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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.

Aurora Romero

Lori Connell

Production Manager

Production Manager

Production Manager

“I feel truly blessed to be part of Mi Esperanza. Working for women in my country is a privilege. Offering them more opportunities and hope is a beautiful commitment.”

Aurora Romero graduated with a business degree from UNITEC University. Her first job was as a restaurant manager, where she discovered how much she enjoyed teamwork and serving people. She has also been a credit manager at COFINOL and an elementary school teacher at various schools where she discovered her passion for teaching and training others. She is currently enrolled at the Universidad Pedagógica Francisco Morazán, pursuing a new degree, this time in basic education. 

As a bilingual professional, she has been part of the North Carolina based organization, Live Again Ministries, serving as a translator during in country mission trips for 16 consecutive years. 

Reina Viera

Lori Connell

Sewing Maquila Manager & Sewing Instructor

Sewing Maquila Manager & Sewing Instructor 

Sewing Maquila Manager & Sewing Instructor 

"This organization is like a blessing because I have received so much. I have had a job for very many years now, thanks to Mi Esperanza."

Reina is a great example of what our organization is working for.  Twelve years ago she came to Mi Esperanza as a student and started working in the sewing shop, showing her abilities and high quality work. When a supervisor´s position was open, Reina was the right choice.

Since January 2017 she has been in charge of guiding the artisans that work in the sewing Maquila.  Her talents are also applied in the sewing school. She is very proud and enthusiastic with her first experience as a teacher, having the opportunity to train and inspire other women.

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.


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

Textile hand printing artisan and center support staff.

Textile hand printing artisan and center support staff.

Aracely is our center support employee.  She is a graduate of our computer class in 2013 and came to work at Mi Esperanza in 2014.

Because her daughter's school was so far from home she did not have the resources or time to travel back and forth by bus each day. She began volunteering her time helping us organize our sewing maquila while she waited for her daughter to finish school.   She soon proved herself a huge asset to our team and we brought her on as a paid employee. Aracely serves in many capacities; office support staff, sewing maquila support staff, she helps in the on-site store and is our textile hand printing artisan.  She is always ready to learn something new and expand her talents.

 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/bilingual school for which she is so proud.  Aracely often speaks of her gratitude to Mi Esperanza for giving her the opportunity to work and provide a better education for her daughter knowing it will make the difference for Xermaina's future.