Cultural Survival Staff

Galina Angarova

Galina Angarova (Buryat), Executive Director, comes to Cultural Survival after serving as Program Officer at the Swift Foundation, and prior to that, as Policy and Communications Advisor for Tebtebba. She has represented the Indigenous Peoples’ Major Group at the UN on issues such as the Sustainable Development Goals and the Post-2015 Development Agenda and has led Indigenous experts to review safeguards for Indigenous Peoples for the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change’s Green Climate Fund. Previously, Galina was the Russia Program Director at Pacific Environment, where she organized direct actions to block pipeline construction in the Altai region of Siberia, to close a toxic paper mill on Lake Baikal, and to stop a hydro-dam from flooding Evenk Peoples’ lands. Galina holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of New Mexico and served on the board of International Funders for Indigenous Peoples for seven years.

Mark Camp

Mark Camp, Deputy Executive Director, from 1993 to 1998, ran Joint Effort, a small fair trade company that imported crafts from Maya cooperatives in Guatemala. He studied history and non-profit management at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and the Harvard University Extension School. He came to Cultural Survival in 1998 and served as Membership Coordinator and Editor of Cultural Survival Voices before assuming his current duties in 2004. Mark has served as Acting Executive Director twice (in 2003 and in 2010). He was the founding President of and served on the Board of Directors of Sobrevivencia Cultural, Cultural Survival’s sister organization in Guatemala, from 2009-2017. In 2013, he joined the Board of Directors of the Nashoba Conservation Trust. Mark speaks English and Spanish. Contact Mark at mcamp@cs.org.

avex

Avexnim Cojti (Maya K'iche'), Director of Programs, is from Chuwila, Guatemala. She is a sociologist and a Maya calendar ancient knowledge keeper from her community.  She has more than fifteen years of experience in the fields of immigration and multiculturalism, Indigenous community development, and Indigenous rights. She holds a degree in Indigenous Government Studies from the Institute of Indigenous Government, Vancouver, British Columbia, and a Master's degree in Public Administration from the University of Regina, both in Canada. Most of her experience is in managing or delivering programs and projects that aim to support self-determination and rights of Indigenous communities globally. Avex formerly served as the Program Manager for the Community Media and Indigenous Rights Radio Programs. She has represented Cultural Survival at international fora and United Nations meetings, advocating for Indigenous rights and continues to enjoy her work in radio production on Indigenous issues for CS.  Contact Avexnim at avexnim@cs.org.

Veronica

Verónica Aguilar (Mixtec), Keepers of the Earth Fund Program Assistant, belongs to a migrant Mixtec community in Veracruz, Mexico. She studied Hispanic Language and Literature at the University of Veracruz, and Linguistics at Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico. She has worked as a translator, copy editor, radio presenter, and research assistant in the field of education. Verónica recently moved to traditional Mixtec lands to engage in a personal project -- learning the language of her family. She is also concluding a historical and linguistic documentation project in her community. Contact Verónica at veronica.aguilar@culturalsurvival.org.

 

Bryan Bixcul

Bryan Bixcul (Maya Tz'utujil), Executive Coordinator, came to Cultural Survival after working a decade in the customer service industry in Guatemala. He is interested in the empowerment of Indigenous communities, especially for women, and in political action to assert Indigenous Peoples' rights.  Bryan is pursuing a degree in Economics at Universidad San Carlos de Guatemala. He is fluent in Tz'utujil, Spanish, and English. Contact Bryan at bryan.bixcul@culturalsurvival.org

Jess Cherofsky

Jess Cherofsky, Research and Data Coordinator, conducts environmental and Indigenous rights research for the Advocacy Program and serves as a program liaison and lead on reporting for the Development team. She previously managed the Bazaar Program and, before that, co-managed the Indigenous Rights Radio program and deeply values the teamwork and emergent possibilities of the co-management model. Jess recently completed her MS in Environmental Science at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. She identifies as queer and Ashkenazi Jewish, is fluent in English and Spanish, and speaks a few words of Yiddish. Contact Jess at jess@cs.org.

 

Michelle de León

Michelle de León, Executive Assistant, was born and raised in Guatemala. She holds a Bachelor's degree in International Affairs from the Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala, and is a Certified Translator (Spanish/English). Michelle worked at the United Nations for the Department of Safety and Security and then was an executive assistant for an Ambassador. Michelle is a coffee lover, yoga practitioner, and an avid reader. She believes that humankind is a universe of differences that are somehow intertwined. A keen interest in cultures and how they connect led her to pursue a career in international affairs and in translation. She has been working as a translator and interpreter for organizations, individuals, and institutions for over 10 years. Reach Michelle at michelle.de.leon@culturalsurvival.org

Danielle DeLuca

Danielle DeLuca, Senior Development Manager, has been with Cultural Survival since 2009, when she started volunteering from our Guatemalan office in Antigua. Planning to stay for one year, she fell in love with Guatemalan culture and community and stayed for five years. Danielle has worked in many areas of Cultural Survival's work, including the Community Media Program, where she trained alongside our Guatemalan team in doing legislative advocacy to advance the rights of freedom of expression. In 2012, she began working in our Advocacy Program in defense of Indigenous land and resources, through which she has worked and traveled to Honduras, Guatemala, Peru, Ghana, and Mexico. Between 2013 and 2017, she helped to establish and run the Indigenous Rights Radio content and distribution platform. Starting in 2019, Danielle has been managing fundraising efforts. She speaks English and Spanish and holds a degree in Cultural Studies from McGill University, in Montreal, Canada. Contact Danielle at danielle@cs.org.

shaldon

Shaldon Ferris (Khoisan), Indigenous Rights Radio Coordinator, started out in media by producing music videos. His work with Indigenous Peoples started in 2006, after he went on a countrywide journey to document the origins of his family surname "Damakwa" which is a Khoi Tribe of South Africa. On his paternal side, Shaldon’s San heritage can be traced to the Northern Cape, South Africa. His first film "Eldorado" premiered at the Durban International Film Festival and won an award in 2011. Shaldon became involved in radio when he started volunteering at his local community radio station, Eldos FM, eleven years ago in Eldorado Park in Johannesburg. Since then, his live show, “Cleaning up the House,” which airs weekly on Saturday mornings, has won numerous awards, and is the longest running weekly show on Eldos FM. The show is built on interaction from the community based on current issues. Contact Shaldon at shaldon.ferris@cs.org.

Sofia Flynn

Sofia Flynn, Accounting and Office Manager, is originally from Cali, Colombia. Sofia worked in international banking in Venezuela for 10 years before moving to the United States. Fluent in Spanish, Portuguese, and English, she has worked at Cultural Survival since 1989. Contact Sofia at sflynn@cs.org.

Nati Garcia

Nati Garcia (Maya Mam), Capacity Building Manager, was born in a refugee camp in Campeche, Mexico as her family fled Guatemala in the 1980s due to the military genocide operation that targeted Indigenous communities. At the age of three, her family received refugee status in Canada, and she grew up on traditional territories of the Coast Salish peoples: sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh), and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations. Her experience as a marginalized Indigenous youth inspired her in advocating for Indigenous sovereignty and self-autonomy. Experienced as a facilitator, youth counselor, and community builder, Nati has helped individuals develop a sense of self-worth and integrity. She is enlivened by opportunities to explore authentic exchange, leadership, world-bridging, social justice, and youth empowerment. Nati has worked with a variety of intergenerational, intercultural, and youth-focused organizations within Canada and hopes to continue on this path in collaborating, teaching, learning, and performing on an international level. She formerly served as Cultural Survival's Indigenous Youth Community Media Fellowship Coordinator. Contact Nati at ngarcia@cs.org.

Cesar Gomez

Cesar Gomez (Maya Pocomam), Community Media Program Coordinator. Cesar is from Palin, Escquintla, Guatemala. Palin is a Pocomam town that is located only 25 miles from Guatemala City. Pocomam was once a widely spoken language but, in Cesar’s words, “the colonial Spanish language media in Guatemala City have eroded our language and culture over time.” The Pocomam of Palin are an exception; they have maintained their language and many cultural practices. From a young age, Cesar has been involved in cultural revitalization in his community, as a founder and member of Cultural Association of Poqoman Qawinaqel. In 1999, Cesar started as a volunteer at the Palin community radio station where he worked for five years. In 2005, he was selected as a regional representative to the Association of Guatemalan Community Radio Stations. In 2007, he was hired as the Office Administrator of the National Congress of Community Radios. In 2008, he joined Cultural Survival as Content Production and Training Coordinator for the Community Media Program in Guatemala. Cesar is also the President of the Board of Directors of Asociación Sobrevivencia Cultural. He holds a degree in communications from the University of San Carlos, Guatemala. Contact Cesar at cgomez@cs.org.

Adriana

Adriana Hernández (Maya K’iche’), Emerging Strategies Coordinator, was born and raised in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Rafael Landivar University in Guatemala. She participated in the Global Undergraduate Exchange Program and continued her studies in Political Science at Juniata College, Huntingdon, PA. She is fluent in English and Spanish. While working as a faculty assistant at Rafael Landívar University, she volunteered in an educational program for vulnerable children, and seniors at Instituto Guatemalteco de Educación Radiofónica. Adriana is interested in multicultural environments, human rights, and empowering Indigenous women. Contact Adriana at adriana.hernandez@cs.org

Edson Krenak

Edson Krenak Naknanuk (Krenak), Lead on Brazil, is an Indigenous activist, writer, and a PhD student at Vienna University, Austria, where he develops studies in legal anthropology. He holds degrees in linguistics and literary theory at Sao Carlos Federal University in Brazil. He also works as a speaker and trainer at Uka Instituto in Brazil. As writer, he won the 10th Tamoios National Prize of Indigenous writers in Brazil with the book O Sonho de Borum', and his tale "Kren and Pockrane, Why There Are Not Twing among the Krenak People" is part of the UNICED-nominated book Nos, Antologia de Contos Indigenas. Edson`s ancestors are known as the Botocudos. He speaks Portuguese, Spanish, English, and German. Contact Edson at edson.krenak@cs.org.

Dev Kumar Sunuwar

Dev Kumar Sunuwar (Koĩts-Sunuwar), Community Media Program Coordinator, comes from Nepal. Dev holds Master’s degrees in journalism and mass communication, political science, and law, specializing in international law and human rights from Tribhuvan University in Nepal. He has worked in different media for more than 15 years, including print, radio, TV, and digital. He also has worked as an investigative reporter for Centre for Investigative Journalism, Nepal (CIJ-Nepal), and as a column writer on Indigenous Peoples and minority groups for mainstream newspapers. Together with his colleagues, Dev founded several community radio stations, an association of 21 Indigenous community stations, and Nepal’s and South Asia’s first and only Indigenous community television station. Contact Dev at dev.kumar@cs.org.

Marco Lara

Marco Lara, Social and Digital Media Coordinator, is from Mexico City. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Visual Arts from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and studied biodesign at the University of Buenos Aires and environmental and ecological economics at UNAM. He has worked in different media for more than 20 years, including print and TV. Before starting at Cultural Survival, Marco was a social media manager for the Memory and Tolerance Museum in Mexico City for six years. He has served as editor of different publications, including the book "Territorialization of Energy Reform" by Geocomunes. Reach Marco at marco.lara@culturalsurvival.org

Bia’ni Madsa’ Juárez

Bia’ni Madsa’ Juárez López (Ayuuk ja’ay and Binnizá), Program Manager for the Keepers of the Earth Fund. She grew up in two towns and cultures, Juchitán (Binnizá) and San José El Paraíso (Ayuuk) in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico. A biologist with a master's degree in Tropical Ecology, she had conducted interdisciplinary research about traditional knowledge and coffee production in her own territory. Since childhood, Bia’ni has been a part of the Indigenous resistance movement in Mexico and local social organizations. “I am a biologist who loves to work with people. My family produces organic coffee and we are working to keep our shade coffee plantation thriving and the forest in which it is in.” She started at Cultural Survival in 2018 and has worked with several programs and projects, including Indigenous Rights Radio, Community Media, and the Bazaars. Contact Bia’ni at biani.madsa@cs.org.

Jamie Malcolm-Brown

Jamie Malcolm-Brown, Communications and Information Technology Manager, graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, with a degree in Anthropology. Before coming to Cultural Survival, he helped establish a computer lab at the Charles J. Andrew Youth Treatment Centre in Sheshatshiu Labrador, Canada. He has since conducted similar work in Kenya with Maasai Education Discovery. Jamie is passionate about nature photography and has been working at Cultural Survival since 2001. Contact Jamie at jamie@cs.org.

Amparo Monzón

Amparo Monzón (Maya K’iche), Program Assistant to the Community Media & Indigenous Rights Radio Programs, was born in Guatemala. Amparo holds a Bachelor’s in Graphic Design from John Brown University and a Master’s degree in International Relations from Westminster University in London. She was a Walton International and Chevening scholar. She is fluent in K´iche´, Spanish, and English.  She has worked with the U.S. Embassy as EducationUSA Outreach Coordinator, at Pop Wuj Organization as General Coordinator and in the Global Public Service Academy as Admissions and Recruiting Coordinator. Amparo is also studying to become a midwife and is passionate to share and learn about the everyday life of people around the world. Contact Amparo at amparo.monzon@culturalsurvival.org.

Roberto

Roberto De La Cruz Martínez (Binnizá), Information Technology Associate, is from Juchitan, Oaxaca, México, but currently lives in Oaxaca City. Before joining Cultural Survival, Roberto held different IT roles as Coordinator of Technological Innovation and Chief of Installations at Telecomunicaciones Indígenas Comunitarias for five years. Telecomunicaciones Indígenas Comunitarias provides and promotes the right to communication in Indigenous and vulnerable communities. There, Roberto had the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of telecommunication projects in México and Latin America. Teaching and education are also part of Roberto's professional background. He holds a Master's Degree in Computer Science and Telecommunications. Roberto speaks Spanish and Zapotec as native languages and continues to learn English. Contact Roberto at roberto@culturalsurvival.org.

Kevin

Kevin Alexander Larrea García, Information Technology Associate, is from Lima, Peru. Prior to joining Cultural Survival, he worked as an IT Solutions Assistant and Operations Analyst in Lima, Peru. IT helpdesk, web development, data analysis, hardware and software maintenance are part of Kevin's professional skill set. He holds a project management technical degree and is currently finalizing a Software Engineering degree at Universidad Tecnologica del Perú. Kevin was interested in working at Cultural Survival as he wanted to “contribute his grain of sand and skills to ensure that Indigenous Peoples’ rights around the world are heard, respected, and upheld.” Kevin speaks Spanish and English. Reach Kevin at kevin.larrea@culturalsurvival.org.

Diana

Diana Pastor (Maya K'iche'), Media Coordinator, holds a Bachelor’s degree in Rural Social Work from San Carlos University in Guatemala. She also studied communications, social work, and community leadership at California State University in Monterey Bay, United States. She has worked on projects with children, women, and Indigenous Peoples in different areas in Guatemala. She is passionate about writing and produces the Cultural Survival Quarterly magazine in Spanish; she is also the editor at EntreMundos Magazine, a publication on development and human rights in Guatemala. She is fluent in Spanish and English. Contact Diana at diana.pastor@cs.org.

Guadalupe Pastrana

Guadalupe Pastrana (Nahua), Indigenous Rights Radio Producer, is originally from the Malacachtepec Momoxco community of Milpa Alta, southeast of Mexico City. Her community is one of the last surviving Indigenous communities in this area. She studied Communication Sciences at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, where she is now finishing her Master's degree in Latin American Studies. She has collaborated on community communication projects in Milpa Alta and in other communities, as well as organized community multimedia production workshops. She is the Producer and Scriptwriter of a radio series on Radio Educación, a Mexican public station, dedicated to raising awareness about the struggles and experiences of Indigenous Peoples in Mexico. Her community experience has made her certain that the conservation of land by Indigenous Peoples is the only way to ensure the continuity of life and in this journey, Indigenous Peoples having their own means of communication is fundamental. Contact Guadalupe at guadalupe.pastrana@culturalsurvival.org.

Agnes Portalewska

Agnes Portalewska, Senior Communications Manager, is originally from Warsaw, Poland. She studied Anthropology, Latin American Studies, photography, and media production at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, and holds a Master’s degree in Sustainable International Development from Brandeis University, where her studies focused on Rights-Based Approach to Development. She has traveled extensively in Latin America and the Caribbean, researched Indigenous media, and taught photography workshops to children. For the past 20+ years, Agnes has served as a consultant to several nonprofits in the area of communications, fundraising, and advocacy. Agnes has been working at Cultural Survival since 2002. She started as Membership Coordinator, then from 2004 to 2008, was Program Officer for the Cultural Survival Bazaars Program leading the expansion of the program from two to ten events a year. She currently directs all communications for program and advocacy initiatives, including the Cultural Survival Quarterly and social media efforts. She speaks English, Polish, French, and Spanish. Contact Agnes at agnes@cs.org.

María del Rosario Sul González

María del Rosario “ Rosy” Sul González (Maya Kaqchikel), Indigenous Rights Radio Program Manager, is from the town of Sumpango, Sacatepéquez, in Guatemala. She studied communication sciences at the Universidad de San Carlos in Guatemala City, and for five years volunteered at Radio Ixchel, the local community radio in Sumpango, where she hosted live talk shows and entertainment programs and promoted human rights. She has traveled as a representative of Cultural Survival to communities in Peru, Panama, Costa Rica, Belize, Mexico, and several international fora, such as the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and the UN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. In each place, she shares the purpose, challenges, successes, and importance of community radio as a tool for community development and organizing, and in the international arena, she has worked to demand that community radio be respected at the global level so that Indigenous Peoples can freely access it. Contact Rosy at rosy@cs.org.

 

Sócrates Vásquez García

Sócrates Vásquez García (Ayuujk Jääy), Community Media Program Manager, hails from Oaxaca, México, and is a radio journalist, an activist for Indigenous Peoples' communication rights, and Co-founder of Ayuujk Community Radio Jënpoj, which has been operating in Tlahuitoltepec Mixe, Oaxaca, for over 20 years. He has worked on community development projects, training Indigenous community journalists, and strengthening Indigenous community radio broadcasting. He has been working for the recognition of community and Indigenous radio stations in Mexican legislation. Sócrates was the national representative of the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC) and belonged to the Regional Council of AMARC Latin America. Sócrates is also a rural sociologist from the Autonomous University of Chapingo, in Texcoco, Mexico. He holds a Master's degree in rural development from the Xochimilco Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana and just finished his Doctorate degree in rural development from Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana. Contact Sócrates at socrates@cs.org.

Miranda Vitello

Miranda Vitello, Development Coordinator, processes all donations, manages the membership database, and coordinates the internship program. Before joining the Cultural Survival staff in 2011, Miranda assisted with the creation of the Wampanoag teaching kit at the Boston Children’s Museum, conducted research on contemporary Native American artists for the Museum of Fine Arts, and organized cultural awareness presentations in elementary schools during an internship at United Planet. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Art History from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and a Master’s degree in Museum Studies from Harvard University. She enjoys painting and her artwork has been displayed at numerous galleries in the Boston area. Contact Miranda at mvitello@cs.org.

Candy Williams

Candy Williams, Human Resources Manager, is originally from the Dominican Republic and resides in Alaska, United States. She is passionate about racial equality, diversity, equity and inclusion, as well as women's professional empowerment. She joined Cultural Survival’s management team after serving in Alaska at the U.S. Department of Labor and Workforce Development and the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development for four years. She is a Certified Workforce Development Professional and brings over a decade of human resources experience focused on organizational leadership, talent acquisition, and performance management. She studied Business Administration and Psychology and is presently pursuing an Executive Human Resources Management Certification at Cornell University. She is fluent in English and Spanish. Contact Candy at candy.williams@culturalsurvival.org.

 

Raquel

Raquel Xiloj (Maya K’iche), Community Media Grants Coordinator, was born and raised in Guatemala. She studied Sociology at the University of San Carlos de Guatemala and recently participated in the 8th Edition of the Global Leadership School of Indigenous Women organized by FIMI. Most of her experience is in the project management cycle where she has supported different Indigenous and non-Indigenous organizations in the identification, strategic planning, implementation, monitoring, and institutional learning about various projects aimed at preventing and eradicating violence against women and promoting political participation of women in decision making spaces. She is fluent in English and Spanish and is currently learning K'iche'. Reach Raquel at ana.raquel.xiloj@culturalsurvival.org.

pablo

Pablo Xol (Maya Qʼeqchiʼ), Design and Marketing Associate, is originally from Guatemala but has been living and working in Panama for the last twelve years. Pablo studied fashion design and has over 20 years of experience in creating and developing brands throughout Central America. Pablo has worked as a lecturer and industrial fashion and even showcased some of his creations during Fashion Week Costa Rica and E! Entertainment Television. He is passionate about promoting projects that empower and build awareness about the diversity of human beings and started Studio Fashion Lab in 2018, a training platform for entrepreneurs wanting to create their own brands and build a community of creative talent in Latin America. His main objective is to ensure that authenticity is at the core of his creations and wants to contribute his skills to advancing Indigenous Peoples' rights. Contact Pablo at pablo.xol@culturalsurvival.org.

Consultants

david

David Gordon is an independent consultant with a background in strategic philanthropy and environmental grantmaking to support international conservation and Indigenous rights. He is an experienced facilitator with a focus on facilitating diverse networks. He started at Pacific Environment, a non-profit intermediary where he supported grassroots environmental and indigenous leaders in Russia, China, and Alaska. He worked as Senior Program Officer in the Environment Program at the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation, where he managed grantmaking programs focused in British Columbia, Alaska, and the Mekong Basin. He served as Executive Director of the Goldman Environmental Prize, the world’s largest award honoring grassroots environmental activists. He is a member of the Advisory Board at the Trust for Mutual Understanding and a facilitator of the Securing Indigenous Peoples' Rights in the Green Economy Coalition Executive Committee.

Polina Shulbaeva

Polina Shulbaeva (Selkup, a Taiga Peoples) is from Siberia, Russia. Since 2013, she has served as the Russia Indigenous Coordinator for the International Indigenous Forum on Biodiversity (IIFB) at the Convention on Biodiversity (CBD) process/Center for Support of Indigenous Peoples of the North (CSIPN). From 2006 to 2014, Polina worked as Director of the Legal Informational Center of Indigenous Peoples of the North in the Tomsk “Swallow” region. Since 2016, she has been a facilitator for international activities of the Aborigen Forum, an independent Russian network of Indigenous leaders, experts, and organizations. She is a member of the International Indigenous Forum on Biodiversity (IIFB) and the Indigenous Women Biodiversity Network (IWBN). Since 2021, Polina has been working with Cultural Survival on engagement with international human rights mechanisms. Contact Polina at polina.shulbaeva@culturalsurvival.org