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Midwives in Cancuc, Chiapas are talking to their communities about the importance of prenatal care

The GPA Team

Stacey Ramirez
Executive Director

As Executive Director, Stacey works with the talented GPA staff, board members and supporters to ensure GPA achieves its mission to empower communities and improve child & maternal health in marginalized areas in Latin America. She has over 17 years of experience designing and managing international health and human rights programs, including working as the International Program Director for Bangladesh and Liberia, for the What to Expect Foundation. She was also responsible for managing the Institute of International Education’s Global Initiative for Breast Cancer Awareness in Latin America, a health, training and advocacy program that reached thousands of community members and funded numerous community health projects. During the '90s, Stacey worked for the Mexican women’s rights organization SEMILLAS, and has had a passion to work towards a world where women and children have access to quality care and the opportunity for a healthy life. She earned her MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management, her BA degrees in Journalism and Spanish, and a professional certificate in Photography from the Maine Photo Workshops. 

Martha Moreno Guati Rojo, PhD
Director, Mexico Office

Trained as an anthropologist, Martha has been working with indigenous women in Chiapas, Mexico since 1993 on health, gender, and development issues. She has extensive experience in participatory research, organizing training projects, and establishing multi-level community relationships with diverse stakeholders. She has participated in the training of indigenous midwives as advocates for community health and in promoting awareness about sexual and reproductive rights and the prevention of gender violence. She has also worked with the public health system, and other non-governmental organizations to promote effective health care public policies for women. Martha holds PhDs in both Social Anthropology and Gender Studies and a master’s degree in Native American studies. Prior to joining GPA she worked for several international organizations in Spain, Honduras and Brazil designing, implementing, and evaluating health and education programs.

Scott Cohen, MD, DTM
Founder and Medical Director

Scott has been practicing pediatric medicine since 1989, serving primarily high-risk, low-income patients in the U.S. and Latin America. In 1988, as an Albert Schweitzer Fellow, he served pediatric patients in Gabon, West Africa. He has also delivered pre- and post-operative care to surgical patients in Cuba and El Salvador. In the eastern rainforest of Guatemala, he provided primary care for indigenous villagers of all ages and taught basic Western medicine to local health promoters. He received his M.D. from Tufts University in Boston in 1989 and his Diploma in Tropical Medicine from Royal College of Surgery in Ireland in 2000. He completed his pediatric residency at Oakland Children’s Hospital in 1992. He was attending nursery physician at Alameda County Medical Center and assistant director of an inpatient unit at Oakland Children’s Hospital. He was lead editor for the American Academy of Pediatrics’ newsletter on international child health for many years and has published chapters for books and articles on global pediatric health topics.  He is fluent in Spanish. Currently, Scott is a pediatrician at Kaiser Permanente, San Rafael, California.

Clara Rubio Barredo
Training Program Assistant Director

Clara received her sociology degree at the University of the Basque Country in Spain, and went on to receive her master’s degree in gender studies and local development from the Complutense University of Madrid. She has participated in mediation, research and evaluation projects focused on human rights, immigration, gender issues and the trafficking of women in Paraguay, Spain and Panama, for non-governmental and international organizations, as well as with local governments. For the past two and a half years, Clara has worked in Mexico on women’s rights projects, with a special emphasis on sexual and reproductive rights. In 2012, Clara was a volunteer for GPA, and became a staff member where she participated in the GPA study Maternal Mortality and the Role Midwives Play to Prevent it in 6 Municipalities in the Highlands Region of Chiapas. Currently, she works on the GPA team that implements the midwife training program in several municipalities in the Highlands Region, as well as heads up GPA's Monitoring and Evaluation, and Communications.

Juan Carlos Pérez Vázquez
Assistant Program Coordinator

Juan Carlos is from Yajalón, Chiapas and has been working as a GPA Assistant Program Coordinator for GPA over the past three years. He has also been working with the midwife training program, as well as a Tzeltal translator for the organization for over ten years, a skill which involves not only using his training as a health technician, but also his ability to translate Western medical concepts and terminology into the vocabulary and cosmovision of the indigenous populations of the Highland Region of Chiapas. Juan Carlos received his degree as a Community Health Professional Technician from the National Education College. He also holds a degree in Management and Coordination of Social and Civil Organizations. He has participated in non-governmental organizations, coordinated popular education activities, midwifery training, among others.

Gabriel García, MD
Training Program Coordinator

Gabriel is a doctor and is the Coordinator for GPA's Training Program of traditional midwives and local health agents over the past six years. Gabriel has over 20 years of experience working in the region of Los Altos in Chiapas, Mexico and he specializes in Popular Education methods. He received his medical degree from the National Autonomous Univeristy of Mexico in Mexico City.

Betsabé Retamal Pulgar
Coordinator, Community-Designed Health Projects Fund

Betsabé, originally from Chile, began working at GPA for our Youth Leadership Program. In 2023, she began working as the Coordinator for our Community-Designed Health Projects Fund, in both Guatemala and Mexico, where she oversees our portfolio of grassroots organizations receiving seed grants, and technical assessment and training. She is responsible for all aspects of the program in the different areas where GPA works, and oversees the implementation of new sites. Over the past year, Betsa has been working with the team to incorporate a new and decolonized methodology and perspective into our work, which is based on Tseltal concepts.

María García Hernández
Co-Coordinator, Community Initiatives

Marí was one of the outstanding young leaders from our training program in Iwiltic, Chiapas. After graduating from high school, she joined GPA in 2018 as an intern, where she worked in all areas of the organization, from facilitating workshops for our Youth Leadership program, and our Women Taking Care of Women Program, to working with midwives, being an interpreter and learning how organizations collaborate to be effective. As Marí said, "I like working with young people a lot because I can identify with them and I want them to see that they can do this. I want girls to see that they can gain skills and get ahead, not just the guys. I understand their doubts because I had them myself." Marí is fluent in both Tzeltal and Spanish.

Sebastiana Pale Pérez
Coordinator, Women Caring for Women and Community Programs

Sebastiana Pale Pérez, originally from the rural community of Chimpil, in the municipality of Huixtán, Chiapas, speaks two Mayan languages (Tsotsil and Tseltal), and is fluent in Spanish. She moved to San Cristóbal de las Casas in 1998 in search of a job that would allow her to continue studying high school. GPA began collaborating with Sebastiana in 2013 as a Tsotsil interpretor in our midwife courses. In May of 2021, she became a full-time member of the organization and is responsible for accompanying the Nich Ixim Midwife Movement of Chiapas. “I am interested in strengthening the participation of the local midwife groups for the Midwife Movement, and getting new midwives into the Movement,” comments Sebastiana.

Rafael Josaphat Toledo Cruz
Program Coordinator, Respectful Maternal Care Program

Josaphat is a trainer in popular education with more than 10 years of experience working in Human Rights, Gender, Masculinities, Environment and Public Health. He received his International Relations degree from the Instituto Tecnológico de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey. (ITESM-CCM). He also has a Sociology Degree from the Political and Social Sciences Department of the UNAM. He is part of the training team on Dignified Treatment for the NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF PUBLIC HEALTH, for the Health of Indigenous Peoples Institutional Program. Josaphat has also worked as a consultant for the Inter-American Development Bank within the framework of the efforts of the Mesoamerica Health Initiative (ISM), in the health jurisdictions of Pichucalco, San Cristóbal de las Casas, Palenque and Ocosingo in Chiapas, Mexico. He has served as a consultant for the Nayarit Women's Institute (INMUNAY) of the Program to Strengthen Gender Perspective Mainstreaming (Transver). He has developed research and training workshops for personnel from the Navy, Army, Prosecutors, Public Ministries, Migration Institute, Ministry of Health and Federal Police, and he has been a curriculum developer for the UNITED NATIONS POPULATION FUND (UNFP) within the framework of the Spotlight strategy. He is also an amateur photographer, city gardener and occasional cyclist.

Adela Bonilla Vidal
Operating Coordinator, Nich Ixim Midwife Movement of Chiapas

Adela is Global Pediatric Alliance's chief strategist and liaison for the Nich Ixim Midwife Movement of Chiapas, the largest midwife movement in Mexico. She is a social anthropologist with training in gender studies, Gestalt psychotherapy and Reunion therapy. She specializes in holistic sexuality education. She brings over 40 years of experience working with human rights, Indigenous and women's rights, and with youth, in Chiapas, Mexico.  Adela is a member of the Mexican national networks Democracy and Sexuality, and the National System for Sexual Health Promotion and Training.

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