Our Team



Janet Gomez - Youth Staff Member: youthallies@earthcarenm.org

Janet was born in 1999 in Chicago, Illinois, she is a Senior at Capital High School and is part of Earth Care’s Youth Staff. Janet has been part of  Youth Allies for four years now and was also part of Envolvement NM to educate people on Tobacco use. She has been passionate about immigration since her mom was in hands of immigration. Janet loves working with Youth Allies because it helps her understand not only what is going on in the community but in the world around her as well. She also loves to binge read books instead of doing homework.

Nicole Jaramillo – AmeriCorps Program Director: nicole@earthcarenm.org

Nicole joinenicole2-150x150.jpgd the Earth Care team in the summer of 2014 to run our Food Justice and Environmental Stewardship AmeriCorps Service Program. Born and raised in New Mexico, Nicole completed a Bachelor’s of Science in Nutrition & Dietetics at the University of New Mexico in 2012 and went on to pursue a Master’s Degree in Public Health at San Diego State University. While completing her Master’s degree, Nicole managed, implemented and coordinated a large grant on San Diego State’s Campus that provided outreach and education regarding student’s options under the Affordable Care Act. Nicole has also worked developing, implementing and coordinating multiple projects and programs for both large and small non-profits in California and New Mexico. She brings a passion for sustainability, social justice and food security to the Earth Care team.

Bianca Madrid - Lead Organizer, bmadrid@earthcarenm.org


Bianca discovered her passion for helping improve her community when she joined Youth Allies in 2006.  She was inspired the first year after working with numerous organizations across the state about social and environmental issues. With the support of Earth Care she collaborated with Somos Un Pueblo Unido in making Civil Rights Presentations in High Schools in Santa Fe and conventions across the state.  She later became staff of Earth Care as a Youth Organizer and assisted with The Sustainable Santa Fe Guide. She took a few years off to focus on her family. She is excited to be back at Earth Care and continue her work on social and environmental issues.

Karen Rencountre – Senior Trainer: karen@earthcarenm.org


Karen worked for Earth Care as an AmeriCorps Vista in 2011 & has been an adult ally & Youth Allies training team member for the program ever since. She joined Earth Care as staff to take over the management of the program in January 2015. Karen was born in Rapid City South Dakota. She comes from a large family with a rich history with the land, culture, Native American activism, and change makers. She was inspired by her family’s story of surviving the Indian Boarding School Movement and the challenges they faced decolonizing and undoing internalized oppression. Karen is a queer Lakota Womyn, a youth advocate, and a working class gal. Karen is  a socially engaged citizen with a fierce commitment to being a supportive adult ally to LGBTQI youth, youth of color, youth empowerment, social justice, and environmental justice. Karen is a student, a facilitator of change and brings a wealth of knowledge in activating youth and adults to move towards their vision of a healthy and just community.  Karen developed a passion for social justice as a teenager. As a young adult she began her professional development in creating change when she took on a year of service as an Americorps VISTA working with Earth Care as a Youth Coordinator.  Karen has worked with the Santa Fe Mountain Centers NM Gay Straight Alliance Network as well as being on the steering committee for the National GSA Network. Karen has had the privilege to work with grassroots movements across the country working to stop the School To Prison Pipeline. She has presented Decolonizing the Diet workshop for the Institute of American Indian Arts as well as Decolonizing Gender and Sexuality for Native communities across New Mexico and nationally. She has worked with youth for over five years. When she is not rocking it in the community or keeping her grades up at school  she enjoys busting a move on the dance floor and hitting all the wrong notes at karaoke night.


Lavender Rodriguez - Youth Staff Member: youthallies@earthcarenm.org

Lavender is a 17 year old senior at Capital High School and is part of Earth Care’s Youth Staff leader for our Youth Allies For Sustainability Program. Lavender found love for social and environmental justice, she thinks that working towards equality brings us closer to being able to come together and clean up our earth. Lavender has built amazing friendships with her fellow organizers. She feels valued for her ability to spontaneously combust into sound, as well as her uncanny fangirling at shows, and for her love of music and celebrities. She looks forward to her weekly work with Youth Allies for Sustainability.


Bianca Sopoci-Belknap – Executive Director: bianca@earthcarenm.org, 505-699-1025

Bianca joined Earth Care in 2006 to develop and launch its youth leadership and organizing program, Youth Allies for Sustainability, when she was just 24 years old. Over many years she built out the Youth Allies program model and also co-founded and directed Earth Care’s Food Justice and Environmental Stewardship AmeriCorps Service program. After eight years of running Earth Care’s programs, she assumed the role of Executive Director in 2014. Born and raised in New Mexico, Bianca has been organizing around issues of social justice and sustainability in her community since she was a teen at Santa Fe High School. Before joining Earth Care, Bianca worked as an educator and community advocate for a number of organizations across the country including Global Exchange, the Border Network for Human Rights, and Del Pueblo Inc., Local Energy, and Antioch College. She served as the Mayor appointed Chair of the Sustainable Santa Fe Commission for 3 years and was also an appointed member of the Santa Fe Policy Council. She currently splits her time between Earth Care - where her primary focus is mentoring the organization's leadership team in the development and execution of its mission and New Energy Economy where she implements climate justice campaigns and programs.

Mariajosé Ugalde Alcazar (Marjiel Danse) – Associate Director- mariajose@earthcarenm.org  505.204.0664


Mariajosé worked as an Earth Care Americorps member in 2010 and returned to join the team in the fall of 2014. She is a musician, painter, poet, movement centered Polarity Therapist, activist and educator. She studied healing arts, philosophy, pedagogy, music and visual arts at the New Mexico Academy of Healing Arts, Berklee College of Music and Evergreen State College. She is currently earning a business associate at SFCC. She was born and raised in La Paz, Bolivia and prior to her living in Santa Fe for the last 6 years she spent the last 9 years of her life traveling, healing, and learning in various countries. Her paintings, poetry and art have been shared at events, exhibits and publications in Bolivia, Guyana, Colombia and the U.S. Her work engaging community and as an educator is strongly based in the pedagogy of Paulo Freire's Popular Education pedagogy. Through a combination of Popular Education, creative expression in all forms, advocacy for environmental and sustainable practices, and somatic awareness (yoga, meditation and bodywork) –as a tools for actualizing social and individual healing, empowerment and transformation– she has worked with various vulnerable groups in Latin America of all ages, and with different non-profits and educational institutions on an international and local level. She makes sure to be free like a wild bird and carve out rest and restore space to hang out with herself, as well as to have fashion & nails, nature & stars, friends & good food, love & good movies- space.

Ashley Zappe – Sustainability Education Program Manager

Ashley-300x225.jpegAshley Zappe leads Earth Care's educational programming in the schools and in the Earth Care Youth & Community Garden. She assumed her post after completing two terms as an Earth Care AmeriCorps Member working with the City of Santa Fe's Sustainability Programs and completing the Santa Fe Scorecard Benchmark Report. Ashley Zappe loves Santa Fe monsoon season so much, she’s doing everything she can to prevent climate change! Originally an environmental educator from California, Ashley was educated at St. John’s College and has been a Santa Fean ever since. She loves dancing, hiking, and writing, and is especially passionate about connecting people with the natural world.


victoria-website.jpgVictoria Atencio is a Earth Care's Cadre Member with our Sustainable Schools Program. She is from Santo Domingo Pueblo, New Mexico. Victoria was a previous Youth Allies member for Earth Care while attending Santa Fe Indian School. She has recently graduated from New Mexico State University with her BS in Wildlife Science and minors in Biology and Rangeland Science. Through her educational experiences and professional opportunities, she has grew a passion for developing sustainable education/outreach for youth and adults that focus on the natural environment and wildlife. Working with Earth Care as a Sustainability Educator now has been a tremendous opportunity for her to express her passion for sustainability and conservation. She plans to continue onto graduate school for Natural Science Education.



Adrian Carter is Earth Care's Cadre Member at the United World College's Agro-ecology Research Center.

He is an outdoorsy wildlife and plant nerd. He has a BS in Biology and is finishing his masters thesis in environmental science and wildlife management. He enjoys being outside and making new discoveries, as well as gardening and crossing different varieties of plants including chilies, corn and squash has always been a hobby of mine. He loves traveling and meeting new people and trying make a difference. 

Juliana Ciano is photo-12-300x225.jpga mother and teacher delighted to be working as Earth Care's Cadre Member with Reunity Resources on a passion held since her third grade teacher, Mrs. Marlene Rickheim, taught her  about the danger our planet is in.  Her project idea for the science fair was this:  create a tremendous vacuum that could be pointed at the sky and had a special filter to only suck in noxious pollutants.  In the belly of the vacuum, using a simple formula, transform these pollutants into fertilizer.  Next, flip the toggle switch and put the hose into the ground, pouring the air-pollution-become-fertilizer into the earth!  While Juliana couldn’t quite bring the project to fruition at age 8, she is delighted to be working on full circle recycling projects now with Reunity Resources.

IMG_20160707_201901915-169x300.jpgEmily Ewings is Earth Care's Cadre Member at Cooking with Kids. She is an avid storyteller, artist, and activists with deep roots in the Mississippi River Region. Her hopes for the future of the human race are restored after every awkward,frank conversation during Karaoke. She wants to color the world one line at a time.

FGarcia-150x150.pngFrank Garcia is Earth Care's Cadre Member at the Early College Opportunities (ECO). He was previously placed at Youth Build at SFCC, and started there right as he was also becoming a teen father. He was born and raised in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He says he didn’t no what to do with my life till he found out about Youth Build. Once he started Youth Build things started to work our.  He shared about how it took him some time to get used to going to school since he was out of school for about 2 years. It was a big change. Once he got used to the change, he started to shine and really fall in love with building. He explains how it is so cool to see everything move so quick. They had the house up in about two months it was so awesome to see what he had helped build and to see it finished it amazing. Now he is enjoying, learning, growing and giving of his amazing talents at ECO, and at Earth Care, for a third year. He is enjoying and feeling very thankful and happy for the blessing that came his way. He shares feeling that Earth care, Youth Build and the AmeriCorps program really saved his life and started him on the right plan for his own and his family’s future. 


Angele (B.) Kunkowski is Earth Care's Cadre Member at Earth Care. She has a passion to do her part in bringing about transformative, systemic and holistic change in how we as humanity treat earth and each other. She is a disciple, mother and wife.  Mrs. Kunkowski earned an Associates of Arts with honors at Western New Mexico University, with a focus on Psychology and Biology. During her time at Western New Mexico University her hobbies included social activism in which she learned event planning and fundraising. B. Angele Kunkowski served as the Western New Mexico University Student Body Supreme Court Justice, and was also an active member of WNMU’s Eco-Sustanaibility club, where she gained her first experiences in permaculture. B. Angele Kunkowski has spent a number of years in service to various organizations such as the New Mexico Democratic Black Caucus, Alan Webber Campaign, Chainbreakers, Obama Campaign, and other political and non for profit organizations. She enjoys graphic design and is a Worship Leader for the Santa Fe Church of God. Throughout her life she has worked toward an ideal where peoples feelings of need are able to be met and as such, humanity could shift from living in a place of need to living form a place of abundance and fulfillment. Secretly she wants people to be happy.

28959-300x169.jpegHope Lang is Earth Care's Cadre Member at the Galloping Grace Youth Ranch. She was born and raised in the great green state of Wisconsin. She came to New Mexico in 2011 to attend Santa Fe’s St. John’s College, from which she graduated in 2016 with her B.A. in Liberal Arts. Hope will be working with Earth Care’s newest partner, Galloping Grace Youth Ranch, to aid in their food recovery program and develop their poultry department. Hope has a passion for liberty, equality, and ending oppression of all kinds. She has a deep love for the healing power of music, art, spoken and written word. She feels most at home beneath a canopy of birch, oak, and pine, breathing in the smell of moss and listening to the waking song of the chickadee. 


IMG_20160926_113132559_HDR-169x300.jpgRuby Lopez is Earth Care's Cadre Member working our Sustainable Schools Program. She is a recent graduate of Santa Fe High School who has been working with community improvement programs since 2013. She is currently working as a sustainability educator and will be beginning college classes in January.


Mary Ann Maestas is Earth Care's Cadre Member at the Santa Fe Farmers Market Institute. She was born and raised in Santa Fe. She has a B.A. in Environmental Science and Policy from Smith College. After graduating she headed to Jordan on a Critical Language Scholarship to continue her Arabic language studies. Prior to joining the Earth Care’s Food Justice Cadre, she worked as a Program Assistant at an environmental studies institute in the Middle East. After a few years away, she is excited to rejoin her community supporting local food and food access in Santa Fe.



Annie Paden is one of Earth Care's Cadre Members working with Cooking with Kids this year! She recently graduated from Western Washington University with a degree in 

Environmental Education and is excited to get to use what she knows, with kiddos in classrooms around Santa Fe! She came here from the great Northwest and since she got to Santa Fe, NM has loved fly fishing, hot spring hopping, and plant IDing all of the crazy, new, and prickly plants in the area. She feels that this year’s going to be filled with tomatoes, apples, tamales, oranges, and fresh greens, and she can’t wait to eat her way through New Mexico!! Cheers!


IMG_0720-200x300.jpgJordan Richards is Earth Care's Cadre Member with La Familia. She is a Montana native, now currently residing in Santa Fe, NM. She loves going on adventures, hiking, backpacking, skiing, biking, fishing, photography, travelling, and coffee. She completed both a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degree at Montana State University and is now applying her skills thorough the AmeriCorps Food Cadre program at La Familia Medical center. She is passionate about food, nutrition and culture, and how it can be applied to one’s lifestyle and remain sustainable. In 2015 and 2016, she worked in a small Mali village understanding the connection between malaria and malnutrition in children ages 0-5. This work has made an impact on what foods children are fed before and during high malaria season to provide the strongest immune response to the parasite. From this experience, she realized that there is a need for community-based research local and abroad. In the future she plans to continue this line of work through a Fulbright research grant and then on to a Ph.D. program. She eventually wants to teach these skills to younger generations to promote excitement about understanding culture, nutrition, profound epidemics, and the need for passion to all people.

Paloma-website-300x300.jpegPaloma Sanchez is a New Mexican looking to spread positive change in her home state. Paloma holds a BA in International Studies and a minor in Sustainability. For two and a half years she has lived in her 1978 Toyota camper and has held various garden and urban farming positions. Most recently she was in Nayarit, Mexico creating a community garden for a small community with her team, Cultivando Comunidad.  


Charlene Tourtillott is Earth Care's Cadre Member working with our Sustainable Schools Program. She was raised on the Menominee Indian reservation located in Wisconsin. 

She recently graduated from Menominee Indian High school and moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico to attend Institute of American Indian Arts and study Creative Writing with a minor in Studio Arts with an emphasis on ceramics. Her passion for Native American activism, sustainability and environmental justice is rooted in her status of being a young Menominee women in the 21st century. She is an aspiring author and loves her position as a Sustainability educator for Earth Care.



Autumn Billie, Board Member

Autumn is a graduate of Earth Care's Youth Allies Program. She is a brilliant writer and community advocate. She has worked with Tewa Women United. She is a graduate of the Santa Fe Indian School where she helped lead the Spoken Word Team. She is currently a student at the Santa Fe Community College.


Bette Booth, Board Treasurer: Bette@earthcarenm.org

Bette Booth is a communications specialist with a focus on environmental projects. She served as Chairwoman on the Parks and Open Space Advisory Committee for the City of Santa Fe. Bette helped initiate the creation of community gardens in public parks and is currently working with the City to evaluate the success of that program. She brings years of nonprofit management, sustainable planning, and community advocacy in support of Earth Care’s work.

Carol Madley

Nohemy Boroquez-Flores, Board Member

Nohemy is a graduate of Earth Care's AmeriCorps Program - where she was placed with La Familia. She currently works as a lead organizer with Chainbreaker. She has worked extensively in community advocacy and sustainable community development with the Southside Quality of Life Initiative and One Santa Fe. 

Katya Franzgen, Board Member

Jorge Gonzales, President: Jorge@earthcarenm.org

jorge-300x210.jpgJorge was part of the original training team that helped to develop Earth Care’s Youth Allies curriculum when he worked for the Santa Fe Mountain Center’s Native American Emergence Program. He has over 20 years experience working in youth development and community advocacy. He is currently completing his masters in community planning.

Sergio Gonzáles, Board Secretary: Sergio@earthcarenm.org

sergio-217x300.jpgSergio was born and raised in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Sergio was a Youth Allies participant and organizer with the program from 2008-2011. Sergio currently attends the University of New Mexico where he is enrolled in a combined BA/MD Program. He is an advisory board member of the Bernalillo County Place Matters project which seeks to address public health and environmental justice issues in Bernalillo county. In 2012, Sergio took a year off of school to do full-time union organizing on college campuses in California. He is excited to serve on the Board of Earth Care and support an organization that was instrumental in his development as a community leader and activist.

Susan Mac Donald Boyle, Board Member

Resume-Photo-2013-susan-191x300.jpgSusan has been a supporter of Earth Care’s work since 2009 when she took a volunteer position to help organize EC’s resource library. When Earth Care launched the AmeriCorps Food Justice and Environmental Stewardship Program later that year, Susan joined the program – playing an instrumental role in the inaugural year to help the Cadre work together and find the resources the group needed to be successful.  Susan’s professional work has taken many forms throughout the years including running several businesses and supporting community projects and organizations. She currently works for the May Learning Center as an assistant teacher.


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