Our Staff

United States

Trevor Stevenson- Executive Director

Trevor has been leading experiential education initiatives for decades, and has trained many youth and adults on how to effectively address global and local environmental and social justice issues.  He has undergraduate degrees from Bates College in Environmental Studies and Sociocultural Psychology, a Master’s degree in Community Development and the Environment from Clark University, and additional certifications in effective nonprofit leadership and education strategy.  He lived in the Amazon rainforest and other regions of Latin America for many years, where he supported the work of communities that were confronting the major environmental and social impacts of globalization.   He served as the Executive Director of the Amazon Alliance, which coordinated training and intercultural exchange to help the leaders of international environmental organizations more effectively partner with indigenous communities.  He also worked in his hometown in Wyoming as Executive Director of the Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance, where he led trainings for leaders of environmental organizations and launched the “Conservation Leadership Institute” to teach young residents how to make a difference in their community.  Outside of work, Trevor teaches advanced martial arts classes as a way to train students to cultivate mental and physical resilience in the face of intense challenges in life.  Trevor is bilingual in English and Spanish, and has more basic abilities in several other languages. Contact Trevor at gro.y1508756408ssabm1508756408etned1508756408utsla1508756408bolg@1508756408nosne1508756408vetst1508756408

Jonathan Kaufman – Exchange Program Director

Born in Boston, Jonathan graduated from Oberlin College with a degree in Environmental Studies. His passion for local food has led him from farm work in rural Ohio, to directing a team working to increase food access in inner city Cleveland, to working as a sous-chef at a local/organic café. He’s lived in Ecuador and led service trips throughout the US as well as El Salvador, and Nicaragua. He believes strongly in the empowerment offered by small-scale agriculture and intercultural exchanges. Jonathan speaks Spanish and English. Contact Jonathan at gro.y1508756408ssabm1508756408etned1508756408utsla1508756408bolg@1508756408nahta1508756408noj1508756408

Jordan Shapiro – Travel and Outreach Manager 

Jordan is originally from Vermont and got her bachelor’s degree from the University of Rochester in History and International Relations and her master’s degree from Aberystwyth University in International Politics. A strong commitment to the environment drove her to help her parents run the first recycling business in her town and later to take courses on hydrology and biodiversity while at the University of Rochester. This expertise allowed her to complete an Americorps program with the Genesee Land Trust, a land preservation organization based in Rochester, New York. Her main academic focus is peace-keeping and for her master’s dissertation, designed a new model of conflict resolution based on cross cultural understanding and democratic representation. Jordan loves to travel and has lived in Wales, Denmark, and Russia. When not at work, she likes to cook, swim, and volunteer in her community. Jordan speaks English, Spanish, and some Russian. Contact Jordan at gro.y1508756408ssabm1508756408etned1508756408utsla1508756408bolg@1508756408nadro1508756408j1508756408

Julia Dorosh – Contra Costa Program Coordinator

Prior to joining GSE, Julia was Sustainability Program Coordinator at California State University Channel Islands, and an Environmental Youth Mentor/Educator with NOAA. As a youth mentor she provided students from a local middle school with an opportunity to explore and research their local intertidal zones. After graduating she interned with the Presidio National Park as an Environmental Education intern, and strengthened her passion for EE. There she was moved by the understanding that in heavily urbanized areas young people need a bit of a push to take a walk in the wild side and aims to provide the foundation to foster that passion in youth. She wants to pursue further her education and receive a Master’s Degree in EE.

Laura Robledo – Marin Program Coordinator 

Driven by a desire to ‘give back’ to her community in suburban Los Angeles, Laura Robledo initiated her career in urban agriculture as an undergrad at California State University Northridge. For over six years she has been working as an activist and organizer around issues of food justice and urban agriculture in the Northeast San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles. In 2009 Laura worked for a youth-driven nonprofit organization as coordinator of the Project Youth Green community garden with its 60 families. And in 2013 she built one of MEND’s-Meet Each Need with Dignity latest programs, the Grow Together Project, created to empower disadvantaged families to work towards self-reliance and greater food security through gardening. Having led the effort in providing 178 MEND families with home gardens, building a community of gardeners, volunteers and community partners, Laura finds growing food a way for people to connect with the environment and each other. Of Mexican origin, she also has strong cultural roots in agriculture. Laura is a Certified UC Master Gardener with a degree in Political Science. Contact Laura at gro.y1508756408ssabm1508756408etned1508756408utsla1508756408bolg@1508756408arual1508756408

Nick Coonrod – Santa Cruz Program Coordinator 

Nick has spent over six years in the environmental education and the interpretive field where he has led classes and workshops, supervised the care of wildlife, developed programs, and provided leadership to area schools and the public. He graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2010 with a degree in Environmental Studies.  After graduating, he taught at multiple outdoor schools and summer camps across the Southern California. In 2012 he began teaching practical science based recycling, zero waste, and water conservation courses to students in schools all over San Luis Obispo County. In 2015, he designed a green pathways program for 7th and 8th grade students focused on Salinas River Watershed rehabilitation, and getting students excited about environmental careers. In 2016, Nick is proud to bring his energy and enthusiasm to GSE so that he can continue to share his knowledge and love for the natural world. He has two cats, Pabu and Terra. Contact Nick at gro.y1508756408ssabm1508756408etned1508756408utsla1508756408bolg@1508756408kcin1508756408

Sarah Cadorette – Sonoma County Program Coordinator 

Born and raised in Minnesota, Sarah comes to the Bay Area after spending 10 years in Boston. She has a BA  in Travel Writing and Social Advocacy and an MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College, where she also lead a coalition of student groups to source more sustainable food in the dining halls on campus. She has worked in adult education for almost a decade, teaching ESL and rhetoric and composition, while also working as a community organizer around food justice and immigrants rights. Sarah has extensive environmental restoration and international development experience, having worked on reforestation projects and sustainable communities in India, Haiti and Costa Rica, and was most recently the administrative assistant for a prison garden education nonprofit. In her spare time, she writes essays on travel, sustainability and identity.

Ecuador

Ramon Cedeno Loor – Ecuador Program Director

Ramon (Moncho) has been a biology and chemistry teacher for ten years in Bahia de Caraquez. He has been conducting after-school youth-leadership, environmental education programs in partnership with the city of Bahia and Planet Drum Foundation for the past six years. Ramon’s lessons and interactions with students are exciting, dynamic and fun. Ramon is committed to environmental restoration and helping students realize their potential to impact the positive change they’d like to see in their local environment and community. Ramon has been a GSE staff member since December of 2010. Contact Ramon at gro.y1508756408ssabm1508756408etned1508756408utsla1508756408bolg@1508756408ohcno1508756408m1508756408

Cecilia Montesdeoca Álava Educational Programs Assistant & Trip Leader

Cecilia is a native Ecuadorian and was born in Calceta, a city in the province of Manabi. She grew up in a rural community called “Sarampión” and feels a strong connection to nature. She studied tourism at the university “ESPAM” in Calceta and was chosen to be an intern for Global Student Embassy based on her record for academic excellence in the “Mi Primer Empleo” program sponsored by the government of Ecuador. She has continued to work with GSE and has moved up from intern to Trip Leader. She is a passionate person in all that she does and every day is a challenge for her as she works to improve her English skills. She is happy to be part of the Global Student Embassy team and to work alongside other passionate people striving for positive change. Contact her at gro.y1508756408ssabm1508756408etned1508756408utsla1508756408bolg@1508756408ailic1508756408ec1508756408

Blas Cedeno Loor  Reforestation Manager

Blas is a proud Bahieño and has been involved with GSE’s Ecuador program from its beginnings. In 2015 he has become GSE’s reforestation manager and coordinates up to 20 Ecuadorian workers to plant, water and maintain the trees at the reforestation sites year-round. He enjoys learning lessons from nature and teaching students about the importance of reforestation, especially in the tropical dry forest. Working in GSE’s reforestation project has increased Blas’ environmental awareness and he hopes to pass this awareness on to his four children and the next generation of Bahieños.  Blas speaks Spanish. Contact Blas at moc.l1508756408iamg@1508756408rodau1508756408cetne1508756408dutsl1508756408abolg1508756408

Debbie Medina – Bahia Exchange Program Manager

Debbie was born and raised in New York of Peruvian origins. She began traveling at the age of 6 to Peru and it enlightened her to continue traveling and learning about different cultures. Her passion for traveling, human rights, and her Latina roots led her to earning her B.A. in International Relations in the Developing World Track with a minor in Latin American Studies from SUNY Geneseo in May of 2014. During her college career, Debbie studied abroad in Argentina, Buenos Aires, focusing on Urban Environmental Issues in Latin America. Once graduated, Debbie worked for the NY State Assembly as a Community Liaison in Brooklyn focusing on community organizing and urban social issues. She then shifted towards the international community and moved to Nicaragua. She lived there for over a year and a half working on grassroots development in the agriculture, education, IT, and medical sectors. She now joins us as the Exchange Program Manager for Bahía de Caraquez in Ecuador, excited to promote social change, cross-cultural experiences dedicated to the environment. You can email her at gro.y1508756408ssabm1508756408etned1508756408utsla1508756408bolg@1508756408anide1508756408md1508756408

David Mota De La ParraBahia, Ecuador Trip Coordinator

David believes connection with both people and nature is the key to social change, with this idea in mind he studied psychology in his native Mexico and later was granted a scholarship to study a Master degree in Culture and development studies in Belgium.
He has worked as a leader in projects in many countries around the world in topics related to cultural diversity, sustainability, community building and education. These experiences have only strengthened his conviction on the possibility of a profound positive change in societies when we take the time to listen to one another and build together. Through his work with GSE he wants to share this experience with young leaders. Contact him at gro.y1508756408ssabm1508756408etned1508756408utsla1508756408bolg@1508756408atomd1508756408

Rebeca RodriguezBahia Ecuador Trip Coordinator

Rebeca was born and raised in the small mountain town of Zarcero in Costa Rica. Her passions for traveling, hiking, nature, agriculture and education has led her to become a Trip Leader for GSE in Bahía. Prior to this new adventure she worked for Raleigh International as a International Volunteer Coordinator where she learned about social development projects and the importance of empowering young leaders. Rebeca received her BA in Eco-Tourism Management in November of 2016 and is now dedicating herself to thriving in this career working towards sustainable educational programming. You can contact Rebeca at gro.y1508756408ssabm1508756408etned1508756408utsla1508756408bolg@1508756408zeugi1508756408rdorr1508756408

Harlie RankinBahia, Ecuador Trip Coordinator

Harlie is originally from Southern California, but has lived in Washington State for the past 9 years and loves living in the Pacific Northwest. She graduated from Seattle University with a B.A. in Environmental Studies focusing on Urban Sustainability and minors in Spanish and Public Affairs. Throughout college, Harlie has spent her time working on multiple projects surrounding organic farmland preservation policies and completed her internship at an organic biodynamic farm outside of Seattle. She is passionate about organic agriculture, sustainable urban development, and reforestation efforts throughout Latin America. Harlie’s love of Latin America stems from the time she spent living in Nicaragua and attending Universidad Centroamericana. In her free time she enjoys attending music concerts, hiking, and trying new restaurants in Seattle. Harlie was a student with Global Student Embassy last year and is very excited to be living in Bahia de Caraquez and working as a trip leader sharing her spiritedness for environmental education and community action. Contact her at gro.y1508756408ssabm1508756408etned1508756408utsla1508756408bolg@1508756408nikna1508756408rh1508756408

Sara Miller – Cuenca Exchange Program Manager

Sara is a native Wisconsinite and graduated from Lewis & Clark College in 2014 with a B.A. in Hispanic Studies and Anthropology. She discovered her love of traveling in high school when her family moved to Spain, and so far has lived in Europe, South America and SE Asia. After graduating college, Sara moved to Northern Thailand and worked as an ESL kindergarten English teacher. After returning to the USA she worked as a cemetery administrator in Portland, OR, and later moved to Washington D.C. where she served as a program associate for the World Cocoa Foundation working towards cocoa sustainability in Latin America and SE Asia. Sara has a passion for sustainability, international education, and empowering young leaders and is excited to join the GSE team as the Exchange Program Coordinator in Cuenca, Ecuador. Sara speaks Spanish and English and can be reached at gro.y1508756408ssabm1508756408etned1508756408utsla1508756408bolg@1508756408relli1508756408ms1508756408.

Katia EspalterCuenca Trip Coordinator

Born in Cuba and raised in Nicaragua, Katia is very passionate about nature, health and socio-cultural topics. Katia has been a young activist since she started painting social justice-themed murals at age 15 with an art foundation in Esteli (FUNARTE). She graduated in 2013 from the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua in Leon as a Dentist and since then has been working with medical brigades in rural communities of the northern region of Nicaragua. In 2014 she led a group of volunteers in a natural resource management project in the mountains of Matagalpa with ICS and Raleigh International to later coordinate the Raleigh Nicaraguan Society (formed by more than 400 former volunteers) developing social and environmental projects. Most recently she led another group of young volunteers in a Water Sanitation and Hygiene project in a rural village of Tanzania. All this experience has led Katia to the goal of creating an organization that provides accessible health care and free education to tackle environmental issues in rural areas of the country. Contact her at gro.y1508756408ssabm1508756408etned1508756408utsla1508756408bolg@1508756408retla1508756408psek1508756408

Luis Fernando CarrionCuenca Trip Coordinator

Luis Fernando was born in Managua, the capital city of Nicaragua. In 2010 he moved to Costa Rica to pursue his higher education studies at the National University in Heredia, where he graduated in Economic Planning and Social Development. During college years he participated in educational and cultural projects in Poland and Brazil. In 2015 he worked at the Refugee Education Trust as a consultant for the development of a guide geared to young students to detect and prevent school violence. In 2016 he returned to Nicaragua and volunteered for 3 months at the Center for Understanding of Nature in the rainforest of Matagalpa. He likes writing, audiovisuals and traveling, and believes in education and culture as tools for social change. Contact him at gro.y1508756408ssabm1508756408etned1508756408utsla1508756408bolg@1508756408noirr1508756408acl1508756408

Nicaragua

Jaime Enrique Muñoz HernándezDirector of Asofenix

Jaime is from the region of Jinotega, Nicaragua. He is the Director of GSE’s in-country partner, Asofenix, which has been working in Nicaragua for 15 years. Asofenix is made up of a multi-disciplined team that assists in the development and function of GSE’s student exchange trips in Nicaragua. Jaime’s interests lie in renewable energies such as, solar-powered potable water systems, the construction of small hydroelectric plants in remote communities, the use of solar energy to provide power, and the construction of improved kitchens. Jaime supports the application and practical utilization of these energies as an alternative to satisfy basic needs within the rural communities of Nicaragua. He believes in sustainable development and is convinced that empowered communities are capable to generate their own development. He promotes agro-ecological production as an alternative to reverse environmental degradation. You can email Jaime at moc.l1508756408iamg@1508756408augar1508756408acinx1508756408inefo1508756408sa1508756408. Learn more about Asofenix on our program partners page.

Ryan BuchananNicaragua Exchange Program Manager

Ryan is an adventurous Scotsman with a passion for traveling, working, volunteering, and studying overseas. Having spent his summer between High School and University volunteering with the British based charity Raleigh International out in Costa Rica and Nicaragua, he fell in love with Latin America and was inspired to take off overseas at every possible opportunity. He graduated from the University of Aberdeen in 2015 with a M.A. in Hispanic Studies and International Relations. During his university career, Ryan spent his second year studying in Pennsylvania at Haverford College, and his third year volunteering with three NGOs in Ecuador and teaching English and Spanish in four schools. Ryan started his GSE journey back in February 2016, and worked initially as a Trip Leader in Nicaragua before moving into the role of Exchange Program Coordinator. This past summer he volunteered with Raleigh international as a Project Manager and Spanish Interpreter. Ryan’s experience with education informs his belief that young people are best placed to bring about positive change in the world. He is thrilled to be re-joining the GSE team, this time as the Exchange Program Manager in Nicaragua. Contact Ryan in English or Spanish at gro.y1508756408ssabm1508756408etned1508756408utsla1508756408bolg@1508756408nanah1508756408cubr1508756408

Kelly CarpenterNicaragua Trip Coordinator

Kelly, originally from Santa Barbara, California, developed a passion for traveling early in life completing a study abroad program in Granada, Spain, and later returning to Barcelona, Spain to live and travel independently.  Upon returning to the United States, Kelly completed her B.A. in Spanish at Plymouth State University in Plymouth, NH.  During her undergraduate studies, she had the opportunity to travel to Nicaragua and Peru; experiences that enhanced her growing interest in the field of Public Health. In December 2015 Kelly graduated with a Masters in Public Health with an emphasis in Global Health & Latin American and Caribbean Studies, a certification in Public Health, and a passion for sustainable community development and decreasing health and social disparities. After completing her international practicum requirements as an intern at the Foundation for Sustainable Development’s site in Cochabamba, Bolivia, Kelly took a position working for the same foundation in Nicaragua leading student interns in the development of sustainable development projects with local communities and grassroots NGO’s. Kelly has a deep love for Nicaragua, the spirit of the people who live there and is deeply vested in working towards sustainable community development together and from within the community. Contact her at gro.y1508756408ssabm1508756408etned1508756408utsla1508756408bolg@1508756408retne1508756408prack1508756408

Kyra SohanchakNicaragua Trip Coordinator

Being raised by a strong and connected community of family and friends by the seaside has been and continuous to be a very essential and energizing piece of Kyra’s life. One of her greatest awareness to the human’s relationship with nature was when volunteering and later working at an organic permaculture farm in Montezuma, Costa Rica. She had previously studied Nutrition before transferring to a 4 year study abroad college. Both of these studies had grabbed her interest; passions for healthy foods and travel. She interned her senior semester of undergrad with Slow Foods USA. She was working to understand the impact of school gardens, and the role of a school garden educator by conducting interviews nationwide. She loves to work with students in experiential learning and helping to create a peaceful and present environment. She has recently tied in the practice of yoga as a beautiful way for maintaining balance within many aspects of her life. She loves to swim in the sea, make delicious juices and smoothies, travel anywhere, and everywhere, and believes happiness and healthy are available by listening with an open heart and mind, giving love to all beings, and living without fears. Contact Kyra at gro.y1508756408ssabm1508756408etned1508756408utsla1508756408bolg@1508756408kahcn1508756408ahosk1508756408

Luis Alfonso Obando BermudezNicaragua Trip Coordinator

Luis was born in Boaco City and lives in the municipality of Teustepe in the department of Boaco. He is currently studying IT at UNAN-Managua University. Luis likes to work for GSE because it is an enriching experience and a motivation to work in the conservation and preservation of nature, as well in the construction of school gardens for children in the schools of his country. Contact him at gro.y1508756408ssabm1508756408etned1508756408utsla1508756408bolg@1508756408odnab1508756408ol1508756408

Omar FloresNicaragua Trip Coordinator

Omar Flores in a passionate and proactive graduate in Rural Development. He was born in Managua, Nicaragua. Since he was a child, he like the countryside, and all the relarted activities, values and culture. In 2014 he won a scholarship, and began his studies in a Masters in Science of Rural Development in the Universidad Nacional Agraria. In his academic and professional trajectory, he was a team leader in Raleigh International and he was a social educator in Proyecto de Niños, Niñas y Adolescentes Trabajadores en la Calle (NATRAS). He has discovered the importance of human capacities and skills for development, becoming a strong believer and fighter for educational approaches to development. You can contact Omar at gro.y1508756408ssabm1508756408etned1508756408utsla1508756408bolg@1508756408serol1508756408fo1508756408