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Staff

Gina Larios

Lori Connell

Administrative Assistant

Administrative Assistant

Administrative Assistant

Gina Larios began her academic career at the American School in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, where she had the privilege of receiving a bilingual education. She graduated in 1999 from a private university, "José Cecilio del Valle" with a Degree in Graphic Design. Since that time she has been employed by Metromedia, GBM and New Horizons; the last two as a computer instructor. She was also the Executive Secretary to former First Lady Aguas Ocaña and was most recently the Administrative Assistant for the Interamerican Restoration Corporation (IRC)/Torch Mission. Gina joined the Mi Esperanza Staff officially in September of 2007. 
 
Gina's heart has been involved for many years in volunteer efforts to serve her people. She works closely alongside her parents where they direct a non-profit organization, Cadena de Amor (Chain of Love), which is involved in medical-dental missions. She volunteers in projects with the organization and serves on their board. 

I am grateful for the opportunity to be working for the Mi Esperanza Project and to be granted another opportunity to help serve my people in the land that I love.

Mario Martinez

Lori Connell

Program Manager

Program Manager

Program Manager

Mario was born in San Pedro Sula Cortes. He has two children, Esther and Albert. Mario and his children currently live in Santa Ana, Honduras.

Mario graduated from ITEE in 2000 as a computer technician. After graduation he received a job from the company he interned with in school and was very happy to receive that job. After 2 years with the company, Mario moved to New York and then to New Orleans where he worked as a carpenter. In 2005 hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and Mario lost everything. In 2007 he moved to Mandeville, LA and met the son of Mi Esperanza co-founder Janet Hines. After meeting Richard and Janet, Mario heard about the work of Mi Esperanza in his home country. In 2011 Mario returned to Honduras, and in August of that year started working for Mi Esperanza.  Mario is married and has 2 children.

We are all very excited to have Mario as part of our staff. Mario oversees the daily operation of the Mi Esperanza program with excellence and is managing the current expansion of the beauty school. 

Thank God for Mi Esperanza’s staff and board members. May the Lord continue to give you strength to help women in Honduras.

Alana Neptune

Lori Connell

Alana Neptune has volunteered with Mi Esperanza for several years, and has now moved to Honduras to works as our Production Manager. She works directly with our artisans in our jewelry studio and sewing maquilla, overseeing the communication and production of goods for our partners in hope.  

Getting to know these women and work along side of them is a true blessing. I have the privilege of witnessing their lives change through education, empowerment, and employment. Watching hope blossom in the hearts of our women fuels my passion every day.

Alana is from Morgantown, West Virginia and has been volunteering in Honduras with several different organizations for many years. She studied Latin American Culture and Spanish at a bilingual university in Nicaragua, and has graduated with a degree in International Development from West Virginia University. Alana has a passion for serving the country of Honduras and continues to volunteer with other organizations in her spare time. 

Production Manager

Production Manager

María Cecilia Osorto

Lori Connell

Sewing Instructor 

María "Cecilia" Osorto was born in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. She graduated high school at Vicente Caceres Institute and continued her studies at Salomon Academy of Styles. She got a degree in Sewing, Tailor, and as a Dressmaker. Cecilia is a widow and has 3 sons: Alex, Jesus and Elvis. In 1999 she met Janet Hines at Baxter Institute where Cecilia was a student in Janet's quilting course.   In 2003 Cecilia was hired by Mi Esperanza as the sewing instructor when the training school began.  Her work with Mi Esperanza gave her the resources to see all of her boys through school.  Cecilia also has a small workshop in her home where she teaches and makes clothes for clients that she began through a loan from the Mi Esperanza micro-loan program.  She thanks God everyday for the opportunity and for the people she works with at Mi Esperanza.

Paola Martinez

Lori Connell

Beauty Instructor/Personal Skills Instructor

Beauty Instructor

Beauty Instructor

Jensy Paola Espinal Martinez graduated from Mi Esperanza’s beauty school in 2009 and started a beauty salon in a small section of her house. Throughout 2010 and 2011, Paola grew her salon business and was able to achieve every goal she set out to accomplish in regards to her salon, including legally naming it PAO PAO (Pow Pow). She also agreed to offer her salon as a location for Mi Esperanza students to fulfill their internships.

In February 2012, Paola joined the Mi Esperanza staff as our beauty school instructor, teaching a morning and an afternoon class three times a week. Her salon is doing amazingly well, and she schedules the Mi Esperanza classes around her salon hours. Additionally, she was able to buy a car using a micro-loan from Mi Esperanza so that she can move more effectively between her two jobs and can travel to her clients’ homes with her salon business. Paola is a great addition to the Mi Esperanza family because her story helps Mi Esperanza students see that the education and training Mi Esperanza provides, combined with hard work, results in hope, empowerment, opportunity and success.

I continued to stay actively involved with the Mi Esperanza program in order to be an inspiration to others. I also wanted to give back to the organization that helped me.


Glenda Suyapa Hernandez

Lori Connell

Sewing Instructor - Santa Ana School

Sewing Instructor

Sewing Instructor

Glenda Suyapa Hernandez was born in Santa Barbara in November 1970.  She started taking sewing classes when she was 11 years old, at that age she dreamed of being a clothing designer and hiring as many women as she could to help them financially.
She has four kids, Roger, Erick and Brayan and Valentina who was born in 2013 with severe birth defects. 

To be a Mi Esperanza sewing instructor has been a blessing from God, because I been able to pay for my kids’ high school. Roger graduated last year, Erick will graduate this year, and Brayan is in high school. My daughter needs extensive medical care and my work at Mi Esperanza helps me provide that for her. I’ve been able to buy sewing machines so I can work at home, which for me is priceless. I have designed several wedding dresses.

On behalf of my students, I would like to thank you for the opportunity that Mi Esperanza gives to the Santa Ana community with these sewing classes.

I thank God for The Mi Esperanza Project, and thanks to all of you who made it possible.


Sindy "Mariela" Varela

Lori Connell

computer instructor

computer instructor

Mariela is a Tegucigalpa native.  She is 23 years old and has a 3 year old son, Gabriele Alejandro who she says is "her greatest blessings"  

Mariela studied at the Institute of Yavi Nissi and graduated with a bachelors degree in computer sciences.  Before coming to work for Mi Esperanza Mariela worked for Honduvision.   Mariela first worked for Mi Esperanza in 2013 when she filled in for one semester while our instructor was completing her university internship requirement.  In 2015 when the teaching positioned opened full time she was happy to accept the job.

With this new opportunity with Mi Esperanza Mariela is pursuing continued education in the area of medicine and english.  Mariela is excited to have a job that is more suited to her life as a mother and allows her more time with her son. 

Aracely Valasquez

Lori Connell

center support staff

center support staff

Aracely is our center support employee.  She is a graduate of our computer class and came to work for us in 2014.  She started by volunteering her time helping us organize our sewing maquila while she waited for her daughter to finish school each day.  She soon proved herself a huge asset to our team and we brought her on as a paid employee.  Aracely serves in many capacities  from office support staff, sewing maquila support staff to our resident fabric stamp artisian.  Aracely is married and has one daughter, Xermaina.  Her top priority is her daughters education.  With her job at Mi Esperanza she has been able to enroll Xermaina in private school for which she is so proud.