiced breathing techniques with some of the most inspirational leaders in the world for over six years. Onanchi is instrumental in the programs, leading the youth through breathing exercises to gain emotional regulation, both individually and with the horses.

Leslie Paiz, Administrative Manager

Leslie has a lot of experience in the administrative field of the corporate world and has organized many conferences and events both here and internationally. Leslie is also an equine enthusiast and advocate for non-violence and worked closely on the Join-Up research program alongside Judith Gibbons PhD and Katie. Leslie has excellent interpersonal skills and ensures that all programs and workshops run smoothly and successfully.