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 BSc in Modern Languages from Aston University. Having conducted her Master's thesis research in the Dominican Republic in 2012, Amy was pleased 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.

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.

Wilson Sentimo

Caretaker

From Batey Libertad, Wilson 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. Wilson also enjoys showing visitors around Batey Libertad, sharing stories about the community and the changes that the batey has seen over time.

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.

Mayra Rodríguez

Teacher

Mayra graduated from Yspaniola's 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.

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.

María 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.

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.

Anabel

Administrative Assistant / Operations Director

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.

International Fellows and Interns

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.

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 Colombia 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.

Téïlo Piedrahita Rosero

Operations Coordinator

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 Colombia 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 Coordinator, he supports the communications, public relations, and educational efforts of the nonprofit.

Maria Cortes

Operations and Development Fellow

Maria holds a BSc in Economics from Pontificia Universidad Javeriana. Previous work experience includes project management at the Jesuit Refugee Service for Latin America and the Caribbean, and volunteering in education programs with vulnerable and indigenous communities in Colombia. She is delighted to work with the community of Batey Libertad to expand on her experiences working with children and teenagers in educational settings and to keep contributing to quality education. In her current role at Yspaniola, she supports the fundraising, outreach and educational efforts of the nonprofit.

Éloïse Gauthier

Operations and Development Fellow

Eloïse is currently completing a 2nd Master's in International Development and Humanitarian Action at Université Laval. She already holds an MA in Political and Public Affairs and a BSc in Global Studies from Université de Montréal. Eloïse brings extensive experience in public relations, communications, and strategic planning from experiences in community-based organizations in Canada and abroad, including as a higher education strategic partnerships manager. At Yspaniola, she supports the fundraising, communication and project management aspects of the NGO.

Pilar Pérez Gilsanz

Operations and Development Fellow

Pilar holds a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work by University Complutense of Madrid, as well as a MSc in Psychology and Mental Health by University of Edinburgh. She brings more than seven years of international experience in social intervention and education working for NGOs and charities in Spain, Ethiopia, Morocco and the UK. Previous experience includes project management for different mental health and educational organisations as well as programmes with refugees and asylum seekers. Pilar is excited to be working for Yspaniola and hopes to contribute to the fundraising, grant writing and education support initiatives.

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.