Our Team

STAFF

miguelphoto.jpgMiguel Angel Acosta - Co-Director 

Miguel Angel Acosta joined the Earth Care team in the summer of 2017 to launch Poder Familiar - our parent leadership program which he'd been dreaming up for some time. A long time ally and role-model, Miguel now co-directs the organization in our shared leadership model. Miguel was born in Chicago but made in Mexico. He has been the Director of El Colegio Sin Fronteras, a social enterprise focused on community education, training and capacity building for healthy communities, as well as a Principal Associate at the Center for Relational Learning, an international consulting firm based in Santa Fe, NM which focuses on building family-community-school partnerships.  Prior to that he served on the Board of Education of Albuquerque Public Schools where he helped establish The Community Schools Partnership with the City, County and Business Community and he worked for many years at the University of New Mexico where he was instrumental in establishing the Freshman Year Experience programs in the College Enrichment Program, Undergraduate Studies and across the campus. He has more than 40 years of experience in advocating for educational opportunities and community development for underserved populations.  Miguel Angel’s work with youth, families and communities ranges from teaching in alternative high schools, developing youth leadership programs, developing and teaching in adult basic education programs, working in violence and substance abuse prevention, restorative justice, community health initiatives, recruitment and retention work in higher education, community schools, personal, family and community coaching, school-led community revitalization and as a public servant and elected School Board Member.  His family came out of Jalisco, Mexico, and first migrated to Chicago around 1919.  His father, Miguel, participated in the Bracero Program as a farm worker in California and later toiled in a Chicago factory until he could work no longer.  His mother, Luz Maria, worked as a seamstress in Chicago as had her mother before her, and was a community and jobs activist.  They are now resting in peace together back in Jalisco.  Miguel has two sons, Jose Miguel, 29, and Miguel Angel 35, an awesome granddaughter and future scientist and soccer star, Isabela, and a grandson Emilio who has plans to be a superhero.  He is patiently supported in all he does by his loving partner, Analicia, who also shares three grandsons with him. Elijah, Isaiah and Dominic.

Victoria Atencio - Earth Care Lead Organizer

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Victoria organizes, mentors, and trains Earth Care's young leaders. Victoria is from Santo Domingo Pueblo, New Mexico. Victoria was a previous Youth Allies member for Earth Care while attending Santa Fe Indian School and is a graduate of Earth Care's Cadre Program through which she served as one of our Sustainability Educators at El Camino Real. She graduated from New Mexico State University with her BS in Wildlife Science and minors in Biology and Rangeland Science and is currently enrolled in graduate school for natural resource management. 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 Lead Organizer now has been a tremendous opportunity for her to express her passion for sustainability and conservation. 

IMG_20160707_201901915-169x300.jpgEmily Ewings - Sustainability Educator

Emily Ewings is Earth Care's Educator at Milagro Middle School. Emily is from New Orleans but came to Santa Fe over a year ago to serve as Earth Care's Cadre Member at Cooking with Kids. She is an avid storyteller, artist, and activist with deep roots in the Mississippi River Region. Emily brings years of experience working with young people and working as a community advocate and organizer. 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.

Nicole Jaramillo – Earth Care Co-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 and now serves as the Co-Director of the organization in our shared leadership model. 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.

IMG_20160926_113132559_HDR-169x300.jpgRuby Lopez - Earth Care Educator

Ruby Lopez is Earth Care's Cadre Member working our Sustainable Schools Program at Salazar Elementary and Carlos Gilbert. 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.

Bianca Madrid - Lead Organizer, bmadrid@earthcarenm.org

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Bianca is Earth Care's lead organizer for the Poder Familiar program. She was a staff participant in the inaugural Abriendo Puertas training program that Earth Care convened in the summer of 2017 with support from the Partnership for Community Action. 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 worked as a staff member of Earth Care as a Youth Organizer and assisted with The Sustainable Santa Fe Guide during her high school career. 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.

maryann-300x227.jpgMary Ann Maestas - Program Coordinator

Mary Ann is the Coordinator of Earth Care's programs and the person we all look to to keep things moving and organized. She graduated from Earth Care's Cadre Program where she completed her service working with the Santa Fe Farmers Market Institute for two years. 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.

 

Karen Rencountre – Senior Trainer: karen@earthcarenm.org

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Karen is Earth Care's lead trainer for our youth leadership programs. 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.

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

Bianca directs Earth Care's youth and action network programming and mentors Earth Care's staff in our shared leadership model. She 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 leadership programs, she assumed the role of Executive Director in 2014 in order to revive the organization and shift the organization to fully embrace it's justice and equity orientation - through the development of an amazing staff of home-grown leaders and a shared leadership model, now fully implemented, though always a learning process. 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 organizing campaigns and New Energy Economy where she implements climate justice campaigns and programs as its Associate Director.

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.


BOARD MEMBERS 

autumn.jpgAutumn Billie, Board Member

Autumn is a Youth Allies alumna and former YA staff member/trainer. Autumn is from Taos and Acoma as well as Navajo Nation. She is the co-founder of the Three Sisters Collective and has worked as a reproductive health and sovereignty trainer with Tewa Women United and an Office Manager for Wise Fool. She currently attends the Santa Fe Community College. She is a talented spoken word artist, writer, photographer, and film maker.

Nohemy Boroquez-Flores, Board Membernohemy2.jpg

Nohemy is an Earth Care AmeriCorps alumna. She was placed at our service-site La Familia in 2013-2014. She currently works for the Chainbreaker Collective and Health Action New Mexico and is a community advocate for the Southside Quality of Life Initiative. She brings a wealth of community organizing and social justice knowledge to the organization and it is great to have her back in a new leadership capacity.

Jorge Gonzales, Board 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.

carolina.jpegCarol Madley, Board Treasurer: Carol@earthcarenm.org

Carol has a long-standing commitment and advanced training in environmental stewardship. In addition to her love of and commitment to the earth, Carol brings over two decades of experience in nonprofit and business leadership and administration with a focus on financial management. Most recently she served as the Finance Director for the NM Association of Counties for 11 years.

 

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