El Salvador and Costa Rica
César is the site coordinator in El Salvador and works with programs in Costa Rica and elsewhere. He was born in El Salvador and as a youth participated in the Christian Base Community movement and other social movements. In 1982, due to the political repression, César and his family were forced to leave El Salvador. He lived in exile in Canada until returning to El Salvador in 1993. In Canada, he maintained close contact with the situation in El Salvador, primarily through his work with the El Salvador Ethno-cultural and Humanitarian Society and the Salvadoran Base Christian Community in Exile.
Prior to working for CGE, César was youth educator for FUNDASIDA, the Salvadoran National AIDS Foundation. His work entailed training youth promoters in HIV/AIDS issues, including transmission and ways to avoid AIDS, human sexuality, gender roles, and self-esteem. He also has worked with Sister Parish in El Salvador and with organizations in Canada working on refugee resettlement.
While in Canada, César received a Social Work Diploma from Grant MacEwan College and has worked as a social worker. He recently concluded his studies in Latin American Social Work at the Salvadoran Lutheran University and is currently working on a thesis on the process of reinsertion of Salvadoran deportees from the United States.
Fidel Xinico Tum
Fidel is the site coordinator. Fidel is a Guatemalan citizen of the Cakchiquel Maya ethnic group. He is from a small village called Chipiacul, in the Department of Chimaltenango. He studied at the Catholic High School Seminary in Sololá, and at Francisco Marroquín University in Guatemala City, where he received a B.A. in Secondary Education and Philosophy. In 1984, Fidel received a scholarship from the New Ulm Dioceses of Minnesota to study at St. Paul Seminary at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, where he graduated with a M. Div. in 1988.
Since returning to Guatemala in 1988, Fidel worked with the San Lucas Tolimán Parish as director of catechists and delegates of the word, as well as teacher and high school principal in his home village. He also worked closely with Sister Parish since its inception in Guatemala, organizing parish-to-parish linkages, and working with delegations.
Fidel joined the staff of the Center in 1993 working with the Center’s short-term travel seminars, then with semester programs. Fidel feels that this work has taught him about his own society and its problems, and he really enjoys an active exchange of ideas with North Americans and people from other countries who participate in the programs. He currently lives in San Lucas Sacatepéquez, a town near Guatemala City with his wife and three children.
Ann Lutterman-Aguilar, Site Director and Instructor
Ann completed her doctorate in International Feminist Theologies from the San Francisco Theological Seminary (University of California-Berkeley). She earned her Masters in Divinity with a focus on liberation theologies from Yale University and her B.A. in Peace and Global Studies from Earlham College. In 2000, she completed a certificate program in Intercultural Communication. Prior to joining the CGE staff in 1993, Ann worked in the ecumenical campus ministry at Penn State University and in a refugee camp in El Salvador during the civil war there. She has also worked with several different organizations as a full-time activist advocating women’s rights, human rights, LGBT rights, and changes in U.S. domestic and foreign policy. Her academic interests are in the areas of critical, experiential, and feminist pedagogies; intercultural communication; liberation theologies; and women’s studies. She enjoys traveling, hiking, reading novels, and participating in several community organizations. Ann is a dual citizen of Mexico and the United States.
Lisanne Morgan, Homestay and Program Coordinator
Lisanne earned a Hon. B.A. in Latin American and Caribbean Studies and Spanish from York University in Toronto. Before she began consulting for CGE in 2002, she worked as a Program Director for the Cuernavaca Center for Intercultural Dialogue on Development (CCIDD) from 1995-2001. There she led groups from the U.S. and Canada, facilitating a program for those interested in developing an understanding of the political, social, cultural, and economic realities of Mexico through experiential learning. After leaving CCIDD, Lisanne worked as a freelance translator and consultant. She has also coordinated and facilitated exposure programs to the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and Cuba, Chiapas, and Mexico City. Although she had previously worked as a consultant with CGE, she joined the CGE team more formally in January of 2003. Lisanne is a Canadian citizen.
Antonio Ortega, Program Coordinator and Instructor
Antonio earned his Licenciatura in Accounting at La Salle University in Mexico City and completed a Masters degree in History at the Centro de Investigacion y Docencia en Humanidades CIDHEM (Center for Teaching & Research on Humanities), Cuernavaca, Morelos. Antonio is a Certified Public Accountant who worked for several years in the Mexican stock market. However, he wasn’t happy wearing a suit and tie nor living in Mexico City. He then went to Oxford, England where he studied English, but after a year he felt homesick, so he moved to Cuernavaca, where he has lived happily ever after since 1990. Prior to joining CGE in January of 2003, Antonio spent several years teaching English and working at CETLALIC Alternative Spanish School, where he promoted the school and coordinated the Gay & Lesbian Studies Program. In 1999, Antonio received a Teaching Certificate from the Anglo American School. He is also a founder and active member of Grupo CD4, a non profit organization devoted to fight AIDS through sexual education. His primary academic interests are LGBT issues, literature, and history. He enjoys traveling, movies, reading, and writing.
Violeta Jamarillo, Adjunct Instructor
Violeta was born in Mexico City, where she spent most of her childhood. She majored in Industrial Engineering with a focus on Quality and Productivity at Zacatepec’s Institute for Technology. Upon graduation in 2001, she joined Burlington Performance Wear as a Junior Engineer. She began her M.B.A., focusing on Enterprise Direction. After leaving Burlington, Violeta started a new adventure in the French Gemplus Company, where she worked in manufacturing, and improved production processes by finding the best way operators could work with complex requirements coming from all over Latin America. She was soon promoted and began working with international and intercultural teams from France, Poland, and the United States. Currently, Violeta is a full-time professor at UPEMOR, in addition to her responsibilities teaching in the International Business and Global Citizenship course. During her spare time, Violeta enjoys reading novels and self-improvement books that follow Louise L. Hay’s writings, watching movies, and traveling with her boyfriend, Carlos, and child, Inaki.
Raziel Valiño, Adjunct Professor
Raziel earned her Licenciatura in Social Anthropology at UAEM (Autonomous University of the State of Morelos) and recently completed her MA/MPhil in Sociomedical Sciences at Columbia University. Raziel is currently working on her PhD dissertation in Cultural Anthropology and Sociomedical Sciences, focusing on unaccompanied Mexican migrant youth that form part of a Minnesota-Morelos transnational circuit. Prior to her graduate studies at Columbia, Raziel worked in Morelos on issues related to youth, gender, sexuality, identity, sexual and reproductive health, violence, and U.S.-Mexico migration. From 2004 to 2006, Raziel was a Research Assistant and Mexican Mentor for a summer program “Feeding the Family in Troubled Times,” which involved a bio-cultural study of patterns of work, consumption and nutrition at the household level in two communities of Morelos. In 2009, while in New York, Raziel became involved with the Latino community, researching access to medical care and breast cancer screening, as well as the impact of mobility on HIV care and treatment.
Mark Lester, Regional Co-Director
Mark shares the position of Regional Co-Director of Central America and the Caribbean for the Center for Global Education with Kathy McBride. In addition they share the responsibility for the Center’s program in Nicaragua. Mark began working with the Center in 1987. His responsibilities include designing educational experiences that help participants from the First World explore Third World culture and issues and understand the impact that relationship has on the lives of the local population. In addition, Mark is the representative of the Winds of Peace Foundation, part of a contract with the Center for Global Education in Managua.
In Nicaragua, Mark has also been Material Aids Coordinator for the American Friends Service Committee, and represented the Wisconsin Coordinating Committee on Nicaragua in the Central Credit Committee of CEPAD in their Nicaraguan Community Development Loan Fund. He coordinates the Sub-Committee on Neo-liberalism for the Ecumenical Committee of U.S. Church Personnel in Nicaragua.
Prior to his work with the Center, Mark was a pastor of San Dionisio Parish in San Dionisio, Matagalpa, Nicaragua for two years (1985-87). He received cross-cultural and language school training with the Maryknoll Missioners Associate Priest Program in both New York and Bolivia. He was also a parish priest and high school religion teacher in Ft. Wright, Kentucky. Mark received his B.A. in Philosophy from St. Pius X Seminary in Erlanger, Kentucky and his M.A. in Theology with a concentration in Scripture from Mt. St. Mary Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland.
Juan Carlos Lopez, Program Coordinator
Juan Carlos is a Nicaraguan and graduated from the Central American University in Managua with a degree in English translation. Before joining the Center, Juan Carlos worked for 6 years at the El Limon Mine with a Canadian gold-mining company as a translator and manager of the procurement department. He joined the Center as a Study Abroad Facilitator in August of 2001. In addition to his work with the center, Juan Carlos has worked with exchange programs through churches and has accompanied doctors and dentists from the US who come to provide free medical and dental consultations for rural Nicaraguans. Juan Carlos is married and has a lovely wife and three children.
Kathleen McBride, Regional Co-Director
Kathy shares the position of Regional Co-Director of Central America and the Caribbean for the Center for Global Education with Mark Lester. In addition they share the responsibility for the Center’s program in Nicaragua. Her responsibilities include coordinating the Central America semester abroad program, oversight of regional staff and programming, and designing cross-cultural educational experiences within Nicaragua for travel seminar participants and university students.
Prior to joining the Center for Global Education in 1988, Kathy worked with the Christian Base Communities for three years in Nicaragua. Before moving to Nicaragua in 1984, she worked for 8 years in community development in a squatters’ settlement on the outskirts of the city of Caracas, Venezuela. Her primary work involved literacy training and teaching primary health care to women factory workers. Kathy has received theological and cross-cultural training in the Maryknoll Lay Mission Program. She holds a B.A. in Latin American Studies from George Mason University and Masters Degree in Education from Harvard University with a concentration in International Education.
Elisa Vanegas, Program Coordinator
Elisa joined CGE in 2014 as a program coordinator and instructor of political science. Elisa worked for six years with local cooperatives with a focus on training processes related to women empowerment, lobbying, and marketing strategies for farmers. Elisa has coordinated promotional projects related to fair trade. Most recently, she worked for the Nicaraguan government at the Ministry of Family Economy building marketing strategies for small- and medium-scale businesses. Elisa holds a Licentiate in diplomacy and international relations and a master’s degree in rural sustainable development from the National Autonomous University.
Linda Raven, Program Coordinator and Instructor
Linda grew up in South Bend, IN where she also earned her B.S degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Notre Dame. After a few years working as an engineer in California, she left that profession to become a Peace Corps Volunteer in Namibia. She taught Mathematics in the east of Namibia as well as the far North for two years. Not ready to leave Namibia, she then elected to extend her service by one year in order to work with the Windhoek Regional Office of the Ministry of Basic Education coordinating the HIV/AIDS education in the region. Upon her return to the United States, Linda got involved in the renewable energy industry, but still longed to return to international work. In 2007, she completed her M.A. in International Development and Social Change at Clark University and began work at CGE as a Program Coordinator immediately thereafter. When not debating politics or development theory, Linda loves practicing yoga. She is a certified Laughter Yoga Leader and Sivananda Yoga Instructor, but is currently exploring lots of other yoga styles and influences.
Frederick Simasiku, Program Coordinator
Frederick completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Namibia where he completed an undergraduate Degree of Education with specialisation in Geography and Environmental Studies. Frederick completed an Honours Degree of Environmental Education at the University of South Africa. He was a recipient of a Southern African Development Community Regional Environmental Education Programme (SADC-REEP) scholarship that enabled him to undertake studies at Rhodes University in South Africa, where he earned a Master of Environment and Sustainability Education. Frederick’s professional background includes mediating Environment and Sustainability Education in the formal school context, Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) and in Higher Education. His professional interests includes mainstreaming environment and sustainability issues in higher education.
Chelsea Beyrand, International Resident Advisor
Chelsea graduated from Boston College in 2014 with a double major in Human Development and Theology, and a minor in Special Education. She was a member of both the Golden Key and Pi Lumbda Theta International Honors Societies. While at Boston College,Chelsea was the president of two service organizations that focused on international social justice and children with disabilities. She also spent a semester studying abroad at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa.
Mavis Muguti, Adjunct Faculty
Mavis is a holder of a Master of Arts in Philosophy which she obtained from the University of Zimbabwe in 2010. Before she came to Namibia, she was stationed at the Catholic University of Zimbabwe where she was a lecturer of Ethics, Business Ethics and Ethics for the professions. She has also worked at the University of Zimbabwe as a graduate teaching assistant during which time she was doing her masters studies. She has also worked at Christ College which is an affiliate college of Great Zimbabwe University and Living Waters Theological Seminary where she gained vast experience in teaching Religious studies and Philosophy courses. She is a mother of three. During her free time she enjoys socializing and meeting new people. She also enjoys spending quality with her family.