Board of Directors
Who We Are
Supervisor CHW Program CHAZ
David Castro was born in Los Angeles, CA. His parents came to the United States from El Salvador due to the country’s violent civil war which was exacerbated by U.S. involvement. David lived in a part of the city called Pico Union, a neighborhood predominantly populated by Savadorian/Central American immigrants. He cherished his time working in the education field ranging from high school all the way down to kindergarten. David also was involved in bike advocacy and provided free bike repair in the downtown LA area. In 2017, David moved to Spokane to work for a local nonprofit and bike shop where he managed a job training program and advocated for youth experiencing homelessness in Spokane. In 2020, David was a critical part of Spokane’s COVID response, helping with testing, vaccine clinics and getting information out to the Spokane Latino community. He is currently working for CHAS as a Community Health Worker Supervisor.
La Prensa Bilingue
Maria Gaines, is a long time Spokanite, originally from Panama, City Panama. She has been an advocate for issues pertaining to local Latinoamericanos and is the owner of the local Spanish/English newspaper La Prensa Bilingüe. Co-founder El Centro Resource Center, Entrepreneur, Business Development. Network planning with various community business, educational, community agencies. Event Organizer. She is enthusiastic to continue being an advocate for the community as part of Latinos En Spokane (LES) Board of Directors.
Maria Guadalupe Gutierrez
Maria Guadalupe Gutierrez is Community Comadre and advocate for Latino and immigrant families. She moved to Spokane in 1991 and has worked in our community as a caregiver, paralegal, and a community advocate. Guadalupe is passionate about giving back and helping others. Since 2019 she has worked with Latinos En Spokane helping connect community members local resources, Census outreach, voter registration, immigration and legal process, and a major advocate for COVID-19 vaccine outreach. She is very knowledgeable on court and immigration processes. In addition to her work with Latinos En Spokane she is also a Sunday school teacher at St. Joseph’s Church.
LeS Board President
Maura Ruiz started at CSF as a College Preparatory Advisor for Lewis & Clark High School, Spokane WA in 2016 and transitioned within CSF as a Program Manager for the Spokane region. Her previous experience in the field of higher education includes working extensively with the onboarding of incoming first-year students and their families at Eastern Washington University and working with foster youth in Child Protective Services for the state of Idaho. Maura holds a graduate degree in Social Work from Eastern Washington University and undergraduate degrees in Spanish and Interdisciplinary Studies from Central Washington University. As a school-based advisor with CSF, Maura has consistently used her first-generation student lens to provide many high school students with the necessary resources and supports to help hundreds of students successfully navigate their college transition after graduating high school. Maura is a dog-mom who enjoys podcasts, binging Netflix and listening to music in her personal time. She is also volunteers her time as a the presidential Board member to Latinos en Spokane and is a member of Spokane’s Hispanic Business Association as well as a volunteer with Hospice of Spokane.
Margarita Rosas Janes
LeS Board Secretary
I was born in Guadalajara Jalisco, Mexico where I attended the University of Guadalajara
and graduated as a Public Accountant and Auditor. I came to the United States when I married an American. Due to my husband's work, I have had the opportunity to live in various parts of this country. I decided to return to the University and graduated as a Spanish Teacher. My first job as a Spanish teacher was in Educational District 101 in Spokane. I was the first teacher to teach Spanish by television to Middle School students. Following that, I taught Spanish at Gonzaga University, Whitworth and at Eastern Washington University, as well as at Ferris H. S., Lewis and Clark H S., and West Valley H.S. I have also done volunteer work at kindergartens, elementary schools, and Unitarian Church and now, Latinos in Spokane.
Latinos en Spokane Vice President
Martin Martinez-Negrete is a DACA recipient that has been involved in the fight for justice, dignity, and respect for communities of color Communities since 2011. Growing up undocumented, in poverty, and living in the shadows gave him the strength to find community and fight back.
Most of Martin’s work has been centralized around immigrant rights but has also been involved in economic justice, education equity, Digital Equity, and youth development for higher education. He’s had the opportunity to work both at a local and national level and has been involved with organizations like Movimiento Estudiantil Chicanx de Aztlan, Washington Immigrant Solidarity Network, United We Dream, Equity in Education Coalition, and many others.
Alex is a father, husband and dog dad. He was born in Guatemala and immigrated to the United States when he was 10 years old. Alex works towards creating inclusive and vibrant communities that celebrate diversity. Alex has experience in the food industry and non-profit advocacy work with a focus on immigrant and minority populations. For the past 7 years Alex has worked in government roles with Migrant Seasonal Farmworkers, Civil Rights, neighborhood services in lower income communities, and currently as the Manager of Equity and Inclusion Initiatives at Spokane City Council.
Owner of Marandos Restaurant