Meet the La Paz Team
Community Health and Wellness Director
I have been involved with La Paz for several years, serving as a volunteer for one year prior to joining the staff six years ago. My main responsibility is to promote health and education amongst the Latino population in Chattanooga. In my role, I educate pregnant women about birth control and nutrition during pregnancy, using culturally competent practices when assessing clients and providing consultation for services. I also host workshops and classes on various health topics, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, nutrition etc. I am a Dr. Sears Certified L.E.A.N. and L.E.A.N Expectations Health Coach and a Certified CDSMP ( Chronic Disease Self Management Program) Leader.
I believe in empowering others through education and the importance of relationship building within the community. I fell in love with the La Paz mission once I became a volunteer. I always wanted to help people in a professional setting and I get to do that by combining education with community work. I want to give my clients the life skills they need to succeed and to have healthy families.
Hobbies: I love spending time with my family, reading, and listening to music.
I returned from living in Mexico in 2004, was hired at First Tennessee as their Director of Hispanic Relations and joined the La Paz Board of Directors. I was hired as the Executive Director of La Paz in 2008. Extensive travel in Latin America created a love of the people, culture, and language.
From the very beginning, La Paz and the Latino community have been a true passion. I love working with a team of champions committed to our mission and people of Chattanooga.
Hobbies: I love spending time with my family (my husband, Andy, and my two boys) and friends, but I also enjoy reading, traveling abroad and running.
Client Services Director
I oversee all client services at La Paz, including case management and referrals. I perform client assessments, interpret and translate, facilitate social services, do agency referrals, and aid wherever else as needed. I also help clients connect to resources that are offered in the community and sometimes provide resources to those who want to learn more about the Latino community. I have lived in the greater Chattanooga area (including northwest Georgia) for close to seven years.
I lived in Miami, FL, for part of my childhood, where there is a strong and established Latino community. When my family moved to NW Georgia in the early nineties, I saw how hard it was for my mom to find her footing in an area that didn't have the Latino community which she had enjoyed before. I saw and experienced first hand how hard it is to make connections and seek out resources when there is a language barrier and a cultural barrier. Being part of an organization that helps Latinos make those connections and find valuable resources is important to me.
HobbiesI enjoy reading, going to live music shows, eating, traveling, and hiking with my dog Gary.
Client Services Coordinator
I started with La Paz in 2017 after moving to Chattanooga from Iowa. I love the work La Paz is doing to empower Latinos in Chattanooga to succeed.
As a Latina immigrant woman, I understand the challenges and experiences immigrants face in a new country. It’s important to me to help other Latinos, women and minorities succeed and thrive in the United States. La Paz is a key resource for helping Latino families become self-sufficient as well as helping the broader Chattanooga community learn about our culture and diversity.
Hobbies: I love art, writing and cooking.
Other Information: My parents are from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. I was born in Nicaragua and immigrated to the United States with my family at a young age. Prior to moving to Chattanooga, I helped launch a micro-finance program in Iowa where I helped low-income women entrepreneurs access small loans and resources to start their own small businesses. I have also worked as a community organizer raising awareness about immigrant and worker rights issues. I graduated from Grinnell College with a Bachelor of Arts.
Director of Community Engagement & Administration
I joined the La Paz team in 2015 after living in the Dominican Republic for several years. My desire at La Paz is to collaborate with others to develop ways to empower the Latino population to become civically engaged in the greater Chattanooga community. Having worked professionally with various Chattanooga organizations in the past, I hope to develop partners who will work with La Paz to make our community more inclusive.
Having lived overseas in Latin America, I know full well the challenges people face when adjusting to a new culture and learning the ins and outs of the local community. It takes time, patience, and assistance from locals willing to lend a helping hand. La Paz's mission helps to fulfill that need. To me, when we engage our cultural differences and strengthen others, our community is more beautiful, eclectic, and productive.
Hobbies: I love hanging out with my best friend and wife, Jenni, and being a father to our five children. I'm also an active member of Calvary Chapel Chattanooga and love to support orphan prevention and orphan care efforts. I'm also an avid futbol (soccer) and B1G collegiate fan (Go Hoosiers and Michigan!). I have a bachelor of arts degree from Indiana University.