Esther Saraelle Tahrir, MPH
Public Health Institute
Esther is the PI Project Director for the Youth Leadership in Sexual and Reproductive Health Program (GOJoven) where she provides the strategic direction, supervision, partnership building and fundraising and development leadership to ensure the success of Spanish Regional and English Pilot programs for Guatemala, Mexico, Honduras and Belize. She founded GOJoven in 2003 and has worked for the past ten years at the Public Health Institute (PHI) directing multi-million dollar fellowship programs in sexual and reproductive health and rights for senior and emerging leaders globally. She previously directed the International Family Planning Leadership Program (IFPLP) Latin America and contributed to IFPLP Africa and Asia. Ms. Tahrir runs the Summit Foundation Scholarship Fund for graduates of GOJoven and advises IHP/PHI’s Adolescent Girls Advocacy & Leadership Initiative in Latin America and Africa. Ms. Tahrir has worked and lived in Francophone and Anglophone West Africa, Guatemala and Mexico, is fluent in Spanish and French, and speaks basic Portuguese. She completed her undergraduate work in Community Studies at the University of California Santa Cruz with honors and received a Masters Degree in Public Health from the University of California Berkeley where she was honored with the Henrik L. Blum Award for Distinguished Social Action and was student elect to the Faculty Council and School Strategic Planning Committee.
Josie Ramos, MA
Belize Program Coordinator
Josie coordinates the GOJoven Belize pilot project, an English-language version of the GOJoven program implemented in Belize for the first time in 2011. She also administers GOJoven’s Summit Educational Scholarship Fund, which supports the educational goals of GOJoven Alumni. Josie also coordinates the curriculum development, institutional strengthening and technical assistance components of Adolescent Girls’ Advocacy & Leadership Initiative, a program that improves adolescent girls’ health, educational and economic opportunities, and human rights by strengthening the capacity of Latin American and African advocates. Currently, this Stanford graduate is certified sex educator and has served on PHI’s Institutional Review Board for the past six years.
Marian Alonso, BA
Marian Alonso is the Assistant to the GOJoven Program. She completed her undergraduate work in Psychology and Music at Loyola Marymount University (LMU) inLos Angeles, where she was a member of the University Honors Program and received the Riordan and Arete Community Service Awards and the McKay Student Leadership Award. She directed the LMU Alternative Breaks program, and as a recipient of the Payden Summer Research grant, she worked on a clean stoves project in rural Peru. She volunteered at a family center for working children in Quito,Ecuador and taught college-level English in Quito for two years. She has traveled extensively and speaks both English and Spanish.
Eva Marisol Burgos
GOJoven Belize General Coordinator
Eva is currently the General Coordinator for GOJoven Belize and has served as the Country Representative for the Youth Leadership in Sexual and Reproductive Health Program (GOJoven), where she was a Summit Fellow in 2004. She is a graduate from the University of Belize with honors as a Practical Nurse and, with support from the Summit Scholarship Fund; Eva hopes to complete her BA in Social Work from the University of West Indies in 2013. As a graduate of the GOJoven Training of Trainer’s process, Eva collaborates with Belmopan Regional office of the Belize Ministry of Health for the Health, Community, and Parenting Bureau (HECOPAB) to conduct SRH trainings to key health providers like the Community Health Workers (CHW) on a variety of topics, including emergency contraception, family planning, gender, and evaluation. She served as the Lead Consultant and Facilitator in the Belizean Emergency Contraceptive Advocates (BECA) project from the year 2007-08 and she has received additional trainings in community outreach, and strategic planning. Eva is particularly passionate about her work in HIV/AIDS prevention, care, and treatment. She is the chair for Belmopan City HIV committee of Belmopan and hopes to collaborate in the fight to decrease discrimination against people living with HIV.
Former Resource Team Members
Denise Raquel Dunning, PhD
Denise is the Program Director of the Adolescent Girls’ Advocacy & Leadership Initiative, a program that improves adolescent girls’ health, educational and economic opportunities, and human rights by strengthening the capacity of Latin American and African advocates. As Training Manager of GOJoven, Denise managed the GOJoven Fellowship training program, curriculum development process, and Training of Trainers. Denise previously worked in the Population Program at the David and Lucile Packard Foundation on grantmaking and research in Mexico, India, Ethiopia, and the Philippines. Denise has served as a Fulbright Scholar in Honduras, working with the United Nations Development Program to implement hurricane relief efforts following Hurricane Mitch. Denise holds a doctoral degree in Sociology fromthe University of California Berkeley, where she conducted research on youth, gender, sexuality, and HIV prevention. She received a Masters in Public Affairs from the WoodrowWilsonSchool at PrincetonUniversity, where she focused on international development and health after graduating Summa Cum Laude from DukeUniversity. Denise is a native Spanish speaker who also speaks French, Portuguese, and German.
Julia Zeuli, MPH
Regional Program Coordinator
Julia served as the Regional Program Coordinator for the International Health Program (IHP)’s GOJoven project at PHI. She was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Honduras where she developed and coordinated health education workshops and trainings for youth focusing on sexual and reproductive health. While in Honduras she evaluated a national youth life skills and HIV/AIDS prevention pilot program for the Global Fund. Julia worked with the American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter where she coordinated the international candidate program and conducted in-country evaluations of trainings and provided technical support to the Panamanian Red Cross and the Mexican Red Cross. Julia, a first generation bilingual/bicultural Spanish speaker raised by Nicaraguan parents, has spent her life advocating and working for social justice and equality. She received a Masters Degree in Public Health from the University of California, Berkeley.
Rudy Ariel Felipe Pocop
Regional Program Administrator
Rudy served as the Regional Program Administrator for the Public Health Institute’s Youth Leadership in Sexual and Reproductive Health Program (GOJoven). He has 12-years experience in the fields of Community Health and Environmental Studies. Rudy has worked in several different regions of Guatemala in the fields of Primary Health Care, Environmental Conservation, Health Advocacy and Disease Prevention. Rudy’s specific areas of expertise include training, program coordination, and the design, management and implementation of local development projects. Rudy has a Bachelor’s in Environmental Engineering from Rural University of Guatemala. He loves playing basketball and football; snorkeling; listening to music and spending time with his family.
Claudia Vanessa Siliezar Turcios
Country Representative in Honduras
Vanessa served as GOJoven’s Country Representative in Honduras. She is a lawyer specializing in Criminal Law and has diplomas in Criminal and Procedural Rights Law. She was a fellow with the International Family Planning Leadership Program in 2005 and with the ILAE IHP/COMPTOM Foundation and volunteered with CEPROSAF on a program serving people living with HIV/AIDS and publicizing the special HIV/AIDS law to civil society. Vanessa has more than ten years experience in the area of gender-based violence and human rights. She has written articles on youth employment in Honduras and her latest collaboration was with the Universidad Autónoma in Madrid in 2009 on legal frameworks for preventing domestic violence in Central America. As a consultant, her work involves training young people and women on the north coast of the country, educating them on topics including: HIV/AIDS, gender equality, sexual and reproductive health, diversity, leadership, and increasing social and political involvement of the most vulnerable sections of the country in national decision making. Vanessa teaches Law at the Central American Universidad Tecnológica (UNITEC) in La Ceiba. She has a Master’s Degree in Gender and Development from Alcalá de Henares University in Madrid, Spain.
Nayeli Karina De la Torre García
Country Representative in Mexico
Karina, GOJoven’s Country Representative in Mexico, is a GOJoven 2008 Fellow. Karina holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from La Salle University, Mexico City. She holds certification in Institutional Strengthening and Fundraising, as well as Leadership and Management for Civil Society Organizations. Currently, she works as GOJoven’s Country Representative for Mexico. Karina has worked with environmental non-profit organizations such as Greenpeace Mexico; Flora, Fauna, and Culture of Mexico; Save the Children; and Amigos de Sian Ka’an. In 2009, Karina was part of the Sierra Club Tour in 6 cities in the U.S., presenting on “Environment and Population, the case in Quintana Roo.” Karina also has worked in the area of sexual and reproductive rights organizations APIS and Foundation for Equality, where she addressed issues around domestic violence, gender equity, human rights, and feminism.
José Arturo Patzán Tzay
Accountant and Program Assistant
José Arturo served as GOJoven’s accountant and also contributed in several administrative and logistical capacities. He studied accounting at La Escuela de Ciencias Comerciales (The School of Business Sciences) and is currently working toward a degree in Social and Legal Sciences at Guatemala’s Rural University. He has worked in the Center for National Recuperation – CERNE and the Association of Community Health Services (ASECSA), working mainly on health issues. He has 3 years’ experience in accounting, 1 year as a community promoter/facilitator of HIV topics with children, youth, and adults. He loves reading, listening to music, and playing musical instruments including the marimba, keyboard and guitar. He likes to spend his free time with his family.