Staff

Ricardo Perez, Executive Director Ricardo is the Executive Director of the Hispanic Affairs Project, HAP and a founder member of this organization in 2006. He has over twenty five years of experience working as a community organizer and leadership development trainer for community projects and social justice institutions in El Salvador, Guatemala and the United States. Ricardo was born in El Salvador where he participated in the social movement. Before coming to the USA, he worked for 8 years as a Technical Coordinator in local/regional projects working on national reconstruction. He gained a great deal of experience in municipal government, public administration and program implementation for social, economic, infrastructural and environmental projects. His educational background includes a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy and a Master’s Degree in the Latin-American Theology with other studies in social planning, social research methodology, popular education and local sustainable development. In 2011, he received the Immigrant Liberty Award from Colorado Chapter of the America Immigration Lawyer Association, AILA for his commitment to the immigrant rights movement. Currently, he collaborates with other regional, state and national boards and committees working for social justice.
  
  Marketa ZubkovaMarketa Zubkova, DOJ Accredited Immigration Legal Representative Marketa comes from the Czech Republic and she has been enjoying her life in the mountains of Crested Butte for more than a decade. Her primary role with HAP is to provide immigration legal assistance to low income families as a BIA Accredited Immigration Legal Representative. She has been a HAP leader since the beginning of the organization working with the immigrant population in Gunnison. She is currently the President of local immigrant committee Inmigrantes Unidos de Gunnison which she helped found in 2006. In her work she has focused on diversity of the immigrant population and immigrant integration. She has done an extensive research about the Cora Indians, an indigenous group from Nayarit living in Western Colorado, and their integration as a minority culture. Marketa is also a member of HAP team that visits H2A visa sheepherders in the isolated areas in the mountains and provides them not only with food and other necessary resources but with other valuable things such as friendship and human contact. Marketa holds a Magister of Czech & English Philology degree from the Palacky University, a Bachelor of Arts in to Spanish from Western State Colorado University and a Master of Arts in Cultural Studies with Emphasis on Latin America from Prescott College. In 2012 she received HAP’s John Kiernan award for solidarity and commitment to the immigrant community. In 2013 she received the 8th Immigrant Liberty Award from Colorado Chapter of the America Immigration Lawyer Association for her extensive volunteer work with the immigrant community and the outreach with H2A range workers.

 

Please click on BIA to learn more about our immigration legal assistance program 

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Elisa Rodriguez Mejia

Elisa Rodriguez Mejia, Community Advocate.Elisa earned a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Minot State University. Elisa was born and raised in Mèxico. Elisa is in tandem with the struggles of the immigrant community, for she is a first-generation immigrant herself.  She moved to Montrose Colorado in the late 1990’s. Her primary role with Hispanic Affairs Project (HAP) is to be a Community Advocate and provide Sexual Awareness and Prevention Against Sexual Violence, Domestic Violence, and Human Trafficking awareness and preventative measures. Elisa and her husband volunteered for HAP from 2006 to 2012. They were active members and key leaders who helped HAP find success in the project’s early stages. They moved to North Dakota for five years and now have returned to Montrose, a place they call home. During Elisa’s time in North Dakota she had the privilege of meeting, working, and studying about the Native American population. She learned about their culture, values, customs, and centuries of struggles. In 2016, Elisa was elected President of the Native American Club (NAC) at Minot State University. Elisa helped the NAC club organize the annual Powwow and volunteered numerous hours. She also helped recruit and organize other Native American events at Minot State University. During her time in North Dakota she visited Standing Rock and witnessed the oppression, prejudice, and racism towards those who were here prior to any other people. While in North Dakota, she volunteered for Saint Leo’s, a local church serving hot meals to less fortunate people. Elisa volunteered for several months for the Minot Domestic Violence Crisis Center/Shelter and became aware of the physical, psychological, emotional, and social impacts and distress that battered women endure and their children. One of her goals is to create awareness and preventive measures to end with the domestic violence culture.Elisa also volunteered for North Dakota Center for People with Disabilities (NDCPD) for two years and for the Cultural Diversity Advisory Committee (CDAC). One of the main focuses of this group is to communicate and understand the multiple diverse groups with disabilities and how as a diversity group we could contribute to teaching about other cultures, customs and different ways of understanding disabilities. Elisa fell in love with the work HAP does and decided to pursue a degree in Social Work. Elisa is excited to be able to apply the concepts and theories of social work to her work in several areas including, policy, communications, and human relations, just to name a few. Elisa is passionate about social justice, civil rights and human rights for all especially for underserved communities.