Our Local Team
Alejandra is Venezuelan and a pedagogue with a master's degree in Community Social Work from the University of Puerto Rico. Her thesis focused on the topic of community self-management. She has been a teacher and professor, and is passionate about social projects. She has focused her career on designing educational programs for third-sector organizations in Venezuela and has worked on projects in Ecuador, Peru, and Panama. Alejandra was at Batey Libertad between 2017 and 2019 when she served as Academic Director. In 2023 she returned to the Dominican Republic and is currently our Interim Executive Director.
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.
Born and raised in Batey Libertad, Mariela is studying in her last years of Early Childhood Education and will soon become a teacher. She joined the Yspaniola Foundation in April of this year 2023, to work as a teacher's assistant. She enjoys interacting, dancing and playing with the children to make learning more fun and meaningful for them. She also puts a lot of effort in preparing and making different materials for the preschool classes.
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 was born and raised in the community of Batey Libertad, she has a degree in Industrial Psychology and Public Accounting. Prior to working with Yspaniola, she worked as an Administrative Assistant at a clinic in Santiago. Since 2017, she has been part of the Yspaniola team working in finance, food programs and as university scholarship program manager. "I am grateful to Yspaniola for allowing me to be part of their team and to be able to support my community in a direct way".
Johnny is a full-time teacher in our preschool program. Johnny is a qualified teacher, having graduated with a degree in Education at UTESA in Mao. 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.
Ruth Juliet Belarme Sosa
Ruth has 18 years old and lives in Batey Libertad. She has been with Yspaniola for 13 years when she participated in a tutoring program in support of reading. As of now, she forms part of the team that assists as she feels a great commitment to educational work which we carry out and she loves being with the children.
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.
OPERATIONS AND PARTNERSHIPS MANAGER
Elizabeth Hernandez began in the role of Operations and Partnerships Manager in September 2022. Elizabeth holds a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration and a Master's in Education Center Management, as well as a Teaching Certificate. Previously, she worked in the Regional Education District in an administrative role, so she has much experience of the public school system and in particular working with teachers
María Esther Hernández
María Esther is 28 years old and has a degree in Early Childhood Education. She joined the Yspaniola team in April of 2023 as an assistant and in August established herself as a pre-school teacher. Previously, she has worked with children from the Methodist Church and at the EL EDÉN school in Jaibón, as well as the CASA DEL ÁRBOL homework centre in Laguna Salada. María Esther exudes a lot of empathy, charisma and love for her students and the rest of the team.
Willy was born in Villa Basque and has grown up here in Batey Libertad, where he lives today. He joined the Yspaniola team at the beginning of the academic year due to his passion for teaching and inspiring. His goal is to pursue a career in medicine and become a doctor one day.
Wislyne has been working as a caretaker for Yspaniola since July of last year. She is an excellent collaborator, responsible and efficient. Wislyne is a Haitian migrant, a mother of one, and a good human being in general. Here at Yspaniola, we are very proud that she is part of our team.
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.
Laura Díaz Sáenz
"Hello, I am delighted to introduce myself, my name is Laura and I graduated two years ago in Law at the Autónoma University of Madrid. I also have a Master's degree in Human Rights and I have dedicated myself to protecting vulnerable and violated people such as migrants, women, and children. I have worked in different organizations in Bolivia, Europe, and Morroco and I hope to contribute and learn as much as possible here at Yspaniola."
"Hello! My name is Alex Aliaga and I have just finished my BA Geography and International Development undergraduate degree in the UK. I am determined to apply my academic interests in practice here at Yspaniola. Outside of academia, I have organized and participated in several Youth programs relating to sports which reflects my passion in life and the belief that health is vital for education and our general well-being."