Yspaniola

Our Local Team

Amy Porter – Executive Director

Amy holds an MSc in Globalisation and Latin American Development from the University of London, UK, and a Bachelor’s degree in Modern Languages. Having conducted her Master’s thesis research in the Dominican Republic in 2012, Amy was pleased to have the opportunity to return in 2017, bringing with her great energy and a fundraising passion to support Yspaniola’s team. Amy originally joined Yspaniola as Director of Development before becoming Executive Director. Previously, Amy spent 18 months working with two NGOs which support indigenous Mayan communities in rural Guatemala. She also has four years experience with UK human rights organizations as a fundraiser and campaigner.

Mirian Rodríguez

Administrative Manager

Born and raised in Batey Libertad, she holds a degree in Accounting from UTESA, and is now studying for her second degree in Industrial Psychology. Before working at Yspaniola, Mirian worked in Santiago as an administrative assistant. Today, she is delighted that working with Yspaniola allows her to support her community directly.

Leidy Rodríguez

Preschool Teacher

A native of Maizal, she is holds a degree in Early Childhood Education from La Universidad Tecnológica de Santiago (UTESA) in Mao. Leidy brings valuable knowledge and experience to the Yspaniola team.

Mayra Rodríguez

Teacher

Mayra graduated from Yspaniola's of our University Scholars Program in 2016, earning a degree in Natural Sciences Education from the Universidad Tecnológica de Santiago (UTESA) in Santiago. Mayra has been a part of Yspaniola’s programming for several years, helping students and supporting teachers in the classrooms. Currently, she is a full-time teacher in the Learning Center.

Wilson Sentimo

Caretaker

Wilson Sentimo is the Caretaker at Yspaniola’s Learning Center. Wilson is from Batey Libertad. He takes care of all Yspaniol'a premises, and keeps our preschool park in beautiful conditions. During Yspaniola’s Summer Camps, he often leads music programs, as he loves singing, rapping, and is a talented drummer. Since he was young, Wilson has enjoyed showing visitors around Batey Libertad, sharing stories about the community and the changes that the batey has seen over time.

Yohanna Jean

Teaching Assistant

Yohanna is a Teaching Assistant in our preschool program. She is bilingual in Spanish and Haitian Creole, which means that she is able to support our youngest learners, many of whom speak only Creole with their parents. Yohanna was born and raised in Batey Libertad, and her sister Sofia is an Yspaniola University Scholar.

Andreina Ortiz

Teaching Assistant

Andreina is a Teaching Assistant in our Learning Center. Andreina has been working with Yspaniola for over five years, and is well-loved by all the children who attend her classes. She also provides tutoring to individuals and small groups of students.

María "Toutouta" Sosa

Food Program Coordinator

A mother of three, María (known as "Toutouta") began working as Food Program Coordinator in September 2017 and greatly enjoys the opportunity to interact with children in a school-based setting. She has many high hopes for the children of Batey Libertad: “I hope that they grow up to have a good future, good education, and good health.” Toutouta also supports Yspaniola as a Host Mom, welcoming students and volunteers into her home and making them feel at ease throughout their stay. In her free time, Toutouta enjoys sitting outside her house with friends and talking over a nice cup of coffee.

Johnny Dose

Teaching Assistant

Johnny is a Teaching Assistant in our preschool program. He is bilingual in Spanish and Haitian Creole, which means that he is able to support our youngest learners, many of whom speak only Creole with their parents.Johnny is also studying for a degree in Education at UTESA in Mao.

Interns and PiLA Fellows

Yspaniola partners with Princeton in Latin America, a non-profit organization that places recent college graduates interested in international development and education with non-profits across Latin America. In addition, Yspaniola hires talented fellows to further strengthen the organization’s team. Fellowships are full-time, temporary work placements, of up to one year, that support Yspaniola’s local programs and contribute to media development, grant writing, and community outreach projects.

Zach Denton

Operations and Development Fellow

Zach earned a MPhil in Education (Research in Second Language Learning) from the Universiy of Cambridge and a BA in Sociology, Linguisics, and Spanish. He is delighted to work with the community of Batey Libertad to expand on his experiences working with students in bilingual education settings. Previous experiences have also included supporting undocumented students and detained people in the United States and Moroccan migrant students in Spain. In his current role as Operations and Development Fellow, he supports the fundraising, outreach and educational efforts of the nonprofit.

Téïlo Piedrahita Rosero

Operations and Development Fellow

Téïlo is currently completing a Master’s in Communications and International Studies at the University of Rouen. He brings extensive experience in preschool education from his work in Columbia and Peru, along with a solid academic background in Communication and Business Administration. Téïlo is keenly interested in international relations, particularly in the role of education and community empowerment in human development. In his current role as Operations and Development Fellow,he supports the fundraising, public relations, and educational efforts of the nonprofit.

Volunteers from the Batey

Yspaniola works closely with a committee of young adults from Batey Libertad to help plan and run service-learning trips. The volunteer committee also helps with outreach in the community related to the Learning Center, parent and community member inclusion, documentation, and more. The committee is crucial in achieving cross-cultural learning with our service-learning trip participants, and represents Yspaniola’s efforts to facilitate the education and leadership of marginalized youth so that they can act within and advocate for their communities.