COMUNIDAD MAYA PIXAN IXIM
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Maria Gaspar is a member of the Akateko Maya Nation and serves as President of the Board of Directors at CMPI. She has a profound understanding of Indigenous People’s inherent and inalienable rights to self-determination and self-governance. As President, Maria leads and manages relationships with Maya governments and has led efforts to develop our regenerative agriculture program. She is also a mother of four adult children.
Darlyn Juan Davila is committed to serving the most vulnerable with money management and asset protection and has years of experience in financial services, including working with Spanish speakers about consumer protections. Darlyn manages programs that provide monthly bill pay services and portfolios of Social Security Insurance payments of $2.4 million annually. She also provides personal financial counseling including credit review, budget analysis, action plan development, and on-going counseling for individuals seeking assistance with housing, credit, debt, and savings concerns. Darlyn is a valuable resource for community members and supports CMPI’s efforts to promote economic development and stability within the Maya community.
Jorge Izquierdo is a journalist by profession and has done extensive work with Indigenous Peoples in Colombia. His work with Indigenous Peoples has included health promotion consistent with Indigenous People’s worldview and spirituality. Furthermore, Jorge Izquierdo helps Indigenous communities document their histories using the absent narrative methodology. Jorge built CMPI’s internet based radio and television channels, and currently, he is mentoring CMPI community members in community based journalism.
Eulalia Pedro is a member of the Q’anjob’al Maya Nation and the original Director of the Maya Parliament working to advance Maya customary law and governance. Eulalia leads CMPI’s civic engagement efforts to ensure that Maya community members’ interests are represented. Eulelia also led CMPI’s International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples Conferences in 2013 and 2014 which led to diplomatic relations between the Omaha Tribe and the Q’anjob’al, Popti and Akateko Nations.
Dr. Athena Ramos is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Promotion and is affiliated with the Center for Reducing Health Disparities and the Central States Center for Agricultural Safety and Health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. She leads a Latino outreach and engagement team and serves as principal investigator for a number of community-based health and social research and education initiatives in agricultural health and safety, immigrant integration, and community well-being. Dr. Ramos has a PhD in International Family & Community Studies from Clemson University and two Master’s degrees, in Business Administration and in Urban Studies from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She is a member of the Agricultural Safety and Health Council of America, AgriSafe Network, and the National Alliance for Hispanic Health. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the International Society for Agricultural Safety & Health.
Caya Simonsen is a third year student at Harvard Law School, where she has been a clinical student in the Harvard Immigration and Refugee and Crimmigration Clinics representing clients in immigration cases. After law school, Caya will represent detained asylum-seeking families through an Immigrant Justice Corps Fellowship at Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid. Caya has interned with Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. working on strategic immigration litigation, and Al Otro Lado in Tijuana, assisting asylum seekers returned to Mexico under the Remain in Mexico program. Previously, Caya was the Volunteer Coordinator of the Dilley Pro Bono Project, coordinating volunteers to provide legal services to detained families and a human rights accompanier with Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala, accompanying human rights defenders in Q’anjob’al territory. She has also worked at Annunciation House, a house of hospitality for recently arrived immigrants in El Paso.
John R. Stone, MD, PhD is a physician and bioethicist who addresses health disparities and health equity with a focus on race/ethnicity and multicultural issues. He is a Professor Emeritus at Creighton University and Co-Founder & Co-Executive Director of the Center for Promoting Health and Health Equity. His work with Communidad Maya Pixan Ixim began in 2006 and has included teaching English as a second language, and being a health advisor, board member and principal investigator for our Health Needs Survey. He also serves as the Faculty Advisor for the Maya Community Health Collaborative, a collaboration between Creighton University medical students and Maya community members.
Ellen Struve is a playwright, educator and arts advocate whose work has been produced across the United States. She is a Nebraska Arts Council Individual Fellow, WhyArts Artist and Community Connector for the Great Plains Theatre Commons. She has degrees from University of Iowa and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Ellen's work with CMPI has included partnering with the South Omaha Mural Project and Great Plains Theatre Commons to create more awareness of the Maya community's contributions to the cultural fabric in Omaha.
Other Board Members
- Dr. Cristina Fernandez
- Lorenzo Francisco Marcos
- Lorenzo P. Lucas
- Rolando L. Nicolas
COMUNIDAD MAYA PIXAN IXIM
DIRECTORS & STAFF