Meet the Team

Soledad Quartucci | Executive Director

Soledad is the founder of Latina Republic and is originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina. Soledad lived the immigrant experience in the US, which shaped her as an advocate for immigrant rights. Her passion for the immigrant experience in the U.S. led her to pursue a PhD in US immigration history. She enjoyed over a decade of her professional career in academia, but was pulled in a new direction when she learned about Friends of OC Detainees through a student. She was immediately inspired to volunteer and visit women held in detention in Orange County. By learning about their struggles and the motives for leaving their home countries in Central and South America, Soledad saw a need to understand and communicate the regional causes that pushed migrants outside their homes. By staying in touch with women who were deported to Central America, Soledad gained insight into local problems and encountered leaders and organizations in Central America that were dedicated to making their communities stronger, safer, and self-reliant. What started as a forum for storytelling in an effort to destroy stereotypes that depict migrants in an inaccurate light, turned into a nonprofit formed to help support courageous leaders and organizations that work hard every day to improve their countries. The study of migrants fleeing to the US, led Soledad to develop an equal passion for advancing the rights of Latinx families in Southern California where the stigma of public charge and a pattern of immigrant single-headed households necessitates action steps, information and local partnership. Soledad is an oral historian with a passion for human rights.

Juan Manuel Henríquez | Board Chair

Juan Manuel Henríquez, is a Chilean professor of mathematics, and as professor of religion and morality. Henríquez obtained a Master’s degree in Educational Management at the Metropolitan University of Education Sciences (UMCE). He took courses in solving mathematical problems at the Complutense University of Madrid, and educational applications at the Catholic University of Chile. Each year he is improving himself in the different areas that make up his professional profile in recognized universities of the country. He is interested in maintaining contact with professionals in education and management; giving and participating in contributions to exchange ideas, and generate projects that can make education a fundamental role in the growth of people. Between 2014 and 2015, he volunteered as a teacher to help admit vulnerable students to higher education. Between 2016 and May 2018, he served as an Academic Coordinator of the EFIES (Training School for Higher Education Income), “Forming Chile” corporation (non-profit). As of June of this year, he is part of the Advisory Board of the same entity. Currently, he works at the Colegio Cumbres de Santiago (since 2005), where today he is head of the department of mathematics of the entity, with high school courses and courses designed to prepare students for admissions exams for higher education.

Allan Quartucci | Treasurer & Secretary

Allan Quartucci has over twenty years of experience in the computer networking hardware industry in the areas of Marketing and Web Development. A 1994 B.F.A. graduate of California State University Fullerton, Allan studied graphic design and web development, and has gained additional eCommerce experience over the last five years. A son of a chemistry teacher father and piano teacher mother, he is a lifelong resident of Orange County in Southern California. Allan is married to his wife Soledad, and they are the parents of three adult children. Allan also has had the additional role of webmaster for Latina Republic since the original website, which launched in 2015. He always enjoys looking for ways that Latina Republic can serve up great articles in new and interesting ways.

Rafael Moreno Ghersi | Board Member

Rafael Moreno Ghersi, is a Civil Engineer in Computer Science, with an advanced degree in Engineering Sciences with more than 30 years of work experience. Married for 29 years to Blanca and father of Tatiana, 22 years old, who is an art student, Rafael has worked as an electronics technician, and has been a member of the Chilean Air Force, where he had the opportunity to get to know his entire country. He graduated as an Execution Engineer in Computing and Informatics, and had the opportunity to work in various companies in the industrial sector. Within these companies he held a position of regional responsibility that gave him the opportunity to lead work teams from different countries in Latin America and the privilege of working and sharing their experiences and cultures with them. In 2013 Rafael obtained his last degree in Civil Engineering in Computing and Informatics at the University of the Americas. He currently works for a German company and because of that he has had the opportunity to meet and work with people from different countries in Europe. No matter how different our cultures may be, there are many points we all share in common, which bring us closer, unite us and helps us understand the needs of others, their concerns and their problems. We can use this knowledge to lend a hand when possible to help others in their quest for wellbeing, welfare and tranquility, which are qualities we all seek in life. This is what motivates me to serve as a board member with Latina Republic, because the opportunities to help others exist through this organization.

Walter Rojas Gamarra | Board Member

Peruvian by birth, he lived for many years in Colombia, where he completed higher studies, currently living in Santiago de Chile for more than two decades. Teacher of Formation. Bachelors of Education, Bachelors of Theology and Philosophy. Teacher since 1997 with experience in municipal high schools, subsidized private schools and private schools, at levels from 7 to IV Middle School. He has a proficiency in active methodologies and project-based learning (PBL). He is convinced that through education the necessary tools can be given so that a change of social paradigm is generated in students, where the human being is the main architect of growth and respect for their own and others. Monitor and teacher of social participation has developed with the students social projects in different communes of the periphery of Santiago, managing to promote social service and the appreciation of the person, with a solid human promotion, of their rights, their dignity.

Outstanding painter of colonial baroque art, which has led him to exhibit his paintings in various countries in Europe, America and Spanish-speaking countries. He has been conducting baroque painting workshops in Mexico City lately. That artistic sensitivity is to train the human being and develop all their human potentialities: thought, creativity and values such as: sociability and solidarity. In short, it is to promote the integral development of the human being as such, giving meaning to his environment. That is why he has carried out Master’s studies in art and humanities in Chile and Master’s in Latin American History at the Ateneo Ponficio Regina Apostolorum at the Universitá Europea di Roma. In her eagerness to learn more about Latin American art and cultures, led him to currently pursue his 3rd Master’s Degree in Art History in Peru and Latin America, at the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, in Lima Peru. He expresses his joy for belonging to the board of directors of Latina Republic where promoting development, democracy and humanitarian assistance within the base of the international program is the heart of it.

International Correspondents

Mauricio Alexander Cáceres García | Correspondent for El Salvador & Latin America

Mauricio Alexander Cáceres García is a Correspondent for Latina Republic focused on El Salvador and Latin America. He is a renowned Photojournalist and Documentarian from El Salvador. Migration is personal to him. His father and family moved to the United States as migrants. His work showcases the power of human stories. Among his specializations, Cáceres has reported on “The migrant route” of the Guatemalan border, Mexico and the United States. He personally completed the migrant route to the US on four occasions. Cáceres has a degree in Migration from the Universidad de Centro América, UCA. Cáceres has served as an Editor of the newspaper Más, EDH and He has extensive experience in national and international news coverage, studied journalism and has won several photography awards throughout Latin America, including second place in a photographic contest centered on the migrant woman, and earning the Santa Clara de Asís prize for his report on the migrant route.

Astrid Chang | Correspondent for Panamá

Astrid Chang has a degree in Journalism with an Emphasis in Audiovisual Production. Since 2018, she has been a journalist at La Estrella de Panamá. Her work in the newspaper was initially as an intern, where she developed in the area of sports, nationals, social networks and the web. Later, she was hired to lead the themes for World Youth Day and to be a presenter for the segment “Flash Economy.” She later became part of the Café Estrella team, a new content proposal by ‘La Decana’. In this booklet she has written articles on the environment, technology, health, sports, society, music, culture, sexuality, art, fashion and tourism. Likewise, she has organized and directed projects with visual artists for the International Book Fair of Panama. She too, was sent special to cover the Lima 2019 Juegos Parapanamericanos, and currently she is the coordinator of sports issues in the newspaper. She has training in journalistic leadership.

Future Journalist Program

Director of Future Journalist Program
Vanessa Campa | Florida International University

Vanessa Campa is a recent graduate from Florida International University holding a Bachelor of Arts in English on the Writing and Rhetoric track, and a minor in Psychology. Through working for the Latina Republic as a Latin Correspondent, Vanessa has gained a true love and passion for reporting underreported stories in the region. Discovering underreported stories that will inspire her readers, she has specialized in interviewing and writing articles on outstanding Latinx women who have made an impact in their communities, especially immigrants. As a Director of the Future Journalist Program for the Latina Republic, Vanessa will continue carrying the organizations’ mission in changing stereotypes that have negatively impacted the people within the region, and bringing light to another side of Latin America that is concealed.

Immigration Writer Internships

Adriana Pérez | University of California, Los Angeles

Adriana Pérez is an undergraduate student at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). She is attaining a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Community Engagement and Social Change. Adriana is passionate about the accessibility and effectiveness of mental health interventions implemented within communities of color. Through her articles, she hopes to highlight the mental health experiences of immigrant communities. She hopes their stories may be used to advocate for equitable mental health resources and address existing stigma that exists.

Environmental Writer Internship

Clara Rabbani | University of Chicago

Clara Rabbani is a rising sophomore at the University of Chicago, majoring in Anthropology with a minor in Urban and Environmental Studies. She is passionate about poetry and is the editor of “The World is Waking Up: Poetry of Resistance from Youth Around The World”. With a Brazilian and Iranian background, she is also fascinated with the diversity of human cultures and their intersection with environmentally sustainable practices. She will be collaborating as the Environmental Writer for Brazil.

Sophia Turcot | University of California, San Diego

Sophia Turcot is a sophomore undergraduate student at the University of California San Diego pursuing a major in International Relations: Political Science with a minor in Climate Change Sciences. She’s from Los Angeles, CA and was raised in a coastal town where she gained an interest in conservation and ecology, specifically in ocean ecosystems. She believes education plays a vital role in mitigating global climate issues and is excited to be working with Latina Republic to tell the stories of individuals and communities in Latin America and their mission to preserve some of the most biodiverse and beautiful regions in the world.

Latin American Correspondent Internships

Javier Cataño García | University of South Florida, Tampa

My name is Javier Cataño García and I am pursuing a M.A. in Spanish, with focus on linguistics and literature, at the University of South Florida, Tampa, where I also teach undergraduate Spanish courses. I was born and raised in Colombia, but I have lived in the United States since August 2021. I have always had a special interest in foreign languages and geography, and I am looking to channel that interest through Latina Republic. I also have some training and experience in English-Spanish translation and interpretation. Although my professional career has been centered in teaching, I enjoy delving into other areas such as music, cooking and journalism. I hope to find new directions in my career through Latina Republic.

Michael Davis | Tulane University

Michael Davis is a current undergraduate student at Tulane University studying Finance and International Relations through the Altman program in International Studies and Business. His interest in Latin America began when he took his first Spanish class in 6th grade. Since then, Michael has traveled throughout Latin America learning about entrepreneurship, policy, and globalization. He is interested in sharing the stories of young entrepreneurs who work to expand development within Latin America. He believes their stories can inspire others and reshape the narratives of Latin America. In Latina Republic, he is excited to highlight these voices in his stories to deepen his own understanding of Latin America as well as his readers. He looks forward to inspiring innovation with his stories through Latina Republic!

Sherry Wang | University of California, Santa Barbara

My name is Sherry, a philosophy major student who graduated from UCSB, CA. I currently work as a Latin American Correspondent at Latina Republic with emphasis on Mexico, Costa Rica and Argentina. As a correspondent in this organization, my goal is to provide story advocacy reports that can inspire, change stereotypes, recognize the public debates about Latin America. I strive to use my storytelling skills to call for positive changes from a need to protect those minority members from being taken advantages of and defending their rights in the society. During my spare time, I like to watch movies and travel to different countries.

Family Resource Specialist Internship

Andrea Hurtado | University of California, Irvine

My name is Andrea Hurtado and I am an undergraduate sociology major at the University of California, Irvine prospering to pursue a career in social work. I am the daughter of two immigrant parents whom I feel proud of for all the sacrifices they’ve made to allow for my sibling and I to have access to greater resources and opportunities. My interest in Latin America began at a very young age. Learning about my parents’ life growing up in Mexico emerged as a drive within me to learn more about other cultures, and customs that people live by. In Latina republic I hope to become part of the mission of empowering Latin American communities all around by providing resources to help them grow and prosper.

Brianna Montaño | Mount Saint Mary’s University, Los Angeles

My name is Brianna Montaño and I am a 4th-year student at Mount Saint Mary’s University, Los Angeles. I am majoring in Spanish Studies with a minor in Social Work, and I plan to continue my education to receive my teaching credentials. I have always had a deep-rooted passion for Spanish, but my interest in learning more about Latinx cultures stems from attending a university where the majority of students are Latinx. Learning about the different places my peers are from and seeing how beautifully similar, but unique, each culture is has been my favorite part of my experience. Furthermore, I am passionate about education, social justice, and mental health. As a Family Resource Specialist for Latina Republic, I look forward to helping Latinx families with any support they need.

¡Adelante! Virtual Tutoring Program

Director of Adelante Virtual Tutoring Program
Ava Gibler | Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo

My name is Ava Gibler. I am a recent graduate from Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo with a Bachelor of Science in Liberal Studies, and a minor and concentration in Mathematics. My goal is to eventually become a middle-school or high-school math teacher. I decided to join Adelante because its mission to empower the immigrant community is really important to me. I have been a tutor in several different tutoring programs, but since my first day tutoring for Adelante, it has stood out from the others as something really special. The one-on-one long-term bond you get to form with your student is really impactful for both the tutor and the tutee. My student and I have both grown through our partnership in ways that I never expected. In addition to the individualized tutoring sessions, Adelante offers amazing virtual summer camp opportunities. This past summer, I lead the art camp, and I was constantly impressed by the dedication and enthusiasm from the students every week. Even if a student’s Wi-Fi went out, amazing artwork was still created from looking at the picture I sent out. I am honored that I get to do more for this amazing program as the new director!

Director of ¡Adelante! Mamás Program
Elena Gutierrez | University of California, Davis

My name is Elena and I am an undergraduate at the University of California Davis. I am majoring in Spanish and Psychology and minoring in Arabic because I have a love for languages and decided that in my career I would like to translate for others who struggle with the language barrier. I plan to also expand my career options with my major and tutoring/mentoring is something that I have a passion for. As a mentor and teacher I want others to feel motivated to learn and have fun with it, to build confidence, get creative and build a safe environment for learning new things. I value education and hope to help others on their educational path because I care about their futures. The course so far has completed one entire textbook on the basics of English grammar and we continue to build our knowledge with more intermediate content with book 2. Continuing with grammar tenses and interactive worksheets we move forward into more complex grammar structures and expanding our education! Outside of school I enjoy writing to my penpals, upcycling, gardening and reading.

Daisy Andres | University of California, Los Angeles

My name is Daisy Andres; I graduated from UCLA with a Bachelors of Arts in Anthropology. I was born in Los Angeles but raised in Santa Ana. I come from two indigenous, low-income, immigrant parents, who left everything in Guatemala to provide my siblings and I a better future. Being a first-generation, Guatemalan-American student, I faced my own unique adversities at UCLA; I withdrew to take time off and came back stronger! Through Anthropology, I was able to continue my love for STEM and pick up an interest in linguistics. At the moment, I am teaching myself Portuguese and once I have mastered it, I will continue onto Italian. I am excited to be volunteering with Latina Republic and helping spread the message that our students are meant to pursue education.

Cristina Castillo | University of California, Los Angeles

My name is Cristina Castillo and I am a first generation student at UCLA. I am majoring in Psychology and Chicanx & Central American Studies, and I am also pursuing a minor in Education Studies. Most of my life I have lived in the Antelope Valley alongside my sister and parents who immigrated from Mexico. I am passionate about social justice, education, abolition, and mental health. Upon receiving my B.A. I hope to go into education and work on dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline and the deficit perspectives educators hold of students of color. I also would like to eventually attain a PhD in clinical psychology to treat and inform on trauma within marginalized communities. When I am not studying or working, I enjoy talking about all things books, films, and creativity.

Yesenia Chaidez | University of California, Riverside

My name is Yesenia Chaidez and I am a first-generation student attending the University of California Riverside. I am majoring in Linguistics because I love the connection that each language has while communicating. I hope to become a Speech-Language Pathologist in a School district to help students who are having a bit of difficulty. I have always been interested in helping children and young adults, that is the reason why I was fascinated with Latina Republic. My parents migrated from Sinaloa Mexico in their young twenties looking for a better future. This taught me that starting new and leaving things behind is not always a bad thing. At a young age, a tutor taught me how to always see obstacles as challenges that are not impossible to overcome and I hope I am able to teach that to others.

Sylvia Dosal | Florida International University

My name is Sylvia, and I was born and raised in Miami. I am 28 and I have always considered languages to open the doors to many opportunities. Languages not only help you learn linguistics but opens the doors to learn about different cultures. I am bilingual in English/Spanish and have studied German and Portuguese in the past. I am currently finishing my bachelors in Spanish with a minor in Education.

Silvana Farias Lúa | University of California, Berkeley Alumni

Silvana is a recent graduate of University of California, Berkeley where she studied Social Anthropology with a focus on Latin America and Food Justice. With an underlying collective mindset, she has worked alongside various projects within the realm of Social and Environmental Justice. She is passionate about exploring, creating, nurturing, and learning all that comes her way. She is also currently learning Brazilian Portuguese and how to play the Jarana.

Zaira Garcia | University of California, Santa Barbara

My name is Zaira Garcia, and I am a third-year student at the University of California Santa Barbara. I am working towards getting a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and a minor in Education. Throughout high school and college, I realized my determination and commitment to help others has continued to increase. Since a very young age I have enjoyed helping others in any way I could and throughout the years I have come to realize it is my calling. My plans after my undergrad are to come back to my hometown and get a job in the field of social services while I work on getting my master’s degree in education. After receiving my master’s degree, I would like to become an elementary school teacher in my hometown or a high school teacher in the teaching of Chicano studies. I grew up in a Mexican household with my dad being an immigrant who left his parents and hometown behind to give my mom, siblings, and I a better life known as the “American Dream”. I know there are many students who are in the same situation as was once in and I know the struggle of lacking resources. I am extremely excited to have the opportunity to tutor children virtually, help them with homework, guide them, and mentor them.

Mariana Gonzalez | Pomona College

Hello, my name is Mariana! I’m an International Relations college student from Los Angeles and I love painting, dancing, and going on adventures. I also like watching Marvel movies and listening to all kinds of music.

Grace Ongman | Cornerstone University

Hey! My name is Grace, pero también la gente me llama Graciela! I have a life passion for spreading the beauty and diversity in foreign language and culture, which has led me to become trilingual in Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese. I’m currently studying Japanese and hope to learn ASL, Arabic and other languages in the future! Through this desire to learn and appreciate all diversity throughout the world, some of my closest friends do not live in the US, and I wouldn’t have it any other way 🙂 I’m currently studying Linguistics as well as a double major in Creativity and Innovation, with a minor in TESOL (Teaching English as a Second Language). My greatest desire is to make change in the US and around the world through my compassionate heart and relational nature through education and/or humanitarian aid in areas such as immigration, adult GEDs and more! I’m super excited to work with Latina Republic to enact small changes that will lead to big progress in the uniting of the world and its countless cultures!

Anthony Olea-Romo | University of California, San Diego

Hello, my name is Anthony and I’m a 3rd-year student at UC San Diego where I’m majoring in Molecular & Cell Biology. With this knowledge I hope to get into the forensic field of toxicology and be able to aid in solving criminal cases. And along the way, I’d also like to learn more about ecology since I am intrigued by animals and the ecosystems they roam. It’s a topic that I’ve found to be engaging and especially important to me, and this leads me to why I joined Latina Republic as a tutor. I want other students to also explore and learn about topics they find interesting, ones that spark a deep connection with them, whether their interest is scientific, mathematical, linguistic, etc. I want to be a part of the effort that educates students on what they’re passionate about so that they could pursue that passion and even create a future for themselves with what they’ve learned.

María Salcido | University of California, Santa Barbara Alumni

My name is María Salcido, and I am a first-generation graduate from the University of California, Santa Barbara where I majored in English. I owe endless gratitude to my beautiful mother and father— two migrant parents who traveled new worlds to lay my foundation. I am currently taking a gap-year before I return to academia to pursue a career in education. I was prompted to become a Tutor for Migrant Youth not only because of my interest in education, but also because of my own background as a first-generation Latina. Understanding the barriers and limitations imposed on marginalized groups and disenfranchised communities, I am excited to contribute to the growth of young learners.

Katie Sinclair | Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo

I grew up in Corvallis, Oregon and played many sports during my younger years. From Kindergarten through my senior year in high school, I was enrolled in a dual immersion program in English and Spanish. I was bilingual by the time I was 10 years old. I graduated from Corvallis High School in 2019 with academic honors and my seal of biliteracy in Spanish. I am going into my third year at California Polytechnic State University – San Luis Obispo in the Fall, where I plan to get a degree in Liberal Studies with a concentration in Spanish and a minor in Latin American Studies. In my free time, I love to go to the beach, drink coffee, watch movies and snuggle with my cats.

Madeline Urbine | Temple University

My name is Madeline Urbine, and I am going into my final year of school at Temple University in Philadelphia where I study Political Science and Spanish. Though I am not sure what I want to be, I hope to move abroad for a period and work for various nonprofits to help increase access to sustainable services and develop solutions to modern problems (which may be teaching English abroad and ensuring that people have access to high quality education; increasing sustainable and reliable public transportation infrastructure; or helping streamline international migration). In terms of teaching, I have experience in lecturing high school age students on art in a foreign language to improve communication when discussing art. I also helped my younger sister and cousins with their schoolwork their whole lives. Overall, I am extremely excited to start working with your child and am open to collaboration and concerns to improve the child’s experience.

Jessica Verdin Ruiz | University of California, Santa Barbara

Hi, my name is Jessica Verdin Ruiz and I’m a proud DACA recipient studying at the University of California Santa Barbara. My major is Sociology, and I am really passionate about it and what I will be able to do with it in my future. Most importantly I am so excited to be a part of Latina Republic and the impact I will have on the kids.