Jairo Guzman


Founder and president of the Mexican Coalition for the Empowerment of Youth and Families, Inc. and co-founder of the Mexican Coalition for Youth and Families, A.C. in Mexico. Prior to this assignment, Mr. Guzman worked at Mi Casa es Puebla, Inc. where he was hired by the government of the state of Puebla, Mexico to help establish work in the non-profit sector, New York City government agencies and NYS OTDA. Mr. Guzman remains a committed advocate for the protection of child and family rights, and the opportunity for all New Yorkers to have a better life, especially in immigrant communities. He was brought from Mexico at the age of 12 and knows firsthand the immigrant experience, the challenges and rewards that that experience makes possible.

Claudia Urey

Director of Global Operations

A life of public service has always been important to Claudia, Director of Global Operations for the Mexican Coalition. In this position, she leads strategic alliances with universities in Central America and Mexico, manages the Mexican Coalition’s cross-cultural internship program, and collaborates with professors and students abroad. She trains and places interns and professional volunteers in key organizational roles at the Mexican Coalition, from legal services to preventive health services.

Board of Directors

Maria Josephena Saldana

Professor María Josefina Saldaña-Portillo, Department of Social and Cultural Analysis and the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at New York University. María's latest book, Indian Given: Racial Geographies across Mexico and the United States (Duke UP 2016) received the 2019 Casa de las Americas Literary Award for Latino Studies; the 2017 ASA John Hope Franklyn Book Award for best book in American Studies; and the 2017 NACCS Book Award for best book in Chicana and Chicano Studies. Saldaña has published over twenty-five articles on revolution, subaltern politics, indigenous peoples, racial formation, migration, and Latin American and Latino cultural studies. Saldaña's most recent article, "The Violence of Citizenship in Refugee Creation: The United States and Central America" explores the integral role of labor and gendered violence in Mara economies (Social Text 141: 1-22). Saldaña is a volunteer and expert witness on asylum cases in Central America with international immigration legal aid agencies.

Norma Fuentes Mayorga

Norma Fuentes-Mayorga is an Assistant Professor of Sociology, Latin American and Latino Studies at the City College of New York (CUNY). Her current research documents the growing immigration of college-educated, Afro-Caribbean and indigenous women from the Dominican Republic and Mexico to the United States; their opportunities for mobility in life in New York City; and the contributions they make to the education of the daughters left behind. This is the subject of her next book, to be published (2021) by Rutgers University Press. A second project documents the educational mobility of immigrant daughters in New York City and Amsterdam (Netherlands) as part of a larger international study, supported by the Social Science Research Councils, examining the impact of the health pandemic on the housing and work integration of fragile Latino families. Her comparative work has been published in the United States, Latin America, and Europe, including in the Annual Review of Sociology; Latino Studies; and Research Papers in Education.

Ramon M. Guerra

Ramon is the founder and manager of the law firm of Ramon M. Guerra, an immigration law firm based in Long Island City, Queens, serving the immigrant communities of New York City, Long Island and New Jersey. The firm is a full-service immigration law firm that handles cases involving family petitions, deportation relief, and business visas. Ramón is also very involved in the immigrant community as an activist fighting for the rights of immigrants. Guerra is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), which is the largest organization of lawyers in the United States defending the rights of immigrants nationally. He is also a frequent commentator on Univision as an immigration legal analyst and has made presentations at numerous CLE and public speaking events discussing immigration legal and policy issues.

Cecilia Lopez Santiesteban

Cecilia López Santiesteban joins the Board of Directors of the Mexican Coalition with more than 6 years of professional experience in immigration work and many more years of commitment to highly vulnerable communities in several states of the United States. Cecilia has deep roots in the Mexican community and in the Latin towns of Latin America that call New York City her home. His personal connection with immigrant communities, his polished academic career and his commitment to social justice will strengthen the work of the Board of Directors and the Mexican Coalition. Cecilia is a supervisory lawyer at Immigrant Justice Corps; before that she worked at Fragoman, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP, Catholic Charities Community Services, and the American University Washington College of Law, among other institutions.

Israel Duran

Israel Duran was born and raised in Mexico, in the state of Michoacán. He graduated medical school from the Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo in Morelia. Following a medical internship in Hermosillo, Sonora and social service work in Churintzio, Michoacan, Duran chose to continue his medical career in the United States. He has worked closely with the hispanic community in various roles, including as a medical assistant at a pediatrics clinic in Washington Heights, volunteering at health fairs organized by the the Dominican Medical Association throughout New York City and New Jersey, and working closely with the Mexican Coalition on matters of health and wellness. In the early days of the pandemic, Duran worked with state and city agencies conducting nasal swab tests at a drive-through facility in the Bronx. Later, he administered the life-saving vaccines which began to bring infections under control. Duran has worked in medical research at Mt. Sinai Health System, SUNY Downstate Medical Center and, currently, is a clinical research associate at Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx. In July 2023, Duran begins his medical residency in Internal Medicine at Brookdale Hospital and Medical Center in Brooklyn.

Ingrid Sotelo

Ingrid Sotelo is the Director of Community Outreach for Union Settlement. Ms. Sotelo's parents arrived here from Mexico in 1988, and they worked hard to build a good life for their three children. Ingrid attended the Young Women’s Leadership School of East Harlem, and was the first member of her family to enroll in college, graduating from Marymount College in 2010 and pursuing her Master’s in Public Administration from Marxe School of Public and International Affairs, Baruch College. Her keen interest in government led her to serve in public service for State Senator Jose M. Serrano, Manhattan Borough President’s office, NYC Comptroller’s Office and NYC Census 2020.