About Maria Clara Gutierrez
Tour leader | Advisor to The 4U! Colombia College Tour
Maria Clara Gutierrez was born in Bogota and has worked in education for over 48 years. Her passion has always been to help others obtain their maximum potential. For Maria Clara there are no limits to what one can accomplish, and her philosophy is helping students recognize not only their own benefits but also the benefits of others, especially those in need.
Throughout her professional life, she has provided her students with strong roots and wings, reminding them to never forget where they come from and to fly as high as they choose. For Maria Clara success does not come to you; you work for it.
Upon graduating from Gimnasio Femenino, she studied English at Our Lady of the Lake in San Antonio, Texas. When she returned to Bogota and started her Sociology studies at Universidad Pontificia Javeriana. Before finishing, she traveled to Basel, Switzerland and learned French, and then came back to Bogota to earn her BA in Sociology.
Her passion and love for education started at Seisen International School in Tokyo where she taught Spanish as a Second Language.
After a year in San Francisco where she earned her Adult Teaching Certificate, Maria Clara returned to Bogota and started working at Colegio Nueva Granada, where she taught Spanish as a Second Language and Colombian Social and Political Issues. At Colegio Nueva Granada, she was the Senior Class Advisor and was in charge of the Community Service program – required of all students to graduate. This particular program focused on Adult Education and Literacy programs for the less fortunate throughout Bogota.
In 1980, she moved to Medellin and started working at The Columbus School where she stayed for 27 years. There, she was the academic, personal, vocational and emotional group and individual counselor for more than 300 students every year, as well as PSAT, ACT and SAT testing coordinator. Maria Clara is one of the founders and served as President of the Columbus School Foundation for more than 20 years. After being in charge of parent groups, college fairs, alumni talks and career fairs, Maria Clara left The Columbus School in 2006 to start her own private counseling practice.
From 2006 until 2019, she was the local coordinator of the CIS Colombia Tour, which traveled to several cities in Colombia, as well as some cities in Panama and Peru. For CIS Colombia Tour, she was in charge of all the logistics, flights, hotels, visits to iconic, touristic sites in Colombia, local travel, and opening and closing ceremony dinners. She also helped tour leaders with all logistics and individual universities when needed, replacing them at their booths if they went sick. These activities allowed Maria Clara not only to meet counselors throughout Colombia but also develop strong networks with universities in Europe, Canada and USA.
For the past 16 years, Maria Clara has been performing the following activities:
- Personal college counseling, both at the undergraduate and graduate level, with hundreds of students in several cities in Colombia and other countries.
- Workshops and lectures dealing with Learning and Child Education, Communication, International Education and Stress Management.
- Educational consulting for several high schools and for The Advising Center, Centro Colombo Americano in Medellin.
- Member of the Board of Directors and Academic Board of Centro Colombo Americano in Medellin.
- Organize and conduct Female empowerment workshops for Indigenous girls in the Amazon.
- Organize and lead Leadership programs for the Martin Luther King program and African Colombian students in Choco.
- Human development consultant for different companies in Medellin and other Colombian cities.
- Consultant and speaker for several non-profit organizations in Colombia.
- Local coordinator for the CIS Colombian Tour since 2006 until 2019.