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Staff

 

 
 
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Kristin Van Busum

Founder & CEO

Kristin has over ten years of experience as a scholar and an advocate for resilient communities. She has worked in New York City on public health initiatives to prevent obesity, helped families in need in Mexico secure stable housing, and provided counseling to incarcerated women in Indiana. Prior to founding Project Alianza, she served as Manager of Health Advisory Services at RAND Corporation, a global policy think tank. Kristin has earned degrees from Butler University and New York University, and is a Fulbright Scholar.


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Amalia Castellanos Altamirano

Nicaraguan Country Director

Born in a remote community in Nueva Segovia and as a long-term resident of Matagalpa, Amalia knows the realities of farm life and rural educational structures in the coffeelands. She has dedicated her life to being part of this change as a manager, educator, advocate and campaigner in social impact organizations, including Fundación Mujer y Desarrollo Económico Comunitario (FUMDEC) and Grupo Venancia.  Amalia has degrees in Sociology and Business Administration, from Universidad del Norte de Nicaragua and Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Nicaragua, respectively. Amalia works to develop strategies and build relationships with farmers, families and children to do what she does best -- promote social change through educational opportunities.


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Yolanda Esperanza Méndez Hernández

Community Allies Program Manager

Yolanda has dedicated her work to serving the most vulnerable sectors of society, especially women, children, and youth. She has worked for “Asociación para el Desarrollo Integral Comunitario,” a community development NGO, and as an instructor, curriculum developer, and student mentor, with a B.A. in Sociology and a concentration in Social Work and Development. Yolanda is dyslexic but has not allowed that to become an obstacle to fulfill her professional goals. Today, Yolanda works to enhance learning through literacy, e-learning, health, and environmental education. She trains and supports Project Alianza allies to be effective instructors in the communities they serve.


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Loyda Maria Davila Salinas

Monitoring and Evaluation Manager

Loyda Maria Davila Salinas has recently earned a B.A. in Sociology with a concentration in Social Work and Development from the Universidad del Norte de Nicaragua, and is passionate about working towards building a better and dignified society through education. Loyda has been an active volunteer on behalf of childrens’ health and education in Nicaragua since 2010. Today, Loyda is supporting Project Alianza’s evidence-based approach to education by conducting Monitoring and Evaluation for the Community Allies Program, and by mentoring the recipients of Katie’s Fund, our scholarship program.


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Camila de la Vega

Project Alianza Princeton in Latin America Fellow

Growing up in Bolivia made Camila keenly aware of the deep educational disadvantage at-risk children face, and sparked a passion for education. She graduated from Carleton College with a degree in International Relations/Political Science (2016).  After college, Camila served as an Americorps volunteer at an elementary school dedicated to underserved communities in Boston. Camila is very grateful for the opportunity to join the team at Project Alianza, and hopes to make a contribution to the education of children in the coffeelands through the development of Alianza's technology and literacy program, and through fundraising.


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Tyler Wright

Global Engagement Manager

Tyler is our resident volunteer in Nicaragua, but his beginnings at Project Alianza trace back to an Alianza event in Indianapolis and an Advocate’s Trip. Three visits to Nicaragua, several piñatas, and plates of gallo pinto later, it became apparent it was time to stay. Tyler captures and curates the stories told through Project Alianza’s work to share with present and future allies. Inspired repeatedly by Nicaraguans desire for a better education, Tyler’s devoted to connecting those stories to like-minded people in the U.S. He’s also a major coffee nerd and will talk about it as long as you let him. Prior to Project Alianza Tyler worked in Finance. He graduated with a BA in Journalism from Indiana University.