Meet Our Team
Director of Program Development and Research
Alma holds a Ph.D. in Public Health from Oregon State University, an MPH from New Mexico State University, and is trained as a Clinical Dietitian in her native Mexico. At Casa Latinos Unidos, Alma directs the OHA Healthier Oregon project, which involves providing health care navigation support and OHP enrollment to individuals and families of the Latinx community. Additionally, Alma supports the development of new programs and projects, participates in grant writing, and coordinates the organization’s internal evaluation processes. Alma brings to CLU her experience in qualitative research and evaluation and in exploring and understanding the intersection of health and social identities. While she’s not working, she enjoys reading, learning about her ancestors’ culture, and collecting family recipes and stories.
Angelica was born and raised in Colombia, holds a B. A. degree in Business Administration from EAFIT University in Medellin and a Master’s degree in Personal Development and Leadership from the University of Barcelona, and completed a one-semester internship in London. At Casa Latinos Unidos, Angelica coordinates the organization’s outreach and social media activities, and manages the volunteering and fundraising programs. Before that, she spent a year and a half with the Corvallis Multicultural Literacy Center as the Marketing and Social Media Coordinator. In her free time she enjoys spending quality time with her family, going to the beautiful parks and the Oregon coast as well as studying about healthy habits and self-care.
Community Researcher, Youth and Leadership Projects
Gustavo was born and raised in Corvallis, OR. The first in his family to complete college, he has a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Health (Health Management and Policy option), minoring in Human Development and Family Sciences. He became involved with CLU as an intern in the summer of 2022. His role shifted towards co-coordinating a youth-led project for Corvallis-area high school students during the academic year, known as Youth en Acción. 11 Students worked together to identify issues within schools, and collected research, which they presented to Oregon Health Authority’s Youth Advisory Council. Gustavo’s free time usually includes staying physically active, in the form of running, basketball, biking, weight lifting, in addition to spending quality time with family and friends.
Community Health Worker and Family Empowerment Coordinator
Born in Michoacán México, Jessica immigrated to Corvallis, Oregon at the age of 4, where she was raised by her parents and grew up with two younger siblings. Committed to helping and serving others, she has volunteered with different organizations such as 4-H, Southside Summer school, Regence memory care facility, and other school programs. Jessica aspires to one day play a role in policy-making to facilitate navigation of the medical system for minority groups. At Casa Latinos Unidos, she appreciates the opportunity to work closely with her community by providing support and wraparound services.
Community Health Worker, Lead Healthier Oregon CHW
Jose Mendoza is originally from Oaxaca, Mexico and immigrated to the United State at the age of 12. He is majoring in Psychology at Oregon State University and has an Associate’s degree in the same from Linn Benton Community College. Starting at Casa Latinos Unidos as a volunteer, he knew from the first day that he wanted to pursue a career with the organization. In his free time, Jose enjoys hiking and playing board games with family and friends. He especially loves to travel to see different waterfalls around Oregon. Jose works in the OHA Healthier Oregon project, providing system navigation and Oregon Health Plan enrollment support to individuals from the Latinx community.
Karina Ruiz Lopez
Community Health Worker
Karina Ruiz Lopez is originally from Oaxaca, Mexico and grew up in Oregon since the age of 6. She graduated in 2023 with a Masters in Public Health with a specialization in epidemiology, from Oregon State University. At Casa Latinos Unidos, Karina provides wraparound support to individuals and families needing assistance to navigate the system of services. Her personal upbringing and experiences as an immigrant motivate her to give back and improve the health and livelihood of communities of color. In her free time, Karina enjoys dancing, cooking and spending quality time with her family and friends. Karina is a detailed-oriented community health worker, always careful to give a satisfactory resolution to the clients’ requests for assistance.
Community Health Worker, Lead Youth, Leadership, and Arts Projects
Keiri Lopez (ella,ellas) is originally from Michoacán, Mexico, she immigrated at the age of 3 to Albany, Oregon. Growing up, Keiri played a variety of sports and loved to volunteer. She volunteered at 4-H, church, Samaritan Hospital, First Hands Seconds boutique, and more. It’s important for her to stay connected to her roots, which led Kieri to join a Folklorico dance group in Albany. Her pride is in her culture that is loving, joyful, and hardworking. Growing up, Keiri was encouraged by Latinx leaders to follow her dreams and aspirations by building confidence in her own leadership capacity. Keiri coordinates youth, arts, storytelling, and leadership development projects.
Ricardo is originally from Chile, where he graduated with a B.A. in Sociocultural Anthropology. Fascinated by the application of the anthropological perspective to the design and implementation of social and cultural programs, Ricardo came to the United States to study Applied Anthropology, having graduated with an M.A. and Ph.D. in the field at the University of South Florida. He joined the Casa Latinos Unidos Board of Directors in 2017, having held the Board Chair office for three years. He became the organization’s Interim Executive Director in November 2021, taking the permanent position in February 2022. Ricardo is proud of the CLU team and feels lucky for the opportunity of partnering with so many supportive organizations in Linn and Benton Counties.
Administrative Manager and Community Health Worker
Born in Corvallis, Oregon, and a first generation college graduate, Susan has an Associate’s degree in Business Administration from Linn Benton Community College, and Bachelor’s degrees in Management and Business Information Systems from Oregon State University. As Administrative Manager, Susan manages the office and handles human resources and bookkeeping matters. She is a certified Community Health Worker and has extensive experience in providing wraparound support to the Latinx community. In high school, Susan volunteered with The Boys and Girls Club of Corvallis and later became active with Oregon 4-H Outreach Leadership Institute, where she was able to reconnect with her Mexican roots. In her spare time, Susan enjoys sitting at a big table surrounded by her family and food.
Engagement and Community Building Coordinator
Yanci is originally from El Salvador and has been an Oregon resident for ten years. She has a B.A. Degree in Human Development and Family Sciences from Oregon State University (Honors) with a minor in Psychology. Previously, Yanci graduated with an Associates degree in the same from Linn Benton Community College. Yanci is grateful to be part of Casa Latinos Unidos and to be able to help the Latinx community as the coordinator of the CLU Community Building programmatic area.
Yesenia De Rodríguez
Community Health Worker and Program Coordinator at Colonia Paz
Yesenia was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, and came to Oregon in 1996. She is married, has two daughters, and is the oldest of four sisters. Yesenia serves in her church and enjoys being part of a group that shares her faith. She works full-time for the Lebanon School District, at the Welcome Center Department, and works part time for Casa Latinos Unidos (CLU), at the Colonia Paz affordable housing complex as a certified community health worker. At CLU, Yesenia coordinates an inter-agency collaborative that provides services and brings resources to Colonia Paz residents, as well as supports families needing support to access resources. Yesenia enjoys being with her family and spending time with her sisters and their families.