about us
mission, history, and our incredible team

mission

To create opportunities and programs that  promote education, health, and quality of life for the Latino community in Boulder County.

history

In January 2001,

people began meeting to discuss development of an immigrants rights center in Boulder.

The result of those discussions was the formation of AMISTAD, a non-profit organization.

Since then, AMISTAD has become a a place for immigrants to learn about and further their rights.

Our incredible team

(we feel lucky)

Elena Aranda

Director of Wellness, Health & Education

Elena Aranda has worked tirelessly to fulfill the Compañeras program’s mission of promoting the wellbeing of women; enhancing their quality of life while expanding access to educational and cultural programs, developing political consciousness and collectively mobilizing social justice actions. Compañeras works with primarily Spanish speaking women to promote and strengthen a cultural solidarity with an emphasis on companionship, respect, equality and mutual support. For the past 10 years the Compañeras program has held an annual summit that attract hundreds of women and youth. It is unique in our community as the only summit by women for women who speak Spanish. In addition to her work with Compañeras, Elena has been a Parent-Infant Specialist in the Community Infant Program at Boulder Mental Health Partners for 21 years. Elena is a powerful leader in the Boulder community who has gained a reputation for compassion while garnering widespread respect for her professionalism and energy. 

Jorge De Santiago

Executive Director

Jorge De Santiago, originally from Guadalajara, Mexico moved to Boulder in 1988. Since that time he has been engaged with and supported Latino families in Boulder County where he found an opportunity to volunteer as a soccer coach and Mexican folklore dance instructor.  He has worked on policy changes that benefit Latino Immigrant's at the National, State and Local level. He currently serves as a Board of Health Member at Boulder County Public Health. One of his passions is to coach soccer to kids, he holds a National Soccer D License. With 15 years experience has been a competitive Premier Soccer Coach in Colorado at Nova FC, Boulder Athletic FC, FC Boulder, Rush Colorado, St. Vrain FC, Rapids Soccer Club.

Susan Motika

Board Member

Susan Motika is a Colorado native who has focused her career on community-driven policy work on social justice issues.  She is currently the Director of Strategic Initiatives at Boulder County Public Health where she has focused on health equity, community engagement and public health law strategies to address the social determinants of health.  Early in her career, Susan worked as a journalist reporting on the gentrification of Boston's inner city neighborhoods; she was also a community organizer in Boston's public housing projects.  After attending Northeastern University School of Law, Susan worked as a housing and employment lawyer at Greater Boston Legal Services and then as an Assistant Attorney General. Susan returned to Colorado with her family to work for then-District Attorney Bill Ritter as the director of the community Justice unit where she helped develop juvenile restorative justice programs and a community court.  Susan served as a director of the Making Connections initiative --  a 10 year investment by the Annie E. Casey Foundation designed to improve civic engagement, economic security, and early childhood education in four Denver neighborhoods.  For the last seven years, Susan has been committed to public health -- as the law and policy manager and healthy eating and active living manager for the state health department and in her current role with Boulder County Public Health.  Susan is married to Richard Cauchi and they have one son, Thomas, who is currently in the Peace Corps. 

Dr. Edilberto Cano Rodriguez

Board President

Dr. Edilberto Cano Rodriguez currently serves as the English Language Development and Biliteracy Director for Adams County School District 14 . He obtained his Doctorate of Philosophy from the University of Colorado, Boulder and currently serves as an adjunct professor for the School of Education´s Educational Equity and Cultural Diversity department. Dr. Cano was born in Veracruz, Mexico and has been working education for over 20 years.  His family is bicultural and bilingual.

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