Our International Speakers

Erik Peper | PhD. Holistic Health


Erik Peper

Erik Peper, PhD, BCB, is an international authority on biofeedback and Professor of Holistic Health Studies / Department of Health Education at San Francisco State University. He is President of the Biofeedback Foundation of Europe and past President of the Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback.

He has a biofeedback practice at BiofeedbackHealth (www.biofeedbackhealth.org).  He is an author of numerous scientific articles and books such as Make Health Happen, Fighting Cancer-A Nontoxic Approach to Treatment, and Biofeedback Mastery.  He publishes the blog, the peper perspective-ideas on illness, health and well-being (www.peperperspective.com).

He is a recognized expert on holistic health, stress management and workplace health. His research interests focus on self-healing strategies to optimize health, illness prevention, the effects of posture, and learning self-mastery with biofeedback.

Professor Paulo Farinatti | Physical Activity Sciences

Currently an Associate Professor at the University of Rio de Janeiro State and Full Professor at the Graduate Program in Physical Activity Sciences at the University Salgado de Oliveira, being since 2016 Vice-Director of the Third Age Open University at UERJ. He founded and coordinates the Laboratory of Physical Activity and Health Promotion at the University of the State of Rio de Janeiro. He was a member of the National Council on the Rights of the Elderly between the years 2004-2006 and served as adviser to the Ministry of Sports and the Ministry of Health in developing a National Sports and Leisure Policy for seniors. He was a researcher level 2 of CNPq between 2000-2006 and level 1a between 2006-2015, having worked as a member of the Advisory Committee of that agency for the  Physical Education area (2007-2010 ).

Currently he is researcher level 2 of CNPq. He served as President of the Brazilian Society of Exercise Physiology between 2002 and 2004  and is currently the editor in chief of the Brazilian Journal of Exercise Physiology. He served as Visiting Professor at the University of Rome 2 – Tor – Vergata (Italy, 2013), University of Connecticut (USA, 2013) and University of Cagliari (2016). His research work in Physical Education has emphasis in Exercise Physiology and Physical Activity for People with Special Needs”


Paulo Farinatti

Sandra Marcela Matsudo | PhD. Sport Medicine Sciences


Sandra Marcela Matsudo

Medical Specialist in Sports Medicine at the Paulista School of Medicine – Federal University of São Paulo – UNIFESP – Brazil. Doctorate – Ph.D. In Sciences and Post Doctorate of the Paulista School of Medicine – UNIFESP – Brazil. Postgraduate Academic Director of the Faculty of Sciences and the Specialty in Sports Medicine and Physical Activity at the Universidad Mayor – Santiago de Chile  

Director of Physical Activity Promotion at MEDS Clinic – Santiago de Chile. Director of the Latin American Regional Center for Exercise is Medicine at the American College of Sports Medicine. Member of the MOVER Coalition Executive Committee – Chile. Director of “Senior Fit” Consulting on Active and Healthy Aging. Director of the Course of Prescription and Orientation of Exercises for Older Adults. Researcher in Sports Sciences by the Center of Studies of the Laboratory of Physical Fitness of São Caetano do Sul – CELAFISCS. Creator and Scientific Advisor of the Program of Promotion of Physical Activity in the State of São Paulo Agita São Paulo. Founding Member of the International Networks of Physical Activity – RAFA and AGITA WORLD. Founding Member of the International Society of Physical Activity and Health – ISPAH. Coordinator of the Longitudinal Project of Aging and Physical Fitness and of the Project of Intervention of Physical Activity in Institutions of Permanence for Older Adults in São Caetano do Sul.  

Author of the Books: “Aging, Exercise and Health”, “Physical and Functional Evaluation of the Elderly” and “Obesity and Physical Activity”.

Servaas Mes | Director Human Health Project

Based in Smithers, BC, Canada, Servaas Mes is the founding director of The Human Health Project, a global initiative to share hope, health, rehabilitation and wellness. Servaas’ knowledge about how the body works is unique. From a multi disciplinary approach he harmonizes international knowledge, research and experience to bridge western medicine with holistic medicine. This leads to an up-to-date, innovative and integral somatic model in which self-empowerment becomes a primary objective in your process of health at any age.

Servaas is known for his easy and fun style of teaching. He is the founder of Mobilizing Awareness® Somatic Rehabilitation & Education. He presents workshops and post-graduate education programs to health professionals and other interested parties with an experiential emphasis. By profession Servaas is a Somatic Practitioner as well as a Physiotherapist, a Hanna Somatic Educator®, a Pranassage® Practitioner and a Pilates Mat Instructor.

Servaas Mes

Servaas Mes

José R. Acarón Rodríguez | Public Health Guru


José R. Acarón Rodríguez

José Acarón has over 25 years of experience in community work and outreach through non-profit organizations in Puerto Rico. He has close links with the corporate sector, the government, and most important of all within the community where he has undertaken social change initiatives that have impacted various sectors. During his 15 years as Executive Director of the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, he positioned MDA as a vanguard organization that triplicated its funds to offer services as well as its capabilities to support patients in the island.

In his search for new challenges to improve the quality of life for Puerto Ricans, José accepted a new endeavor when taking his actual position as State Director for AARP in Puerto Rico, when the organization just had opened an office in the island. Since 2004 José Acarón leads the mission of AARP, a non-partisan member organization that fuels social change to bring real possibilities that improve the life of 50+ people, as well as fighting for their rights. Actually he directs the organization’s initiatives related to education, community development, and advocacy to improve the quality of life for all as we age.

In the area of Livable Communities, José leadership has been crucial for the adoption of a Complete Streets public policy in Puerto Rico to achieve well-designed communities that promote health and sustain socio-economic growth, with mobility options for people of all ages and physical capabilities. 
In 2008, AARP Puerto Rico spearheaded the foundation of the Complete Streets Coalition, composed of local government officials and partner community organizations to advance public policy, community engagement and civic participation that led to evaluate mobility and security issues in communities across the whole island.
Moving forward to 2018 with this initiative, AARP will offer conferences to mayors, community organizations, public health public professionals, engineers, architects, planners and other government officials, to keep pushing for the implementation of Complete Streets and Livable Communities initiatives.

Nienke Gonzalez Diaz-Smits | Specialist in Geriatrics

Medical Study: University of Amsterdam
Specialist in Geriatric Medicine at the VU University, Amsterdam

Employed by Dr. Horacio E. Oduber Hospital (H.O.H) charged with carrying medical responsibility for the nursing home facility, Stichting Algemene Bejaardenzorg Aruba (S.A.B.A.), which is the foundation for General Care for the Elderly here on the Island

Supervisor for General Practice trainees during their 3 months practical training in Nursing Home Care and geriatric/chronic medicine. Trainees are from the VU University Amsterdam and ImSan Aruba
Supervisor and coordinator of the Memory Clinic, Centro di Memoria
Member of the board of medical specialists (ASHA / H.O.H)
Senior Medical Advisor, Management Team S.A.B.A.

Medical care for the elderly and people suffering from chronic diseases in Aruba. Geriatric and chronic care are subjects that deserve to be better understood. Like everything else connected with the approaching end of life they lack the attention they deserve, aren’t very popular and are hardly openly discussed. Many consider –wrongly- these issues belong to the distant future.
Populations are growing older, mainly due to the lesser impact of infectious diseases and better hygiene. As a result elderly people are more often faced with other serious diseases like end stage cardiac and vascular disease, diabetes, dementia and cancer.

Servaas Mes

Nienke Gonzalez Diaz-Smits

Dr. Baraived Silvanie | General Medicine Practitioner


Dr. Baraived Silvanie

Baraived Silvanie is a general practitioner at Centro Medico Aesculapius, a group practice, on the island of Curaçao.

He received his M.D. degree at the Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands in 2006. After graduation he worked the following years as a resident in emergency medicine, surgery, psychiatry and geriatrics. When working in different fields he noticed he was more of a generalist. It all made sense. It was clear to him that he was born to be a family doctor.

In 2012 he received his degree in family medicine and returned to his home island and got a job as a GP at the refinery.

A couple of years later he got a golden opportunity to work with four other doctors at one of the oldest medical practices on the island. He has now predominantly older patients and enjoys his work very much. 

S. Waterloo | MD

Dr. Waterloo registered in in December 2011 as internal medicine specialist (University of Maastricht) with subspecialty geriatric medicine (Academical medical center Amsterdam). Afterwards he worked as internist-geriatrician in VU medical center in Amsterdam. During his specialization he was always interested in working on his mother island and as of September 2012 he started working in Aruba.

Outpatients clinic for general internal medicine, geriatric medicine and rheumatology. By rotation attending internist for inpatients in the Hospital. Chairman of the department of internal medicine. Chief trainer for interns of internal medicine from VU medical center in Amsterdam. Geriatrician of the memory clinic (Centro di Memoria Aruba), located in S.A.B.A., San Pedro Pavilion. President of the advising committee for Elderly care on Aruba. In hospital geriatric consultations and advises in co-operation with the geriatric consult. Resident of the medical ethical board (hospital committee). Member of the Educational committee (Hospital committee). Co-organizer DAS-clinic (Dutch Antillean Surinam medical conference) with subjects in internal medicine and rheumatology, Head organizer in 2014 and 2016…

Servaas Mes

S. Waterloo

Dr. Schakel


Dr. Schakel

Drs G.J. (Joris) Schakel, is an internist and clinical geriatrician who practices in Curacao at the Sint Elisabeth Hospital.

He is practicing as a specialist for over 5 years now after completing his study  in Amsterdam at the University of Amsterdam and specialized in  clinical geriatrics at  (MC Alkmaar) and internal medicine (VU medical Center ). He is the head of the medical staff and the internal medicine group. Further on he is a regular faculty at congresses sponsored by the NASKHO.

Johanna Schmid Kesteloo

I am a Dutch native, having moved to Germany, France, Austria and finally Aruba. I studied Physical Therapy in Vienna and Traditional Chinese Medicine in Amsterdam.Both graduated.

Since my work in a hospital (Vienna) for geriatric acute revalidation I realized that motivating seniors to move so they can handle their own activities of daily life, became my devotion.

Since on Aruba and I also work for Fundacion Movemiento ta Bida we practice Physio fitness with different groups of people specially our seniors.

I have my own practice for Physical Therapy/Acupuncture, in which ACTIVE therapy is the main part of my work with patients.

Servaas Mes

Johanna Schmid Kesteloo

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