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AUG 2015 – PRESENT: Contributing Writer, The Huffington Post
Reported, wrote, photographed, filmed and produced two features in both English and Spanish: “The Life And Death Of A Political Activist In Mexico” and “Inside Mexico’s Very Own Wikileaks.”
OCT 2014 – PRESENT: Freelance Journalist, Al Jazeera America
Freelance journalist and photographer for independently-pitched stories and reporting projects. Most recent stories include a two-part immigration series on unaccompanied minors “Unaccompanied minors wait in limbo, dreading deportation” and “A tale of two immigration politics in Maryland and Virginia”.
AUG 2014 – PRESENT: Graduate Research Assistant at American University
Graduate research assistant as part of a doctoral fellowship program in Communication. Assist with projects and the research, analysis and publication of investigations related to the architectures and institutions of Internet governance, net neutrality, Internet freedom and the politics of top-level domain ownership. All research conducted in partnership with Professor Laura DeNardis, globally recognized Internet governance scholar. American University’s doctoral program combines humanistic and social scientific approaches to the study of communication. The accelerated design of the program is an 11-month mentoring and learning environment, enabling students to complete their degrees in three years.
NOV 2014 – PRESENT: Humanitarian Communications and Media Roster, Internews
Approved member of a rapid deployment roster that is available to humanitarian agencies when an emergency strikes and certain skillset and expertise is in high demand. Internews is an international non-profit organization whose mission is to empower local media worldwide to give people the news and information they need, the ability to connect and the means to make their voices heard. Formed in 1982, Internews has worked in more than 90 countries, and currently has offices in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Latin America and North America. Participated in the Communicating with Disaster Affected Communities (CDAC) Network and Foundations Training in Bangkok, Thailand held November 17 to 21, 2014.
April 2014 – August 2014: Latin America Event Coordinator for CommsLabs, Astraea Foundation
Serve as the bilingual coordinator for the Astraea Foundation’s Communications and Technology Labs (CommsLabs), part of their Global LGBTI Human Rights Partnership that works with local grantee partners, sponsoring communications and technology convenings in three defined geographic regions. I work with local organizers to develop an agenda for a multi-day convening in Colombia, identify and coordinate with content-providers and technologists to lead technology and communications discussions and trainings; coordinate logistics and facilitate achievement of the set objectives. Project website: http://commslabs.org/
April 2014 – AUGUST 2014: Story of Life Project Coordinator, United States Institute of Peace
Designed, implemented and secured funding for “Story of Life”, a digital storytelling project for Internally Displaced Iraqis in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. Worked in partnership with the Warvin Foundation for Women and the Iraqi Network for Social Media (INSM) with financial support from the United States Institute of Peace and my own nonprofit, HablaCentro Informatics Not for Profit. The project’s activities included creating a training of trainers digital storytelling course taught by members of and collaborating journalists to Internally Displaced Iraqi participants; the collection and creation of stories by trained participants; the digitization and sharing of stories on a citizen journalism platform and; the strategic distribution of these stories in collaboration with local Iraqi media, nonprofit partners and bloggers. The project’s English website is http://storyoflife.org/ and the Arabic version is http://ar.storyoflife.org/.
Jan 2014 – April 2014: Trainer, Facilitator, Coordinator, Cuida Tu Voto Panamá
Worked with the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) in Washington, D.C. in alliance with Connectas, a journalism-focused nonprofit based in Colombia, and CELAP, an investigative reporting organization in Panama, to conduct six workshops and trainings with citizens in Panama to promote transparency and accountability in the electoral process. Coordinated, facilitated and implemented trainings to 150 participants in four regions of the country on citizen participation and the use of digital tools to strengthen civil society. Activities included joint efforts of civil society with media to empower citizens in the Panamanian electoral process. Project website: http://connectas.org/eleccionespanama2014
Dec 2013 – Feb 2014: Freelance Producer and Reporter, Interfaith Voices
Helped to produce and report a long-form reporting project called “Guatemala: Grappling with a Legacy of Violence” for the award-winning series on “God and Government”. The story is about Guatemala coming to terms with its past and, especially, ex-dictator Efrain Rios Montt’s rule in Guatemala from 1982 to 1983 as its first Evangelical Christian President. During Rios Montt’s rule thousands of indigenous Mayans were killed as part of the country’s civil war. The show investigated the role of religion in the conflict and what role religion plays today. Project website: http://interfaithradio.org/godandgov
Jan 2011 – March 2014: Fellow, Ashoka Innovators for the Public
Selected for a three-year fellowship by Ashoka, the global association of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs, to continue to grow Hablacentro.com – a mobile-based collaborative citizen journalism network in Central America, www.hablacentro.com
Dec 2012 – Feb 2013: Event Coordinator, World Bank
Worked with the World Bank to coordinate a regional effort in Central America that took place In January 26 and 27, 2013. We convened organizations across Central America, and in Washington DC, for the Central America Domestic Violence Hackathon. This series of “hackathons,” or gatherings of programmers to collaboratively code over a short period of time, used an innovative approach to address the challenge of domestic violence by building technology solutions to assist agencies that work to support victims and bring perpetrators to justice. For more information go to: http://www.vdhackathon.org/en.html
Jan 2012 – July 2012: Film producer and Director, Nobel Women’s Initiative
Documented and directed the Nobel Women’s Initiative delegation to report on violence against women in Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala. The group’s delegation traveled for ten days documenting homicides, disappearances, and attacks of sexual violence. Worked alongside veteran filmmaker Pamela Yates to tell the delegation’s findings. To view part one, two and three.
Nov 2010 – present: Freelance Reporter, The New York Times
Independent reporter for The New York Times helping to provide spot coverage, in-depth investigations, leg work and Central America reporting.
Dec 2011 – March 2012: Blogging Instructor, Day Worker Center of Mountain View
Taught blogging and online media at The Day Worker Center of Mountain View, in collaboration with the Midpeninsula Community Media Center. The blogging workshop trained Spanish-speaking day workers over (6 – 9) weekly sessions to blog in both Spanish and English, storytelling techniques, marketing and accessing job opportunities. All content was uploaded to this page www.dayworkersjournal.wordpress.com
Jan 2011 – May 2011: Consultant, T.Y. Lin International
Technical engineering translator and online media consultant for this internationally recognized, multi- disciplined civil and structural engineering firm in San Francisco, Calif.
Oct 2009 – Sept 2010: Fulbright Scholar, U.S. State Department
Relocated to my native Guatemala to conduct research on the emerging online journalism in the country. I created a collaborative citizen journalism Web site: www.hablaguate.com, for Guatemalans to post information from their cell phones directly to a Website. I worked with local bloggers and nonprofit organizations and coordinated a few citizen journalism “bootcamps” to train citizen journalists and reporters to work collaboratively on stories.
June 2009 – Aug 2009: Project Consultant, Renaissance Journalism Center
Served as the lead conference organizer for the Renaissance Journalism Center: www.rjcmedia.org, a new initiative of the San Francisco State University Journalism Department. I helped to create and implement The Summer Institute – an annual series of classes, workshops and conferences providing training in journalism, multimedia skills, online practices, newsroom management, business development and other topics. I also maintained all the interactive content on the event Web site: www.seizethemoment.us
Jan 2009 – Sept 2009: Online Community Organizer, Spot.Us
Full-time position where I managed and grew the network of individuals who used www.spot.us to support investigative journalism through small donations. In charge of fundraising, online and offline community organizing.
July 2008 – Dec 2008: Interactive Director, Youth Radio
Full-time position directing a production team to create, design and define innovative strategy for Youth Radio’s online content distribution, cultivation of new online content partners and editorial products. I trained teams of young reporters, editors and Web producers on editorial standards and processes. Responsible for daily editorial and design needs for youth-produced content featured on www.youthradio.org
July 2008 – Dec 2008: Multimedia Reporter, Pulitzer Center
Selected to be one of four Northern California journalists to travel to Petén, Guatemala with a travel grant from the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting to document the stories of residents caught up in a transnational conflict over the fate of Guatemala’s disappearing northern wilderness.
May 2006 – June 2008: Online Strategist and Web Editor, Maynard Institute
Full-time position overseeing the development and execution of Web content and online projects in an efficient and timely manner. Duties included managing the Web team, open source content management systems, layout and editing of content and multimedia for the Web, and driving social media strategy to grow user engagement and satisfaction. This position also included training of media professionals in social media and marketing.
Oct 2005 – Present: Writing and Photo Stringer, Agence France-Presse
Reported, photographed and wrote stories, which included features on the Olympic Torch relay, technology trends, Avian Flu, bioterrorism, virtual worlds and international interest stories.
May 2005 – May 2006: Staff Writer, Alameda Journal of Contra Costa Times
Part-time staff writer reporting, writing and photographing more than (50) 30″ features for the Alameda Journal and Contra Costa Times.
Oct 2004 – Oct 2006: Magazine Feature Writer and Photographer
Colorlines, Race, Culture, Action – reported, wrote and photographed three national features; Code 3 Magazine – wrote two stories about New Orleans flood victims and emergency services workers; East Bay Business Times –photographed and wrote two business stories.
March 2001 – June 2005: Community Organizer & Program Director, EPIC
Employed full-time creating and coordinating a youth training and leadership program for youth community involvement and policy participation. I developed training curriculum for training youth on becoming policy leaders.
Sept 2000 – March 2001: HIV Outreach Coordinator, Guidance Clinic
Employed full-time creating and implementing a pilot street outreach program in Key West targeting youth transient populations and substance users in need of substance abuse and counseling services.
May 2015 – Aug 2015, Pulitzer Center Campus Consortium International Reporting Student Fellowship
Awarded the first round of Pulitzer Center student fellowship grants in partnership with American University to investigate “Mexico: Technology, Civic Participation, and Accountability.”
May 2015 – Aug 2015, Tinker Field Research Grant Recipient
Awarded this grant to conduct preliminary doctoral dissertation research on the topic of “Emerging Uses Of ICTS for Creating New Forms of Civic Participation and Accountability in Guatemala.”
Sept 2013 to present, United States Institute of Peace (USIP)
I am currently a TechTrainer with USIP, an independent, federally funded nonpartisan institution established by Congress to help manage international conflicts without violence. I am working with USIP’s Peace-Tech Lab on their Peace TechCamps in Iraq, which focus on using low-cost technology to build peace and help stabilize social culture, particularly in developing countries.
Jan 2012 – present: Office of Innovation of the U.S. State Department
I organized and founded TechCamp Guatemala (without embassy support but with the full blessing of the State Department), acted as a TechTrainer at five TechCamps (Tel Aviv, Ramallah, Tegucigalpa, Donetsk, Kiev, and Mexico City), and assisted in organizing TechCamp Honduras and the Techcamp II Ramallah. TechCamp is a program under the U.S. State Department’s Civil Society (CS) 2.0 initiative – an effort to galvanize the technology community to assist civil society organizations (CSOs) across the globe by providing capabilities, resources and assistance to harness the latest information and communications technology (ICT) advances to build their digital capacity.
May 2011 –May 2012: Inter-American Press Association Scholarship
The IAPA scholarship to research emerging journalism in Central America by conducting a quick comparison of four countries —Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Costa Rica — and the state of citizen media and freedom of expression
Oct 2009 – Sept 2010 : Fulbright Scholarship
Launched a mobile-based citizen journalism network and nonprofit. Recruited and trained core volunteers and technical team from more than five countries to create regional hubs with local editors, organizers and technical teams.
July 2009 – Present: Board Member, Namaste-Direct
Volunteer for this San Francisco-based nonprofit which helps to alleviate poverty in rural communities of Guatemala and southern Mexico by providing impoverished women entrepreneurs with microcredit loans along with a personal business mentor, vocational training workshops and informal business education.
Aug 2007 – Oct 2007: Multimedia Intern, San Jose Mercury News
Full-time paid internship that involved assisting in the design and production of multimedia projects, providing support to the multimedia and photo departments; helping in launching projects and multimedia packages.
Jan 2007 – Aug 2007: Fellow, News 21 University of California, Berkeley
A national initiative led by five of America’s leading research universities to help advance the U.S. news business. Responsible for the design, coordination and implementation of a ground breaking experiment that showcased investigating reporting focused on “God, Sex & Family” into the viritual world of Second Life. I coordinated a panel both within Second Life and simulcast it into Real Life. To view the recording go to http://slcn.tv/faces-faith.
May 2006 – August 2006: News and Multimedia Intern, AP Mexico City
Multimedia reporting internship producing English and Spanish content for ASAP and the Latin America desk; helping with multimedia packets and photography for election coverage.
Feb 2005 – April 2005: Oakland Tribune, Freedom Forum Fellow
Full-time bilingual English and Spanish general assignment reporter. Completed more than 30 stories, eight of which were A-1 stories, which included crime spot news, features and photography. Noteworthy stories included a multimedia sideshow of a homicide, the shooting of a 16-year-old by a 49-year-old lawyer, a Buddhist legal feud, local tsunami relief efforts and the lift on Oakland’s police hiring freeze.
April 1998 – June 1998: Public Health Researcher, Sarasota County Health Department
Field researcher helping to assess safety conditions of migrant laborers in Arcadia, Florida.
2014-17 American University, Ph.D. student in the School of Communication
2013 Columbia Center for Oral History’s Summer Institute
2011-2012 Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO) Guatemala, coursework in political and social sciences
2008 Media Academy, Media Manager Training at Niemen Center
2007 University of California at Berkeley, Master of Journalism
2004 Laney College, Oakland, CA. Coursework in Final Cut Pro and Business
2003 Academy of Web Design, San Francisco
2003 Center for Chinese Language and Culture, NTNU Taipei, Taiwan
1998 University of Seville, Spain; study abroad with coursework in political science
1995-99 Bachelor of Arts: New College of the University of Florida
2016 Dewey Winburne Community Service Awards
2012 Delegate at the International Academy of Achievement in Washington, D.C.
2012 Publication of “We Are Our History” by the Centre for Internet and Society
2008 Publication of “The One Who Hung Herself” by Duke Press
2007 I.F. Stone Award for Investigative Journalism
2006 European Union Delegation, East Bay Press Club Scholarship and Hispanic Scholarship Fund
2006 Press Club of the East Bay Scholarship
2005 Joel Garcia Memorial Scholarship Recipients
2005 National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association Scholarship
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