UNDAC Dispatch, December 2023: UNDAC Members Spotlight – Natalia De Avila from Uruguay

UNDAC member in front of a military helicopter.
© Natalia De Avila (UNDAC Uruguay)

My name is Natalia, a mother, wife, daughter, sister, psychologist, and university teacher at University of the Republic in Uruguay. I’m passionate about my family and working with vulnerable communities, which I started working with at a young age. Early in my career, I pursued a postgraduate degree in psychosocial interventions for emergency and disaster situations, leading me to Disaster Risk Reduction work on a national and international level.

In 2008, I had the opportunity to join the UNDAC team. From those times up to now, I have participated in nine emergency response missions in Latin America and the Caribbean. Each of these experiences has given me learnings, personal and professional growth.

The team, our big family, as we like to call it in Latin America, always provides support for the work. The professionalism in each of the members and the diversity of experiences has provided a key foundation for our deployments. 

In more than 15 years with UNDAC, I’ve mentored trainings and participated in exercises across the Americas and Europe. Every mission and training with UNDAC, enriches my growth and enhances our team’s capabilities, preparing us to effectively save lives and alleviate human suffering. 

UNDAC Member, Natalia at her first mission. Floods – Panama, November 2008.