Local Team

Amy Porter
Amy is Yspaniola's Executive Director. Amy holds an MSc in Globalisation and Latin American Development from the University of London, UK, and a Bachelor's degree in Modern Languages. Having conducted her Master's thesis research in the Dominican Republic in 2012, Amy was pleased to have the opportunity to return in 2017, bringing with her great energy and a fundraising passion to support Yspaniola's team. Amy originally joined Yspaniola as Director of Development before becoming Executive Director. Previously, Amy spent 18 months working with two NGOs which support indigenous Mayan communities in rural Guatemala. She also has four years experience with UK human rights organizations as a fundraiser and campaigner.

Julio Louis
A former graduate of our University Scholars Program, Julio now serves as Yspaniola's Director of Operations in charge of Experiential Learning and University Scholars Program. Julio graduated from the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences of the Technological University of Santiago (UTESA) with a degree in Tourism and Hotel Business Administration. He started working with Yspaniola in 2005 for a cultural exchange program with American students. Julio has been a facilitator of Service Learning programs for the CIEE Council in International Education Exchange, a study abroad program operating worldwide. He also has worked for The DREAM Project’s A Ganar program as a counselor and professor of vocational skills in the areas of Customer Service and Mathematics. In 2017, Julio returned to Yspaniola to take up the role of Director of Operations.

Mirian Rodríguez
Mirian Rodríguez is Yspaniola’s Administrative Manager. Born and raised in Batey Libertad, she holds a degree in Accounting from UTESA, and is now studying for her second degree in Industrial Psychology. Before working at Yspaniola, Mirian worked in Santiago as an administrative assistant. Today, she is delighted that working with Yspaniola allows her to support her community directly.

Leidy Rodríguez
Leidy Rodríguez is our Preschool teacher. A native of Maizal, she is holds a degree in Early Childhood Education from La Universidad Tecnológica de Santiago (UTESA) in Mao. Leidy brings valuable knowledge and experience to the Yspaniola team.

Mayra Rodríguez
Mayra Rodríguez is a teacher in the Learning Center. Mayra graduated from Yspaniola's of our 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.

Wilson Sentimo
Wilson Sentimo is the Caretaker at Yspaniola’s Learning Center. Wilson is from Batey Libertad. He 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. Since he was young, Wilson has enjoyed showing visitors around Batey Libertad, sharing stories about the community and the changes that the batey has seen over time.
María Sosa
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.

Andreina Ortiz
Andreina is a Teaching Assistant in our Learning Center. Andreina has been working with Yspaniola for over five years, and is well-loved by all the children who attend her classes. She also provides tutoring to individuals and small groups of students.

Johnny Dose
Johnny is a Teaching Assistant in our preschool program. 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.Johnny is also studying for a degree in Education at UTESA in Mao.

Yohanna Jean
Yohanna is a Teaching Assistant in our preschool program. She is bilingual in Spanish and Haitian Creole, which means that she is able to support our youngest learners, many of whom speak only Creole with their parents. Yohanna was born and raised in Batey Libertad, and her sister Sofia is an Yspaniola University Scholar.

Princeton in Latin America 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 that support Yspaniola’s local programs and contribute to media development, grant writing, and community outreach projects.

Zach Denton
Zach Denton is Yspaniola’s Operations and Development Fellow. In this role, he supports the fundraising, outreach and educational efforts of the nonprofit. Zach earned a MPhil in Education (Research in Second Language Learning) from the Universiy of Cambridge and a BA in Sociology, Linguisics, and Spanish. He is delighted to work with the community of Batey Libertad to expand on his experiences working with students in bilingual education settings. Previous experiences have also included supporting undocumented students and detained people in the United States and Moroccan migrant students in Spain.
Local Volunteers
Yspaniola works closely with a committee of young adults from Batey Libertad to help plan and run service-learning trips. The volunteer committee also helps with outreach in the community related to the Learning Center, parent and community member inclusion, documentation, and more. The committee is crucial in achieving cross-cultural learning with our service-learning trip participants, and represents Yspaniola's efforts to facilitate the education and leadership of marginalized youth so that they can act within and advocate for their communities.