Marcos Martinez Executive Director
Marcos is the Executive Director of Casa Latina. Prior to joining Casa Latina in 2016, Marcos served as ED at Entre Hermanos, a grassroots nonprofit serving the Latino LGBTQ community in Seattle and King County for 8 years. Before moving to Seattle, Marcos spent 20 years working in public radio in Albuquerque, New Mexico; serving as News Director and Programming Director at NPR affiliate station KUNM at the University of New Mexico. Throughout his career Marcos has been devoted to social justice for Latinx and other immigrant, low income and disenfranchised communities. Marcos serves on the board of the Public Defender Association, a non-profit corporation which advocates for justice system reform and develops alternatives that shift from a punishment paradigm to a system that supports individual and community health; and also the UW Latino Center for Health, which provides leadership for community-engaged research through capacity building and authentic partnerships with community stakeholders.
Shirley Aguilar Finance and Administration Director
Born in Costa Rica, Shirley moved to Seattle in 2007 to study English and planned to go back two years later to finish her degree in Industrial Engineering. However, her plans changed and she ended up staying to pursue a degree in Finance from UW. She has been working at Casa Latina for over 5 years. She admires the passion of the people working at Casa Latina and she feels lucky to work for an organization that fights for our rights and actively seeks to make a difference. Shirley loves the outdoors, some of her proudest moments involved finishing the STP, and RSVP bike rides.
Araceli Hernandez Day Worker Center Director
Born in Mexico City, Araceli arrived in Seattle in 1996 when Casa Latina had just been founded. Araceli studied journalism in Mexico and holds a certification in Nonprofit Management from UW. Her education and lived experience as an immigrant, makes her a dynamic leader and representative on immigration in the U.S. Working with domestic workers and day laborers in Seattle has become her life purpose. In her free time, Araceli likes to practice Reiki, Biomagnetism and Emotional Integration.
Veronique Facchinelli Community Programs Director
Originally from France, Vero holds a MBA degree from SKEMA European Business School. Vero has been an key leader in both local and international campaigns for domestic worker rights. She joined the Casa Latina team in 1999 and today she serves as the Director of Community Programs. In her spare time, Vero enjoys learning about different cultures and traveling, especially to France with her children.
Jessica Nieves Director of Development & Communications
Jessica D. Nieves is a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) who is a mission-driven development and nonprofit communications expert. With over a decade of experience, Jessica has raised millions of dollars in the community development and advocacy sectors. Jessica was adopted by her dad who is from Chihuahua, Mexico. Her first job was working alongside him on a construction site painting drywall mud on nails. Her family’s stories are why she deeply loves the work of Casa Latina and have shaped her commitment to workers’ rights for our Latino communities. Jessica enjoys perusing bookstores, cooking for her friends, and hiking with her husband and dog.
Gabriel Aspee Transportation Coordinator
Patricia Arévalo Day Worker Center Assistant
Patricia, single mother and a Fashion and Style Consultant, arrived in Seattle from Colombia at the end of 2018 to experience her first winter on this side of the world. Without job opportunities, she finally found Casa Latina where she was accepted to work in care and service to the community, a job she loves because in addition to interacting with the community, she also lives new cultures that make her life happier and more grateful. In her free time, Patricia loves to spend time with her son, read, and pray.
Lucina Carrillo Worker Center Organizer
Lucina is originally from Guerrero, Mexico. The mother of 5 children, the penultimate of 6 children, she came to the United States for the dream to surpass herself and for her children to grow up in a better environment with more opportunities. In 2015 she formed part of the Household Helpers group, she volunteered in the Day Workers Center and was Treasurer for the emergency fund. In January 2019, Lucina joined the Casa Latina staff as Organizer at the Workers Day Center. Being part of this beautiful organization fills her with pride because she loves supporting her community.
Yuliana Chaparro Trainer
Originally from Mexico, Yuliana is trained as a Peer Trainer and Facilitator in Financial Education, Literature and Health by the Puget Sound School District. After collaborating with Casa Latina for more than 5 years in advocating for early education and being a member of the Casa Latina Workers’s Center, she joined Casa Latina as a workers safety trainer. She’s found in Casa Latina her passion for Social Justice. A place where she can share her capacity, experience, aptitudes, and abilities. Casa Latina is a home where she can work hand in hand with her colleagues fighting for the well-being of her community. Yuliana enjoys spending time with her three kids.
Elvia Cortés Household Helpers Organizer
Born in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico, Elvia’s journey at Casa Latina began through her participation in English classes. She later became a member of Casa Latina to take part in the job dispatch program and the leadership group Mujeres Sin Fronteras. Over time, Elvia became a facilitator and is now the organizer of the Casa Latina Domestic Workers. Her greatest inspiration is to be able to help women and her community. Elvia likes to focus on companionship and in her free time she enjoys cooking, walking, and sharing time with her family.
Fredi Dubon Day Worker Center Coordinator
In 2011, Fredi moved to Seattle looking for jobs on the street corners of big-box, home improvement stores before being introduced to Casa Latina. He became a member in 2012 and was hired by a landscaping company where he worked for 3 years until it was sold. Fredi began working for Casa Latina in 2015. He enrolled in a training for Health and Safety in Construction at the University of Washington. With this expertise, Fredi was then able to offer OSHA 10 training at Casa Latina. He has been coordinator of the Day Workers’ Center since 2018. In his free time, Fredi enjoys kayaking, hiking, and grilling.
Veronica Espitia Volunteer Coordinator
Veronica Espitia moved to Seattle 4 years ago to pursue a degree in cultural anthropology, and she is fascinated by the use of storytelling to share cross-cultural perspectives and knowledge. She recently completed her thesis on queer Latinxs who are reclaiming ancestral healing practices. Her passion for social change drives her commitment to learning, community organizing, and environmental justice. In her spare time, Veronica enjoys Seattle’s vibrant music scene and hangs out with her cat Pluto, named after the Roman god of the underworld.
Colleen Fontana Worker Rights Program Coordinator
Born and raised in the Yakima Valley, Colleen learned to love desert sunshine, paletas and Gala apples. Before moving to Seattle, she lived on the US-Mexico border in El Paso, Texas. There, she saw clearly the complexities of the border and the brokenness of our immigration systems. After joining the Casa Latina team in 2016, Colleen has supported worker rights outreach and education. She has co-led our Worker Defense Committee which organizes community members, workers and allies to recover unpaid wages through negotiation and community action. Colleen’s passion for this work is fueled by the members at Casa Latina, the community on the border, and the resiliency of her colleagues.
Emily Gaggia Education Coordinator
Emily Gaggia joined Casa Latina in 2005. Through the years, Emily has implemented, developed and managed a variety of adult educational programs for day laborers and household workers, including English Language classes, Technological Literacy classes, Popular Education material development and a community language exchange program which brings together Spanish and English speakers to build bridges through language instruction. She also works for the National Day Labor Organizing Network, NDLON, based in Los Angeles. Emily attributes much of her personal and professional growth to the day laborers and household workers at Casa Latina and is honored to work alongside the day labor community.
Raul Garcia Day Worker Center Associate
Raul was born in East Los Angeles, and later moved to Eastern Washington. He moved to Seattle when he was accepted to Graduate School at the University of Washington. Raul has a strong commitment to the Latina/o day worker community. He is currently finishing his Ph.D. dissertation on Day Workers at Casa Latina. In his free time, Raul loves to support the Dodgers, Lakers, fish and play the accordion.
Silvia Gonzalez Women Without Borders Lead Coordinator
Silvia is an immigrant mother and domestic worker who joined the Casa Latina team five years ago. She played an active role in the campaign to pass the Settle Bill of Rights locally by organizing domestic workers at Casa Latina and is Co-Chair of the Seattle Bill of Rights Bureau of Labor Standards. Silvia also served on the Board of Directors of the National Alliance of Domestic Workers who are currently working on a Bill of Rights for Domestic Workers nationwide. Silvia’s leadership and activism roles have enabled her to see the real necessities of her fellow domestic workers; ensuring their voices are heard and together creating change.
Flor Guategui HR Assistant
Flor is a native of Buenos Aires, Argentina, she moved to Seattle 2 years ago with her husband and dog to start a new adventure in this great country. She holds a degree in Labor Relations and is also a Fashion and Textile Designer. Today Flor is grateful to dedicate her time to her two greatest passions; having her own company of leather goods made out of material from her native land and to be able to work at Casa Latina connecting her to her roots, a place of values and vocation to fight for the rights of workers in her community. In her spare time, Flor enjoys drawing, playing with her dog, walking on the beach and traveling.
Marco Antonio Martinez Workforce Development Coordinator
Marco Antonio is Venezuelan. He has lived in Seattle for the past 4 years after fleeing from the political persecution of his country. Dedicated to education, teaching, and university education, he became part of the marginal communities of the city of Caracas for more than 25 years as a community leader for education. He graduated as an Organizational Psychologist and was an adviser in the oil industry for his last 7 years before leaving his country. At Casa Latina he began working as a Day Laborer and today is the Workforce Development Coordinator. In his spare time, Marco Antonio enjoys exercise and body training, in addition to Afro-Caribbean music and dance.
María José Morales Homeless Employment Specialist
Paola Ochoa Worker Rights Organizer
Paola was born in the state of Sonora Mexico, she immigrated with her family to the state of Washington in 2007. As an immigrant, Paola faced great challenges upon arriving in this country, she experienced labor abuse and wage theft which motivated her to learn about her rights. She met Casa Latina through the Women Without Borders program where she started as a volunteer, then as a facilitator of the program and promoter of labor rights. She is very happy to be serving her community as an organizer of the Labor Rights Program. In her free time, Paola enjoys dancing, traveling, and being surrounded by nature.
Gabriela Reyes Development and Communications Associate
Born and raised in El Paso, Texas; Gabriela moved to Seattle 5 years ago to begin her Architectural career. 1,690 miles away from home, the Pacific Northwest has connected her even deeper to her roots. She decided to transition careers to help make a difference in this world for her Latino community. She is passionate about collaborating on projects that advance the power and well-being and advocate human and civic rights. Gabriela brings a design background, strong bond with people, and cultural bilingual skills to the Casa Latina Team. In her spare time, Gabriela loves reading, running, playing tennis, and baking sweet treats.
Daniel Silva Day Worker Center Dispatcher/Organizer
Daniel was born and raised in Mexico City where he studied and earned his Bachelor’s degree. He worked as a merchant and beauty craftsman until fate took him to San Francisco, California. There, he started working in the day labor force due to life situations, he also represented day laborers seeking better wages and respect for the rights of immigrants. In 2007, Daniel moved to Seattle, Washington. Looking for more opportunities, he began working as a day laborer at Casa Latina. Later, he enrolled in a training to become a health and safety work coach. Today, you can find Daniel assisting the Day Workers Center or Reception at Casa Latina.
Juan Villegas Office and Facilities Manager
Juan is originally from Saltillo Coahuila México, he’s lived in Seattle, Washington since 2004 with his wife and three children. He is a certified Public Accountant and joined the CASA Latina Team in July of 2007. For Juan, CASA Latina is home, it’s a place that continues to provide opportunities to contribute to our community. Through his enthusiastic participation, nurtured by the mission that defines the path we advance on a daily basis, strategically oriented with the vision that observes obstacles and challenges we fully face and resolve as a community. Juan enjoys family adventure with trips and reunions, meeting people and places, reading, sports, music, art, cinema, and gastronomy.
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