Dulce Ortiz joined Mano a Mano as Executive Director in April 2019. She is responsible for leading the Mano a Mano team in the implementation of our mission through planning, programming and community engagement. She also plays a key role in the development of strategic community partnerships and leads our policy advocacy agenda. Dulce has been actively involved with the non-profit sector and has dedicated her time to serve as a Board Member of different environmental, health and government organizations in Lake County.
Before joining Mano a Mano, Dulce spent seventeen years at the Waukegan Township, in several different positions more recently as the Human Resources Manager. In her time at the township, Dulce gained diverse experiences in organizational management and community programs, as well as a deep understanding of community needs. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Robert Morris University. Dulce is an advocate for the underserved and vulnerable population, and she brings her expertise and drive to help immigrant families with opportunities so they can integrate into American life. She is bilingual (English/Spanish) and originally from Mexico City, Mexico.
Celeste Flores, Director of Community Building, joined Mano a Mano as the Director of Community Building in Jan 2021. She is responsible for the development and implementation of community advocacy. She oversees the community outreach and benefits programing along with the communication department of Mano a Mano. Celeste is the child of immigrant parents. She was born and raised in Lake County, Illinois, and has been a lifelong member of Most Blessed Trinity Parish.
Before joining Mano a Mano, Celeste spent six years working in the environmental justice movement in several different positions, most recently as the Lake County Outreach Director at Faith in Place. Celeste’s work with frontline community members has drawn national attention to the environmental injustices associated with corporate polluters in Lake County. As Co-Chair of Clean Power Lake County, she has built strong relationships with various coalition partners and elected officials. Celeste has continually championed the need for environmental justice and frontline communities to be part of conversations that shape the policy decisions that will work towards an equitable clean energy future. Most recently, in 2020, Celeste was the guest of Senator Tammy Duckworth for the State of the Union address. She was a recipient of the 2020 Energy News Network 40 under 40 awards.
Celeste holds a bachelor's degree in History and Theology from Bellarmine University. She looks forward to bringing her skills and knowledge to Mano a Mano where she can work for systemic changes that will eliminate barriers for immigrant families in Lake and McHenry Counties, enable immigrants to participate fully in their communities, and advocate for a path to citizenship for all.
Carla Rosales, Director of Operations,has been with the organization for nearly a decade. Carla is responsible for the oversight of all agency facilities, financial management, relationship with all outside vendors, and all supportive services such as childcare and reception.
Originally from Michoacán Mexico, Carla is a graduate of Round Lake High School and holds an Office Administrator certificate from the College of Lake County. Carla is proud to be a part of Mano a Mano because she enjoys helping other people and being a part of her community.
Astrid Martinez, Program Manager, joined Mano a Mano in November 2017. She oversees the Healthy Families and Successful Children programs. Astrid is the daughter of immigrant parents from Guatemala and they have lived in the Round Lake Area for the past 20 years.
Astrid received her Bachelors degree in Speech and Hearing Science with a minor in Spanish, followed by her Masters in Bilingual/Bicultural Education. She spent 7 years as a Teaching Assistant for English Language Learners and Special Education programs at Round Lake Area Schools. She comes to Mano a Mano with a great passion for equity in education and health to help the immigrant population specifically to educate and provide resources in order to help them develop into valuable and skilled community members.
Joanna Jaimes, Program Manager, joined Mano a Mano in March 2020. She oversees the Engaged Citizens and Productive Parents programs. She is a first generation college graduate, and grew up in Vernon Hills. She is passionate about social justice and serving the immigrant community in Lake County.
Before joining Mano a Mano, she completed her social work practicum at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in D.C. Joanna brings a wide range of research and data analysis skills to Mano a Mano. Joanna received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Social Work degrees from Calvin University. She holds a Master of Social Work degree with a concentration in social policy and evaluation from the University of Michigan.
Diana Guttierez, Health Education and Outreach Program Manager, joined the team in 2012. Currently, she oversees the Community Health Education and Outreach Program. She has a background in medicine and public health as a former medical practitioner, professor and researcher in Mexico.
Diana has worked extensively with Community Health Workers or Promotoras de Salud, both in Mexico and the U.S and is responsible for the coordination of the Lake County Community Health Workers Partnership, whose mission is to improve health literacy and navigation for medically under-served and at-risk populations in Lake County through building capacity and utilization of Community Health Workers. Diana also develops community partnerships with other organizations. Diana is originally from Mexico, and is bilingual in English and Spanish.