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Who We Are » Starfish » Her Infinite Impact

Who We Are

The Starfish team is more than a collection of hired hands. We are a dedicated, passionate team. We blend traditional values with progressive thinking. We act, we learn, we refine…and we act again.

Starfish consists of a streamlined support team in the US and a broader operational staff in Guatemala. All of our staff members are 100 percent committed to the success of the girls and families in our program. The entire team, including our Board of Directors, is driven by Starfish’s core values.

We are a team of 40+ full-time employees in Guatemala. Our combined US and Guatemalan staff is 86 percent Mayan indigenous and 90 percent female. We are among the only indigenous-led organizations in Guatemala. In order to keep our US operations lean, our Colorado-based office has three full-time and one part-time staff.


Leadership Team

Executive Director
Travis Ning

In-Country Director
Norma Bajan Balan

In-Country Finance Director 
Mercedes Alvarado

Director of Programs
Andrea Coche Mendoza

Director of Innovation
Oscar López

Director of the Starfish Impact School and Science Educator
Vilma Saloj Chiyal

Guatemalan Team

Director of Collaboration
María Cecelia Arriaza

Hector Ben Xoquic

Administrative Assistant 
Ana Caníz López

Administration and Human Resources Coordinator 
América Castro Vargas

Santiago Atitlán Mentor 
Maria Chiviliu Ajtujal

Social Studies Educator
Concepción Cua Lacan

Starfish Impact School Mentor
Nina López Pérez

English Language Educator
Blanca Elizabeth Marroquin Díaz

Sololá Mentor
Yakelin Menchú Par

Panajachel Mentor
Celena Cuy Chom

Communications Coordinator
Nami Patel

Paola Elena Tzina Petzey's PhotoNew Horizons Coach 
Paola Petzey

Math Educator
Celestina Poz Bocel

Margarita Sacuj

Program Coordinator 
Francisca Elizabeth Saloj Saloj

Kaqchikel Language Educator 
Jeronima Sulugüi Chumil

Panajachel Mentor
Susana María Tacaxoy Mesía

Director of University Access and the Quetzal Fund
Beverly Tecún Cojon

Spanish Language Educator
María Ixkik Teny Puac

Art and Vocal Empowerment Educator
Roselia Toj

Director of Curriculum and Assessment
Alix Van Zandt

Small Business Coordinator
Karla Vanessa Vasquez

Spanish Language Educator 
Virgilio Yach Queche

Math Educator
Ventura Yolanda Yaxón Martín

U.S. Team

Hannah Bick's Photo

Program Manager
Hannah Bick

Investment and Innovation Manager
Joanna French


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