Alexis Stoumbelis- Organizational Coordinator
As Organizational Coordinator, Alexis leads the integration of our political strategy, programs, fundraising, and local chapter organizing. She first traveled to El Salvador as a college student on a medical delegation, where she was inspired by the labor movement’s successful organizing to defeat health care privatization. In 2004, while working as a case manager, she started volunteering with CISPES in order to join the fight against the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) and has since played many roles, from fundraiser to local organizer to National Office staff. She lives in Washington, DC, where she attends All Souls Unitarian church, visits the public libraries, pools and parks as often as possible, and appreciates the growing number of bike lanes criss-crossing the city.
Samantha Pineda- Program Director
As Program Coordinator Samantha is tasked with guaranteeing regular updates and analysis from El Salvador to all levels of the organization in order to determine the organizations overall political strategy and program. Part of the Salvadoran diaspora, she grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from the University of California-Santa Cruz in Feminist Studies and Latin American and Latino Studies. She first became involved with CISPES as a student organizer in Santa Cruz and in 2014 interned with CISPES in San Salvador. In 2016 she relocated to San Salvador where she spent two years coordinating CISPES’ program and accompanying social movement partners in the youth, feminist, syndicalist and agricultural movements. As Program Coordinator she will continue learning from our Salvadoran allies, and the historic U.S. Central America solidarity movements to redefine the role Central Americans in the diaspora will have in an internationalist movement in solidarity with migrants and the people of Central America. Sam hopes to continue her political education in the heart of the Empire (DC), while learning more about Central American history, identity and building community around shared values of anti-oppression. In her free time Sam likes to listen to new music, learn about Central American activism, feminism, and eat cocos helados.
Peggy Goetz- Individual Gifts Coordinator
As Individual Gifts Coordinator Peggy leads the team of fundraisers who do outreach to all of the donors that support CISPES's work. Peggy's solidarity with El Salvador is long and deep. Since 2003, she has coordinated delegations to El Salvador through the Washington Ethical Society (WES). Over the years, she has had the opportunity to learn about the Salvadoran struggle for participatory democracy directly from the men and women in the WES “sister community” who fought for it. Their testimony is as inspiring as it is heartbreaking; it is what motivates her to continue to do this work. In addition to a passion for social justice, she enjoys cooking and being outside to camp, hike, paddle and garden.
Yesenia Portillo- East Coast Organizer
Bio coming soon
Mattie Conway- West Coast Organizer
As West Coast Organizer, Mattie supports chapters by providing materials, trainings and guidance to the volunteers who carry out CISPES’ work at the chapter level and keeps in touch with CISPES’ supporters and donors in California. Mattie first got involved in 2012 when she participated in CISPES’ first Literacy Brigade while a student at UC Santa Cruz and returned to become a student leader in the Santa Cruz chapter. While in Santa Cruz, she participated in campaigns to stop US pressure to privatize El Salvador’s public utilities and services and stop U.S. intervention in Salvadoran elections. In 2016, Mattie moved to Los Angeles to begin the rebuilding of the CISPES chapter there and then moved on to become the West Coast Organizer. Outside of CISPES, she enjoys painting her nails, making up recipes and going to parks.
David Grosser- East Coast Development Coordinator
As the East Coast Development Coordinator, David works with our fundraising team and is responsible for outreach to our donors in the northeast. He got his start in solidarity with the people of El Salvador as a Sister City activist during the country’s Civil War. David then got involved with CISPES and worked as the Boston chapter’s local organizer in the mid-90s. After the neoliberal destruction of university education made his original career goal of becoming a history professor impossible, David chose to get his revenge by helping to build the internationalism necessary to bring down the US Empire. A proud father of three and grandfather of four, he enjoys playing and watching basketball, mountain climbing and listening to rock and roll.
Ayla Bailey- Mid-West Development Coordinator
As the Mid-West Development Coordinator, Ayla is part of our fundraising team and is responsible for outreach to our donors in the mid-west and with our monthly sustainers. She got involved in the solidarity movement in Western Massachusetts and solidified her anti-imperialist conviction while living in Guatemala over a period of years. She moved to DC to work in the labor movement and first joined CISPES through the DC chapter and as a part-time phone banker in 2012. She continues in a fundraising role, excited to work toward re-building the power of the Central American Solidarity movement. Outside of CISPES she works with the Guatemala Human Rights Commission, bikes everywhere, coaches plant-life out of pots and gardens and treats social dancing as a sport.
Jacob Blickenov- National Organizer
As the National Organizer, Jacob, supports the development of political strategy and campaign development and local chapter organizing. He first got involved with CISPES through the Solidarity Cyclers bicycle fundraiser in 2010 and started working in the National Office in 2011. Before joining CISPES, Jacob was involved in other solidarity and social justice movements both in the U.S. and Latin American. Outside of CISPES Jacob is also involved in the language justice movement and works with a group of community interpreters in Washington D.C. He also loves to go on bike rides, relax with friends, and is learning to take better pictures.