DJPC Director – Rebeca Zúniga-Hamlin

GHN102916_0187 (1)Born in Nicaragua and grew up in both Nicaragua and Guatemala, from a young age, she has been committed to political action on behalf of the excluded by serving the poor and underprivileged. Her own mixed background – Nicaraguan Miskito Indian and white North American – has allowed her to commit to the long-term struggle for social justice, challenging unfair economic and criminal systems that affect the immigrant communities. She also has a keen understanding of the intersecting patterns of exclusion along dimensions of race, ethnicity, language, gender, immigration-status, and class. She and her partner Aaron and daughter Luna Serena live in Denver.

 

DJPC Board of Directors

Elliot Brooke and JacobElliot Williams, is a Senior Associate at Siegel Public Affairs where he advocates on issues ranging from immigrant rights and environmental conservation to reproductive justice and educational equity. Elliot’s work in the nonprofit world has been broad. It includes community development in Chicago, Southern Mexico and Guatemala, promoting educational opportunities and economic empowerment. Additionally, Elliot did advocacy research and writing while living Bolivia and served as a caseworker for elderly and disabled residents of Wisconsin. Elliot got involved with DJPC shortly after he moved to Denver from Chiapas, Mexico in 2013. The organization helped him stay connected to the region. He has been a board member since 2014 and he distinguishes DJPC as a critical non-coastal voice that recognizes the impacts of US policy on nations and peoples throughout the hemisphere. His purpose as part of the board is to advocate for just and thoughtful international policy and making sure that DJPC is the most effective organization it can be despite the constraints.

Lynn Holland, grew up in a rural Vermont town that shared a border with Quebec. As a student, she spent a summer in Nicaragua and toured a Salvadoran refugee camp while the contra war was going on in the 1980s. After she returned, she became involved with DJPC in 1980 when the DJPC boycotted Nestle due to its deadly policy of marketing infant formula in rural areas where clean water was unavailable. After many years on hiatus while raising her two children and teaching at the University of Denver, she was welcomed back by the DJPC in 2008. Since then, she has traveled with DJPC human rights delegations to Honduras, Peru, and Chiapas, Mexico where she learned about the ravages to human health, community life, and the natural environment caused by metal mining. She has been a board member since January 2017. As part of the board, Lynn has helped coordinate the Chiapas human rights delegation, assisted with fundraising and written frequently about the impacts of mining in rural areas and the dangers of authoritarian rule in Latin America. Her aim as a board member is to amplify the voices of those who are struggling for safer, healthier communities and the right to speak out in their own countries. This is achieved by sharing their stories here in the U.S., educating on the damage done by mining and other commercial projects, hosting speakers, appealing to our representatives and UN agencies, and calling for an end to authoritarianism and military repression. Lynn has taught International Studies at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies (JKSIS) at the University of Denver for 14 years. Prior to that, she taught political science for several years at the University of Colorado at Denver (UCD). As a professor of international studies, she is in a good position to research, write, and present on the issues DJPC is involved with. She has also served as an expert witness in asylum cases involving individuals from Mexico and Honduras. Lynn spent her early years in Vermont, went to college and graduated school in California and raised her two children in the Denver area. Her husband of many years is a native of Colorado. She also has two dogs who bark out warnings of danger and serves as her personal trainers in good weather and bad.

Preston on the StreetsPreston Enright, was born in Philadelphia, where he attended a Quaker elementary school, and lived subsequently in Omaha and Fort Collins, where he attended Colorado State University. During a year off, he worked as landscaper and met a veteran of the Salvadoran military who told Preston of the massacres and human rights violations of the US-backed regime. He subsequently worked with the DJPC in Latin America and went to Nicaragua on a cultural exchange with a Boulder-based solidarity group, “Los Pipitos.” He has continued travel in Latin America, and he focus on grassroots media, including a YouTube channel called The Public Mind of Denver, and a program of leftist lectures on Denver’s community access television station, working with David Barsamian of Alternative Radio. Preston believes that being part of the DJPC offers an opportunity to learn about human rights and foreign policy issues in Latin America, and to work with others to cultivate understanding and support other peace and justice efforts. He has been a board member since 2016. He actively represents DJPC at community fairs and performs a range of activities including outreach and fundraising.  Social media and tabling are special interests of his. For fun, Preston rides his bike, practices yoga and cloud watching and hands out copies of Yes! Magazine.

Amy Czulada, is originally from Philadelphia, PA, where her family, including her beloved niece and two nephews reside. Her interest in Latin America began in high school while studying Spanish, but it grew after traveling in Mexico and Central America in college. She lived and worked at the US/Mexico border for two years, focusing on higher education and in immigrants’ rights including casework for survivors of violent crimes. Amy joined DJPC board in the spring of 2017 and she is the Board Treasurer.  She believes it is important to serve as a normative force against US imperialism in the world. Through action and advocacy related to human and environmental rights, it can be demonstrated to the broader global community that the resistance movement is strong and continuing to grow. As part of DJPC, Amy manages the newsletter, helps with grant writing, and pays and manages the federal, local and state taxes for the organization. Amy has been a researcher for a labor union in New York City since early 2018. Before, she was heavily involved in research and activism around wage theft in the greater Denver area, she was also part of with the Sanctuary movement in Denver. She graduated with her master’s degree in International Studies from the Josef Korbel School at the University of Denver and has a bachelor’s degree English and Spanish from La Salle University, Philadelphia. Amy currently lives in Queens, NY, she loves hiking and playing music.

Lorena Gaibor, is a recent transplant to Denver since March, 2016. Lorena moved to Denver from her home state of NJ where she was born. Lorena spent two years of her life living in Quito, Ecuador, most significantly during her freshmen year of high school where she attended an American High School. Her political awareness of the struggles of resistance in Latin America began as a teenager. Her identity as an activist and organizer was formed as a young high school student during the first Persian Gulf War. Later she organized with Cuban solidarity groups in NY/NJ, helping to coordinate US/Cuba Youth exchanges as well as college student organizing efforts. More recently, Lorena has organized around immigrant rights in NJ and now is participating in solidarity efforts with immigrant rights groups here in Denver. Lorena works as faculty member of the Graduate School of Social Work at Denver University. Prior to that, she was a practicing social worker, concentrated in community development and advocacy efforts ranging from immigrant rights to affordable housing and neighborhood redevelopment. Lorena joined the DJPC board in 2017. She believes that DJPC is a community space for voicing the concerns coming from Latin America, especially as they relate to harmful U.S. interventions and “development”/neo- liberal colonialism. The work of the DJPC is a nice fit with her focus on social work with Latino communities. Lorena lives in Englewood and in her free time she likes to do yoga, meditation and hiking.

Kaelyn DeVries came to Denver in the fall of 2016, after pursuing a career in the field of International Development, where she had the opportunity to live and travel extensively throughout Latin America. Kaelyn served in a technical advisory role at Project Concern International (PCI) where she provided technical assistance and training to teams of local staff who implemented women’s social and economic empowerment programs in rural and urban communities in five countries in the Americas. She then traveled with a DJPC delegation to Chiapas, Mexico where she learned about the devastating consequences of mining initiatives and the Mexican government’s illegal collusion with corporations to silence local communities who oppose them. Kaelyn has been a board member since June 2017. In working closely with DJPC, Kaelyn aims to challenge antiquated power structures and support DJPC in its work toward social justice for all people in all walks of life. As part of the board, she has contributed to fundraising efforts through grant applications and has helped to compile the DJPC annual report of accomplishments. Looking forward, she would like to support DJPC to put systems in place to track and manage fundraising and to document and monitor its activities throughout the year. Kaelyn believes that the work of grassroots environmental, human rights, and indigenous activists and communities is critical to countering the negative impacts of large-scale development projects in countries that have been made vulnerable by the United States and other major powers. She considers that it is our duty to stand in solidarity with these communities as they fight to protect the earth’s precious natural resources on which we all depend. Kaelyn is currently based in Guatemala and serves as Senior Associate, Institutional Relations LATAM at the Rainforest Alliance, where she contributes to organizational fundraising as it relates to government, foundation, and multilateral donors. The Rainforest Alliance is working to solve some of the most urgent environmental and social challenges of our time, including deforestation, climate change, biodiversity loss, and entrenched rural poverty. Kaelyn is a MA in International Security with a specialization in U.S.- Latin America Security Policy; BA in Spanish with a minor in Latin American Studies. She currently lives in Guatemala City she loves to travel, and she really loves exploring nature and spending time outdoors.

Natasha Kerr has worked on social and economic justice issues relating to migrant farm workers, refugee, & immigrant rights, environmental justice, nutrition and homelessness for a variety of statewide, national, and international organizations.  She is a long-time supporter of DJPC and joined the board in 2019. Her recent work on the board involved coordinating the 2019 Build for Peace volunteer project. Natasha supports DJPC’s efforts creating greater awareness, political action, and solidarity across borders. She is inspired by the community activists in Latin America struggling for land, water, and self-determination and believes people in the U.S. have a great deal to learn from communities in resistance. She holds a M.A. in International Development with a concentration in Environmental Studies. Natasha graduated from the Circle of Latina Leadership in 2007. She currently lives in Denver and enjoys the outdoors, cultural events, concerts, traveling and everything involving DJPC.

 

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