Youth and Farmworker Program Director for the American Friends Service Committee Florida Program
Guadalupe De La Cruz serves as the youth and farmworker program director for the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) Florida program. She leads AFSC Florida’s mutual aid work by bringing food, cash assistance, COVID-19 testing, and personal protective equipment (PPE) to hundreds of farmworkers and their families in Homestead, Florida. She is also a tri-chair of the Florida Coordinating Committee for the Poor People’s Campaign. Guadalupe has been a tireless advocate and educator for immigrant families and farmworkers in Homestead, FL for the last 10 years, organizing as part of a worker-led movement for labor rights, higher wages, and better working conditions. Guadalupe has been instrumental in building an influential youth-led immigrant movement and winning local victories, such as shutting down the Homestead Detention Center for Immigrant Youth in 2019. She is a co-founder of Seeds of Resistance, which is a program that focuses on addressing the needs of immigrant youth by fully integrating art, ancestral knowledge, political education, agro-ecology, and trauma-healing work to the local immigrant justice movement.
Executive Director, Central American Resource Center (CARECEN) D.C.
Abel Núñez is executive director of CARECEN in Washington D.C., with extensive experience in management and fundraising for organizations, as well as a history of community activism. Prior to CARECEN, he was the associate director of Centro Romero in Chicago, IL, and was primarily responsible for day-to-day operations, fiscal management, program administration, and communications. Before he moved to Chicago, he worked in D.C. for the Latino Civil Rights Center. From 1998 to 2000, he was also on the staff of CARECEN, serving first as its citizenship and civic participation project coordinator and later as its deputy director. At the national level, he has served as an advisor for the Salvadoran American National Network (SANN) since 2008. He is one of the original founders of the "Residency Now" campaign, which was launched in January 2012 to urge for permanent legal residence for immigrants from El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua with Temporary Protected Status. He obtained his degree in business administration from Hofstra University in Long Island, New York.
Lariza Dugan Cuadra
Executive Director, Central American Resource Center (CARECEN) San Francisco
Lariza Dugan-Cuadra is the executive director of the Central American Resource Center (CARECEN) of northern California, an organization that provides direct services and is involved in community development and advocacy to help create a flourishing and vibrant Latinx community in San Francisco, the Bay Area. and beyond. Lariza has almost two decades of experience in designing and implementing community development initiatives that educate and improve the lives of children, families, and immigrant communities in San Francisco and the Bay Area. She earned a B.A. in humanities with an emphasis on community development and a minor in racial justice studies, as well as a certification in early childhood education. She attended City College in San Francisco, San Francisco State University, and New College of California. She is proudly Nicaraguan-Irish, raised in Managua and currently living in San Francisco’s Mission District.
TPS PROGRAM COORDINATOR AT THE FLORIDA IMMIGRANT COALITION, FLIC
Yareliz Méndez-Zamora serves as Secretary on the Alianza Americas Board of Directors, and is also currently the TPS program coordinator at the Florida Immigrant Coalition (FLIC). Born and raised in Florida, she was inspired by stories of immigration from her family to become an activist for migrants. Her family is originally from the land of lakes and volcanoes: Nicaragua. She graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in literature and history and a specialty in Latin American Studies. Recently, she graduated from the University of Miami with a master’s degree in education, with a focus on communities and social movements. She is involved with Latinas Rebels, was the coordinator for the Latin@ Diaspora in the Americas Program, student government senator at the University of Florida, an intern at the public defender’s offices in Broward, an ambassador to La Casita, a contributor to the Huffington Post, and more.
Advisor, CRECEN, Houston
Elmer Romero represents CRECEN in Houston, Texas as the director of strategies and partnerships. He has recently worked as an educator working as a program manager at the Houston Center for Literacy. Previously, he developed programming and oversaw local and federal contracts and grant implementation for Baker Ripley/Neighborhood Centers, Inc. in Harris County. Before moving to Texas, he was the director of education for CASA Inc. of Maryland,. He has a degree in journalism from the University of El Salvador and a diploma of advanced studies in popular education and community development from the University "Antonio Ruiz De Montoya," the Jesuit University in Perú. Before moving to the U.S. in 2000, he worked in his home country of El Salvador for 15 years as the director of publications for Asociación Equipo Maíz, El Salvador, one of the most prestigious education non-profits in Central America. He used popular education methods for adult education that are grounded in a vision for participatory democracy.
President of Hijos de Livingston
Father, husband, pastor and community Leader. Born in Livingston, Izabal, Guatemala, from an early age Ciego became involved in community work. In 2005 he led youth initiatives at a local, nationa, and international level in his native Guatemala, traveling to various places in interior Guatemala and Central America, promoting multiculturalism and youth participation in different areas.
Ciego moved to the United States in 2006; and is currently serving as co-pastor of the Jehovah Shalom Church, a Hispanic Congregation with more than 300 members located in the Bronx. He is also the founding president of the Children of Livingston Organization, a group of Garífuna visionaries who work to strengthen, innovate, and support the visions of self-sustainable entrepreneurship of Garífuna and Guatemalan people. He is currently a board member of the Honduran Organization Against AIDS / Casa Yurumein, a collaborator with many other community organizations here in the Y.S. and abroad. He is the founding director of the virtual program “Conversando Con Arnold Ciego,” a virtual platform that was born out of the need to disseminate contributions and make visible the contribution of the Garífuna people in social networks. Ciego has also participated in international meetings with the UN and OAS, proudly representing his organization. Ciego graduated from the ASA University of Manhattan, NY in 2011 with a degree in accounting in business Administration; he also graduated from the BCC Adonai Christian University in 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in Theology and Christian Education. Ciego has several certificates from different courses, including one received from the HarvardX program in the American Government and Its Constitutional Foundation course.
Defender and connection for the Latinx LGBTQ community in Birmingham
Cindy Garcia is the Mental Health Latinx Peer Support Specialist at "AIDS Alabama and Alabama Latino AIDS Coalition" where she connects Latinx persons who live with HIV / AIDS with social services in Birmingham, Alabama. She was born in Fort Worth, Texas, and grew up in Salinas De Hidalgo, SLP Mexico. While living in Alabama in 2011, she became an activist when HB56 went into effect, a law that criminalized undocumented migrants in Alabama. Cindy focused her efforts on protecting children whose parents were arrested and deported. Cindy also founded the Immigrants Alabama Movement (I AM), the first all-volunteer group in Birmingham, AL. I AM fought against discrimination against immigrants in the state.
Associate Executive Director
Carolina was born in Zacatecas, Mexico, and brought into the United States by her mother in 1994. She is a 2011 graduate of Richfield High School. Carolina is a DACA recipient who is currently studying communications at Normandale Community College while working full-time as the communications director for COPAL. In addition to her recent founding of the Mírame | LOOK.AT.ME project, Carolina is a community activist who has contributed her time and talents to organizations such as Youth Frontiers, Youth Link, Sharing and Caring Hands, the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, and Saint John’s University since she was a teenager. Carolina is very passionate about her family and friends and engaged in her jobs, her education, and Mírame. But she is also interested in connecting with others who share her interest in social justice.
Juana Leticia Casildo
Executive Director of Familias Unidas en Acción, New Orleans
Juana Leticia Casildo is the executive director of Familias Unidas en Acción in New Orleans. Originally from Honduras, she worked as an investigative detective for five years. In 2004 she was forced to leave Honduras to protect her life and the lives of her family members and moved to New Orleans in 2005. In 2007, she gained her first experience in the fight for social justice by working with the New Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice as part of their Congress of Day Laborers. Alongside other community leaders, she recently started an organization called United Families in Action (Familias Unidas en Acción) in 2018, where she was selected as executive director. The organization seeks to organize, empower, and train immigrant community members, keeping in mind the founders’ own experiences as impacted families.
President of Women Working Together USA
Rosana Araujo was a co-founder of Women Working Together USA, a member of Alianza Americas and the Domestic Workers Alliance, where she is president. Born in Montevideo, Uruguay, Rosana Araujo attended la Universidad de Cultura Popular to earn a degree in arts and culture. She has been an activist from a young age and has participated in student movements against the Uruguayan dictatorship. She participated in the "landless" and "homeless" movements as well as movements for women's rights as one of the founders of Comuna Mujer. She participated in several education and health efforts within the Montevideo government and was a UNICEF volunteer as part of the "Integrating the Excluded City" project. In December 2002, she immigrated to the United States. In 2007, she joined the Florida Immigrant Coalition (FLIC) and has also collaborated with the Miami Workers Center, Sisterhood of Survivors, and other organizations in Miami ––participating in hundreds of campaigns for the rights of immigrants, survivors of domestic violence, and displacement. Araujo served as vice president of the board of directors of Miami Workers Center and WeCount! In 2009, she was a correspondent for the Uruguayan radio El Prado FM and in 2014 she was the founder of the "Entre Nosotras Compartimos" program.
Luis López Resendiz
CIELO’s Indigenous Interpreter Program Director
Luis López Resendiz is currently CIELO’s Indigenous interpreter program director; he is a Ñuú Savi. He is committed to taking the struggle for the respect of the rights of Indigenous peoples to spaces where Indigenous peoples are not represented and to make visible their migration to the United States. He graduated from the University of California Berkeley with a B.A. in the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies. He is a poet whose work has been presented at the Center for Race and Gender at UC Berkeley. Mr. Resendiz has been featured in La Jornada, la Trinchera , KPFK, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, and El Excelsior. Currently, he is a host on Tu’un Dali Podcast, a podcast for and by Indigenous people.
Executive Director of Lila LGBTQ, North Carolina
Alex Córdova is currently the director of Lila LGBTQ Inc., integrating art such as painting, dance, and theater as a path to healing the social aggression suffered by the LGBTQ+ community, in addition to the traditional programs of prevention of sexually transmitted diseases. Alex is from El Salvador and arrived in San Francisco, California in 1989. Alex has been an activist for the LGBTQ+ community for many years as a worker and founder of groups such as Hermanos de Luna y Sol, Padres Gay, Teatro LGBTQ+, Santi Project, and Sida Por Vida. He has worked many years in public health for HIV and AIDS prevention, and in the public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic . After moving to Durham, North Carolina in 2006, Alex created the LGBTQ program Bolero Pequeño Teatro Latino, a theater that features work on LGBTQ+ themes and immigrant experiences.
Director of Illinois Workers in Action
Giselle Rodriguez is an immigrant woman from Nayarit, Mexico, and is 25 years old. Currently, she is the director of Illinois Workers in Action (IWA) and is the Director of Education at the Center for Immigrant Progress. Giselle's passion is advocating and organizing for immigrant and workers’ rights, specifically for immigrant youth. She received her bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Northeastern Illinois University in 2019. In 2020 she received her Master’s Degree from the University of Chicago, School of Social Service Administration. Giselle has a wide range of experience working with nonprofits focused on immigrant advocacy, education, workers’ rights, and survivors of sexual assault. Giselle believes that through advocacy, education, organizing, and leadership development we can empower our young immigrant communities. Giselle's most important goal is to make higher education more accessible to young immigrants and to educate migrant workers about their rights. As an immigrant herself, Giselle believes that education should be accessible to all students.