Vice President, International Programs
Lisa serves as KIND’s Vice President, International Programs. Lisa was a co-editor and contributing author of Childhood, Migration, and Human Rights in Central and North America: Causes, Policies, Practices, and Challenges, a study on children affected by migration in Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, and the United States, written in collaboration with organizations from each country and funded by the MacArthur Foundation. Previously, she was Managing Attorney at the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies (CGRS). Throughout her eight years at CGRS, Lisa worked to advance law and policy for immigrant women, children, and asylum seekers through impact litigation, national policy advocacy, and extensive training and mentoring of attorneys. Prior to CGRS, Lisa practiced child immigration and child welfare law at Legal Services for Children. She began her legal career as an Equal Justice Works Fellow at the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center representing immigrant children before the Immigration Court and Board of Immigration Appeals. Lisa has trained and mentored attorneys across the country and has presented to federal judges, immigration judges, and asylum officers. She is a 2002 graduate of Berkeley Law, Order of the Coif, and a 1996 graduate of the University of Maryland, magna cum laude.
Senior Director, Latin America
Bio coming soon!
Senior Director, Partnerships and Program Administration
Bio coming soon.
Director, Legal Protection
Laura serves as KIND’s Director, Legal Protection, International Programs, focusing on family reunification and international protection of children and separated families in Central America and Mexico. Laura joined KIND in 2018 and worked as a Staff Attorney in the Baltimore and Atlanta field offices before joining International Programs. Laura has previously worked with the UN Refugee Agency, Asylum Access and the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Director, Reintegration Programs
Emily comes to KIND with 10 years of experience in child welfare and community engagement. Prior to joining KIND, Emily managed Foster Care Case Management at the Council of Spanish Speaking Organizations and Community Organizing & Development at the Norris Square Civic Assoc., two Latino community-based organizations in Philadelphia. Emily has worked on community outreach and engagement campaigns around neighborhood development, gun violence, voter turn-out, and economic development. To her work at KIND she brings skills in program management, continuous Spanish-English interpretation, and trauma-informed child and family practice. Emily holds a Master’s degree in Social Work from Temple University, concentrating in Community and Social Policy. In graduate school, she interned with the American Friends Service Committee, advocating for Iraqi refugees and internally displaced people. She has studied, worked, and traveled throughout Central and South America. On the weekends, Emily loves to bike and cook.
M. Lucero Ortiz, Esq.
Director, Partnerships & Capacity Strengthening
Lucero serves as the Director, Partnerships & Capacity Strengthening. Most recently, she served as the Director of Legal Services at the Central American Resource Center (CARECEN) and solo practitioner focused on immigration and family law in Washington, DC. She brings valuable experience in strategic planning, coalition building, and delivery of culturally competent, community-based direct legal services based on positions at the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA), and Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) in Washington, DC and Los Angeles, CA, respectively. She has appeared on local, national, and international print, television, and radio media on topics related to immigration law and policy. For her important contributions, Lucero has received several awards and recognitions including DOL Secretary's Exceptional Achievement Award, HBA-DC's Rising Star Award, the Premio Inspiración and Bou Alumni Award from American University Washington College of Law, among others. Lucero is a graduate of American University Washington College of Law (WCL) and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). She has lived, studied, and traveled throughout the U.S., Mexico, and Central America.
Elba Coria Márquez
Director, Advocacy - Mexico
As a Mexican attorney, Elba comes to KIND, Mexico Program with expertise in the promotion and defense of the human rights of migrants and refugees in Mexico and the Americas. She has extensive experience working in academia, clinical legal defense, strategic litigation, and advocacy on public and political policies at a national and regional level. Prior to joining KIND, she directed the first law clinic on refugees in Mexico at the Ibero-American University and served as the Regional Associate of the International Coalition Against Detention, where she developed and advocated for immigration authorities to implement the first model of alternatives to detention for unaccompanied migrant children in Mexico. She was also Deputy Coordinator of the legal defense and strategic litigation area at Sin Fronteras IAP and has collaborated as a consultant, researcher and academic with different institutions, including the Center for Research and Economic Teaching (CIDE), the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights (IIHR), the Institute for Legal Research (IIJ-UNAM), and the University of Texas (UT), among others. Elba is a graduate of law at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), where she also studied international relations, and holds a Master’s degree in Conflict and International Security from the University of Dublin, Ireland.
Regional Director, Europe
Marieanne McKeown is KIND’s Regional Director for Europe. In this role she manages KIND’s portfolio of projects across Europe, in which NGO and legal partners provide quality pro bono legal assistance to help unaccompanied and separated children obtain protection and reach safety. Prior to joining KIND, Marieanne held a number of leadership positions at PILnet: The Global Network for Public Interest Law, most recently as Director of Global Programs. She was responsible for developing and managing projects that promote public interest law and strengthen local cultures of pro bono around the world. Her background is in human rights and strategic litigation for a range of non-profit organizations in Belfast, Northern Ireland, where she was also awarded an LL.B. in law and an LL.M. in human rights from Queens University Belfast.
Supervising Attorney, Family Reunification
Based out of New York, Anilú supports the Family Reunification Team within the International Programs Department at KIND. She joined the KIND team in September 2018 and previously served as the KIND’s inaugural Acting Managing Attorney for the ORR Emergency Intake Shelter at Ft. Bliss, and as Acting Managing Attorney and Senior Attorney for the Family Separation Team. Prior to joining KIND, Anilú served as a Staff Attorney for Catholic Charities Community Services’ (CCCS) ICARE Project, where she represented unaccompanied minors in removal proceedings, served as a media liaison, and actively participated in CCCS’ administrative response task force. Prior to CCCS, Anilú served as a legal fellow for Catholic Charities Archdioceses of Newark where she represented detained adult torture survivors through the Access to Justice program. Additionally, she served as a legal fellow for the Safe Passage Project, representing unaccompanied minors in removal proceedings. Anilú is a graduate of Howard University School of Law (JD) and the University of New Mexico (BA). As an immigrant from Mexico, she continues to invest her professional career in advancing the rights and dignity of all immigrants and asylum-seekers. Anilú’s previous experiences include work at the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, as the Co-President of the Board of Trustees for First Friends of New Jersey and New York, and as a Student Attorney for her law school’s criminal justice clinic.
Reena Arya is a Supervising Attorney with the International Programs at KIND. She was formally a Staff Attorney in KIND's San Francisco office where she provided direct representation to children. Previously, Reena was a Training and Legal Support Senior Attorney with the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, where she provided technical assistance and trainings to CLINIC affiliate agencies around the country. Reena was also an Asylum Officer and Trainer at the San Francisco Asylum Office, where she trained new asylum officers and interviewed and adjudicated asylum cases. She has also advocated for immigrants and asylum seekers, whom she represented in removal proceedings and before USCIS, as a Staff Attorney at HIAS, Human Rights First, the ACLU of New Jersey, and in private practice. She was a Staff Attorney in the immigration and asylum section at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals for four years . Reena has worked in various UNHCR field offices in Africa and the Middle East as a protection and resettlement consultant. She is a graduate of Penn State Law School and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Benin. She speaks French and Spanish.
Senior Attorney, Family Reunification
Elizabeth Nunez supports the Family Reunification Team at KIND. Prior to joining KIND, Elizabeth was a Senior Attorney at Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston where she represented unaccompanied children in removal proceedings and helped her clients pursue immigration relief such as asylum, special immigrant juvenile status, family petitions, and U visas, among others. Elizabeth received her B.A. in International Studies and Political Science from Louisiana State University and her J.D. from Loyola University Chicago School of Law.
Joshua Rodriguez supports the International Program at KIND. As a first generation, queer, Afro-Latino he personally understands the importance of everyone having the opportunity to be heard. His passion for defending the human rights of migrants is rooted in his family's migration experience from Ecuador to the United States. His professional career has included analyzing potential cases for clients and designating critical strategies for each case as well as appearing before various immigration courts throughout the United States for Master Calendar Hearings and Individual Hearings. His case load has included family petitions, deportation defense, asylum, bond hearings, and assistance with consular processing. As an attorney licensed to practice in the state of Alabama, he was able to represent minors for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status cases. Joshua also co-hosted legal segments on iHeartMedia, discussing the civil rights of individuals. He received his Juris Doctorate from Loyola University New Orleans College of Law where he was awarded the Dean scholarship throughout his attendance. He was the president of the Hispanic Law Student Association, and a member on the Trial Advocacy team. Joshua received his bachelor's degree in Political Science Pre-Law at Saint Peter's University in his hometown Jersey City, NJ.
Kate Metcalf is a Staff Attorney in the International Program at KIND. Prior to joining KIND in September 2021, Kate worked as a Senior Attorney at Catholic Charities in Boston where she represented unaccompanied children, domestic violence and trafficking survivors, asylum-seekers, and other noncitizens pursuing a wide variety of humanitarian and family-based immigration benefits. Kate previously advised immigration judges on complex issues of immigration law at the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) and counseled detained noncitizens and asylum-seekers at the Political Asylum/Immigration Representation (PAIR) Project. Kate received her law degree from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and a bachelor’s degree from Villanova University.
Melissa grew up in Indiana as a Cuban-and-Spanish-American. She graduated from Indiana University with a B.A. in Journalism and Political Science in 2012 and a J.D. in 2016. Prior to joining KIND, Melissa worked in private practice, first in Indiana in commercial litigation, and then in Houston in energy regulatory law; however, she maintained an active pro bono practice in immigration and civil rights law. Melissa is licensed to practice law in Indiana and Texas. She is fluent in Spanish.
Michelle Villegas supports the International Programs department at KIND. She joined the KIND team in October 2021. Prior to joining KIND, Michelle was a legal fellow with the Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project (ASAP), where she served ASAP’s asylum-seeking membership, assisting with emergent legal issues for their cases and creating resources to empower members in their immigration process. Previously, Michelle also clerked with the Julia M. Toro Immigration Law Firm and worked as a paralegal with Ayuda, a nonprofit that serves survivors of domestic violence and other crimes with immigration and family legal services. Michelle earned her JD from American University’s Washington College of Law, where she participated in the Immigrant Justice Clinic, traveled to the U.S-Mexico border to volunteer with ProBAR’s representation of asylum seekers in immigration proceedings, served in several organizations to promote access to justice and equity for marginalized communities, and taught as a fellow with the Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Program at Dunbar High School in Washington, D.C. As a graduating law student, Michelle received the Peter M. Cicchino Public Service Award for Outstanding Advocacy. Michelle received bachelor’s degrees in Chicana/o Studies and Psychology at the University of California, Davis. While at UC Davis, she engaged with the community as a student organizer in support of educational access and equity issues. Prior to law school, Michelle worked in rural Northern California, utilizing her organizing and programming skills to support and empower undocumented and first generation high school students. Michelle is originally from Los Angeles, CA, and is the proud daughter of Salvadoran immigrants.
Staff Attorney, Family Reunification
Alisa Whitfield supports the International Programs team at KIND. She joined the KIND team in November of 2021. Alisa has been working with immigrants and refugees since 2011, including internships with Asylum Access in Quito, Ecuador, and with the University of Cape Town’s Refugee Rights Project in Cape Town, South Africa. In the United States, Alisa worked in removal defense in California for over five years, both as a Deportation Defense Fellow at Van Der Hout LLP, and in the non-profit sector. Her removal defense work focused on appellate litigation, asylum cases, and working with youth and people with disabilities. From 2017 to 2019, Alisa was an Immigration Defense Attorney at the Alameda County Public Defender, where she focused on minimizing the immigration consequences of criminal convictions. Most recently, Alisa was a Clinical Teaching Fellow at the Immigration Justice Clinic at Cardozo School of Law where she taught immigration law and supervised law students. She received a BA in International Relations from Stanford University, and a JD from the University of Michigan Law School in Ann Arbor.
Staff Attorney, Southern Border
Aracely Medina joined KIND Mexico as a Staff Attorney in Tapachula, Chiapas in February 2022. Before joining KIND, she worked as a lawyer in HIAS at Tijuana, providing legal guidance to people on the move through individual interviews and group presentations. She served as the focal point of a migration regularization project, supporting immigration procedures for asylum seekers in Mexico. She has also worked as a Paralegal in a shelter for refugees and asylum seekers in Tapachula giving information and legal advice to people in need of international protection. Aracely holds a B.A. in Law and Finances from the Instituto Tecnológico de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey. She has participated and organized several volunteering projects and during the summer of 2019 she worked in a refugee’s shelter in Belgium where she found her passion for defending human rights of people on the move. She has just completed a certificate in Mexican Immigration Law and is currently studying a Specialization in International Migrations at the Colegio de la Frontera Norte. Aracely recently got certified as a Self-defense and Empowerment instructor with ESD Global and is passionate about sharing these workshops with children, women and LGBTQ+ community
Betsabe Lugo Rodriguez
Project Manager, Southern Border
Betsabé Lugo supports the Mexico Southern Border team at KIND and joined the team on November 18, 2021. Betsabé has a degree in Law from the Intercontinental University at Mexico City and a PhD in Human Rights from the University of Salamanca in Spain. Her doctoral thesis titled "The International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and their Families and the European Union" was published by the University of Salamanca in 2006. For almost five years, she served as Director of Protection and Restitution of the Rights of Children and Adolescents and as Director of Dissemination of the Rights of Children and Adolescents in the Federal Attorney for the Protection of Children and Adolescents in Mexico. She has completed certificates in the rights of children and adolescents and public policies, with a focus on gender and the protection of children and adolescents in conditions of vulnerability. Betsabé is certified in training delivery by the National Council for Standardization and Certification of the Ministry of Public Education of Mexico and has designed courses and workshops on comprehensive protection and the restitution of rights of children and adolescents.
Martín Alejandro Sánchez Martínez
Child Protection Specialist, Mexico
Since September 2021, Alejandro Sánchez works as a Child Protection Specialist in the International Programs team in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua. Alejandro coordinates alliances and inter-institutional agreements with government agencies and civil society organizations to promote and protect the rights of unaccompanied, separated, or at risk of separation children and adolescents who are in contexts of human mobility and, thus, strengthen the Route of Protection of their rights along the border between Mexico and the United States. Before joining KIND, Alejandro has collaborated, for more than 15 years, in socio-educational projects with children in vulnerable situations. He has developed various initiatives to promote the exercise of children’s and adolescents’ rights implementing community interventions to address and prevent street dwellers and promote the reduction of harm from addictions among children, adolescents and young people living on the streets of popular neighborhoods of Mexico City. Alejandro has also collaborated with the National DIF System on the Strategy for the Prevention and Attention of Unaccompanied Child Migration in Mexico. This Strategy sought to strengthen the family and community ties of Mexican children before they tried to migrate to the United States without the company of their families as well as to provide social assistance services to children and adolescents and of any other nationality who were already in migratory transit to the United States. Alejandro studied Sociology of Education at the National Pedagogical University, as well as a Specialty in International Migration at the Colegio de la Frontera Norte.
Jehry A. Perez Alvarez
Child Protection Specialist, Southern Border
Jehry is a passionate humanitarian worker. He got his bachelor’s degree in law and a masters in Public International Law at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma De Mexico. He has also studied different courses in the Claustro de Sor Juana, University of California, Berkeley and UNAM and is currently studying a Master of International Migration at Colegio de la Frontera Norte. Jehry has participated as a speaker for the Univesidad Autonoma De Queretaro with the topic "The integration of refugee families and migrants in Mexico" and for the Mesa Transfronteriza speaking on "Migration procedures for asylum seekers and refugees" for the IOM in Tapachula. He began his career as a humanitarian worker at Programa Casa Refugiados A.C. in Mexico City, where he worked as lawyer. After this experience he was the Legal Coordinator of the Jesuit Refugee Service in Tapachula, Chiapas. In both these experiences he has put his best effort to ensure access to rights for migrants, asylum seekers and stateless persons, under a model of integral accompaniment. Jehry also is an amateur musician and being a music lover is part of his main hobbies. He joined KIND in 2022.
Abel Ruiz Manjarrez
Capacity Building Specialist, Southern Border
Abel Ruiz Manjarrez joined KIND’s International Program in Mexico in 2021 as the child protection specialist focused on trainings in Tapachula, Chiapas. He is an attorney and psychologist originally from Chihuahua, Mexico. Prior to joining KIND México, he worked with UNICEF México, the Executive Commission for Attention to Victims, Attorney General’s Office, among others. He is a passionate defender of human rights and dedicated advocate for the rights of vulnerable populations, including migrant children. During his career, he has promoted the development and application of policies that had a positive impact on survivors of crime and led trainings for various NGOs and governmental institutions on the rights of survivors of crime. He also served for 8 years as a university professor in different areas including psychology, social work, criminology, and law. He received his legal degree from the Cultural Central University in Chihuahua and his degree in psychology from the Autonomous University of Chihuahua.
Program Assistant, Southern Border
Ernesto joined KIND on September 2022 as the Program Assistant, Southern Border. He has a degree in Psychology from the Autonomous Metropolitan University with specialist in Cultural Management and Educational Spaces. Ernesto also has extensive experience in psychosocial interventions at the community level. He has designed educational content for children and adolescents and delivered socio-emotional training in various projects. He is founder and Director of Giraluna, a cultural space in the city of Morelia, Michoacán.
Ingrid Diaz Dominguez
Psychologist, Southern Border
Ingrid supports the International programs department at KIND since November 2021. She is a Zoque woman from Chiapas, Mexico. She has a degree in Psychology from the Chiapas University of Sciences and Arts and has a Masters degree in Public Health in Social and Behavioral Sciences from the National Institute of Public Health of Mexico (INSP) and The School of Public Health of Mexico (ESPM). In her master's project she developed a participatory health Initiative that sought to actively engage children in generating proposals to benefit their environment and their health. Before joining KIND, Ingrid worked in the psychosocial accompaniment of indigenous Tzotzil and Tzeltal children in Chiapas and participated in the development of methodologies and mechanisms for monitoring and evaluation of psychosocial approaches based on children’s rights and participation. Ingrid has also worked as a clinical psychologist and educator for children with learning and / or behavior challenges associated with a disability. Additionally, she worked in 2015 as a research assistant at The South Border College (ECOSUR), in the qualitative analysis of health diagnoses in Mam and Tojolabal indigenous populations and as an indigenous cultural promoter of her Zoque community.
Family Outreach Supervisor
Bio coming soon.
Family Outreach Supervisor
Emelie is originally from Sweden and has been living in Mexico for 10 years. She joined KIND as a family outreach supervisor in October of 2021. Emelie is a specialist in human rights, migration in Central America, Mexico and the United States, legal assistance for victims of crime, asylum- seekers and refugees and vulnerable groups including women, unaccompanied minors and LGBTQ persons. She also specializes in professional training and evaluation and has many years of experience managing multi-lingual teams from different cultures. Prior to joining KIND, Emelie was part of the protection team at IOM Ciudad Juarez and the human rights coordinator at La 72 Shelter for Migrants and Refugees. Emelie lives and works remotely in Ciudad Juarez with her partner and their son.
Elsie Martinez Flores
Family Outreach Specialist
Elsie Martinez Flores supports the Family Reunification team within KIND’s International Programs department. She joined the team in November 2021. She has a Master of Arts in Education and a Master of Social Work (major in International and Economic Development) from Washington University in St. Louis. Her professional experience prior to joining KIND includes work in the private, public, and non-profit sectors in Mexico and the United States. Elsie has served in many different environments, including teacher, social worker, facilitator, and Fulbright scholar. Remarkable projects in prior roles include designing, implementing, and evaluating an experiential learning project for children (covering music, literacy, and self-expression), supporting maternal mental health and social capital building programs, and assisting a school district pantry for food insecure families. She is committed to advocating for social justice, equity, and the development of undeserved children and youth.
Priscilla Madrid Valero
Family Outreach Specialist
Priscilla Madrid Valero supports the Family Reunification team at KIND. She joined the KIND team in November 2021. Prior to joining KIND she studied a bachelor’s degree in journalism at Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudio Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM) in Mexico, a master’s degree in Development Studies and Culture Change in Macquarie University in Australia, a master’s degree focusing on Sexual Education at the Universidad de Sevilla in Spain and an International Diploma in Prevention of Gender Based Violence (GBV) organized by several institutions of the Mexican Government. She has worked in international cooperation, gender equality, diversity, and inclusion. Priscilla was part of the official Mexican delegation for CSW65 (2021), the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.
Family Outreach Specialist
Adriana Koehn supports the Family Reunification team within KIND’s International Programs department. She joined the team in January 2022 as Family Outreach Specialist. Her professional experience prior to joining KIND spans from practicing social work with migrants and active drug users in the U.S. to advocacy, development, and project management in Guatemala where she has lived for 13 years. She has a bachelor’s degree in social work and a graduate certificate in Latin American migration and cross-cultural mobilization. She is also a trained mindfulness instructor and volunteer with Mindful Guatemala, a small NGO working to promote peace and emotional well-being in Guatemalan schools.
Luis Alberto Perez
Family Outreach Specialist
Luis Alberto Pérez joined KIND as a Family Outreach Specialist in February 2022. He is indigenous Maya Mam, graduated in Indigenous Education with an intercultural approach from the National Pedagogical University, his thesis is based on the Training of Promoters of Autonomous Education in indigenous communities of Chiapas. Luis worked as a Social Sciences teacher for secondary level in both public and private institutions in Mexico City. He supported different projects that favor indigenous peoples and non-profit programs such as "Languages take the rostrum" and "Our voices" that purpose has been to give space and recognition to indigenous populations in the Federal Chamber of Deputies and Mexico City and ombudsman for migrants. Luis has also worked as a literacy teacher in intercultural contexts, and among other activities focused on education.
Family Outreach Specialist
Kimberly Jeamilet Baltazar Francisco joined KIND as a Family Outreach Specialist in February 2022. She is indigenous Mayan, and her mother tongue is Q'anjob'al language. She graduated as a Teacher of Intercultural Bilingual Early Childhood Education at the Mixed Normal Institute "Alejandro Córdovain the municipality of Huehuetenango. Kimberly has a pensum closure in the Career of Legal and Social Sciences at the Mariano Gálvez University of Guatemala. She has completed voluntary internships in the Judicial Branch of Guatemala, in the following jurisdictional bodies: Pluripersonal Court of First Criminal Instance of Crimes of Femicide and Other Forms of Violence Against Women and Sexual Violence, of the municipality and department of Huehuetenango, Court of Criminal Sentencing of Crimes of Femicide and Other Forms of Violence Against Women and Sexual Violence of the department of Huehuetenango. In addition to this, she has worked as an Interpreter of the Mayan Language: Q'anjob'al in CIELO Indigenous Communities in Leadership. Kimberly hopes to graduate soon as a Lawyer and Notary.
Family Outreach Specialist
Alexander Armando Morales Tecúm joined KIND as a Family Outreach Specialist in April 2022. He is indigenous Mayan, and his mother tongue is K'iche'. He graduated with a specialty in Computing from the K'iche' Technological Institute of the Marist Brothers of Chichicastenango, El Quiché, Guatemala. He graduated from the Mariano Gálvez University of Guatemala with a bachelor’s degree in Social Work and is currently studying his second year of his master's degree in Management of Social Protection Systems at the same university. In the labor field he has worked for the Association Por Nosotras Ixmukané Quiché and was Program and Project Coordinator for the Lutheran World Federation, Oxfam Intermon, FOKUS Women's and Development Forum, Norwegian Church Aid and Ibis Denmark, addressing social problems that affect indigenous populations such as: Gender-based violence, irregular migration, hegemonic masculinities, discrimination, racism towards indigenous populations, access to justice and health with cultural relevance among others. In addition, he was responsible for PM&E for projects funded by the UN International Organization for Migration (IOM). Alexander has had experience working with vulnerable populations such as women, youth, and indigenous children. He is also a volunteer advisor on youth issues for the United Nations Population Fund UNFPA Guatemala and was a delegate for the youth representation of Guatemala at the ICPD+25 International Conference on Population and Development held in Nairobi, Kenya 2019. In addition, he has collaborated with different organizations in Central America for the prevention and attention of gender violence, specifically in Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua.
Social Services Coordinator
Daniela Herrera supports the Family Reunification team in the International Programs Department at KIND. She joined the KIND team on October 2021. Prior to joining KIND, Daniela completed her master’s studies in Pedagogy at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) where she focused her research on power relations in the work of nonprofit organizations. She served as a research assistant with the Mexican Institute for Behavioral Economics (IMEC) and the Institute of Research for the Development of Education (INIDE, UIA), and gained experience in counseling and training multicultural groups in Yomol A’tel, an organization based in the state of Chiapas, Mexico, that works for the defense of the territory of indigenous tseltal communities. Daniela also has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and has worked for Casa Ernesto Meneses, a community center based in Mexico City, coordinating educational programs and providing socioemotional support.
Mario Narcisco Avila Melgar
Social Services Coordinator, Mexico
Mario is a Mexican psychologist with a specialty in social justice and social development. Born and raised in Ciudad Juárez, Mario has focused his work on the border context and has collaborated with a variety of non-governmental organizations. Mario has extensive experience working with people in vulnerable conditions such as those living with HIV, substance abuse/addiction recovery, migrant populations along the border and LGBTTTI+ groups. Mario has been part of the team since August 2020, joining first as a Social Services Consultant. Mario assesses the safety and needs of KIND’s clients by providing psycho-emotional support, as well as helping them connect with other services such as education, health, food, housing or clothing.
Bio coming soon
Bio coming soon.
I was born and raised in El Salvador. Graduated as a lawyer in my country, specializing in criminal justice. Since I began my studies, I became involved in working with communities, which became my motivation and passion, focusing mainly on defending the human rights of the most vulnerable populations in my country. For the past nine years, I have worked with the immigrant community in this country helping them improve their parenting skills and helping them adapt to this country. When I’m not working, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, reading and handcrafts.
Eligia Santana is a Case Worker at Kids in Need of Defense (KIND). She joined September 2022 as a Remote Case Worker based in NYC. Prior to joining KIND, Eligia provided intense Case management to UC minors, conducted PRS services as a PRS UC case manager and worked as a Therapeutic Case Manager amongst other roles that has prepared Eligia for this role. Eligia has extensive knowledge of child welfare in different settings working with diverse cultures. Eligia Santana is also President of a Non-profit Organization that is committed to promote wellness and healthy living within the community she is based also including Mexico and Dominican Republic.
Bio coming soon!