The Limitless Horizons Ixil team is a dedicated group of individuals with a range of backgrounds and expertise. Our team reflects our organizational values and history of combining local knowledge and international resources with the expertise of individuals from all backgrounds. Local Guatemalan staff manage all programs, with operational support carried out by international staff.
Executive Director & Co-Founder
Katie grew up in California and earned her bachelor’s degree in community studies from the University of California Santa Cruz when she was 18. She then worked and traveled across the US, Latin America, Europe, Asia, and the Caribbean. Katie went back to school to study social work with a focus on international communities, and completed her Master of Social Work from San Jose State. After Katie’s first visit to Chajul in 2003, she was compelled by the beautiful culture and generosity of the people, juxtaposed with the lack of educational opportunities, particularly for girls. She saw within these girls, who were living in intense poverty, the desire and motivation to continue their education. Katie has spent a significant part of each year since then in Guatemala working alongside locals from Chajul to bring new opportunities to the community through education and community development. Katie has also led over 50 service-learning trips across Latin America since 2003, helping youth and adults gain appreciation for new cultures and bringing service projects to communities in need. Katie oversees all areas of Limitless Horizons Ixil’s operations, including planning, partnerships, fundraising and fiscal management, programs, and staff management.
Fun fact: Katie likes all things salsa—she is an avid dancer and loves her food spicy.
Verónica was raised in Chajul and lived there during and after the civil war. Through hard work, a scholarship, and her mother’s sacrifice, Verónica is one of the first and few women from Chajul to become a university-educated professional and recently became the first woman from Chajul to earn her master’s degree (in human resources). She went to primary school in Chajul, finished high school with a Bilingual (Spanish-English) Secretary degree from Colegio Encarnación Rosal in Quetzaltenango, and then studied at Mariano Gálvez University in Quiché where she earned her bachelor’s degree in business management. Prior to joining Limitless Horizons Ixil as Program Director in 2008, Verónica gained extensive nonprofit and NGO experience as a secretary, community organizer, and case manager with previous positions at Chajul’s health center, Con Tierra, Proyecto Ixil, and Save the Children. Verónica is proud of her work to provide opportunities for people in her own community, believing that “with the support of the people, we can work together on community development and make a real difference.” Verónica’s role has grown and she now oversees all of Limitless Horizons Ixil’s programs, relationships, and staffing in Chajul and also does direct case management with youth and families.
Fun fact: Verónica was a competitive basketball player when in school and continues to challenge our youth to games.
Guatemalan Assistant Director
Zuli was raised in San Miguel Uspantán del Quiché as one of four siblings. Although her parents never had the opportunity to study, they instilled in each of their children a desire for learning and encouraged them to attend school. From an early age, Zuli was both a great student and athlete. At the age of 15, she was offered a full scholarship to study physical education and play on the handball team at an athletic boarding school. After graduating from high school, she studied sports massage therapy before pursuing a degree in law at the prestigious Universidad Nacional de San Carlos de Guatemala. Zuli is passionate about helping to empower children, women, and families to overcome societal barriers, and has applied her education and abundant energy to that effect. She has worked as a supervisor for a state project that built homes for Guatemalans displaced during the Civil War, as a university administrator, and as a counselor of neglected children. At Limitless Horizons Ixil, Zuli provides direct support for all of our programs as well as maintaining partnerships with local organizations.
Fun fact: Zuli opened an extremely popular Zumba studio, where she teaches dance classes every evening after returning from a full day at Limitless Horizons Ixil.
Director of Development & Communications
Liz grew up in Monterey, California, where she returned after earning her BA at UCLA in order to pursue a Master of Public Administration from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. Her passion for international development grew after working in Haiti for a summer during graduate school. She started her international development career at a nonprofit micro-lender based in New York and spent a few years in East Africa on fellowships with USAID Uganda and a Burundian organization supporting economic development and education for orphans and vulnerable children. As the Development and Communications Manager, Liz manages fundraising, communications, and handicraft sales, as well as US–based elements of Limitless Horizons Ixil’s community engagement trips and youth sponsorships.
Fun fact: Liz loves learning languages and adding new stamps to her passport, which is probably her most prized possession.
Program Expansion Coordinator
Odilia grew up in the community of Salquil Grande in the Municipality of Nebaj, one of the three municipalities of the Ixil region. She completed her primary and middle school there. In 2008, for a variety of reasons, she could no longer continue her studies; among them, a lack of economic resources. In 2009, she was finally able to convince her father to enroll her in the Ixil Mixed High School of Nebaj and support her to study the bilingual teaching certificate. She succeeded in graduating in 2011. Despite further difficulties, she began her university career in 2015. Three years later, she was awarded the department’s medal of academic excellence. This year, she graduated with a Middle School Teaching Certificate in Pedagogy with a focus in Environmental Studies at the University Centre of Quiché-Nebaj; she is currently studying for her bachelor’s degree. Odilia is aware that access to quality education for children and youth is very limited, especially in a country where it is not a priority; however, she is sure that anyone can be a change-maker if they have innate motivation, self-determination, and the ability to defy expectations and act with conviction and purpose. She is delighted to be working with Limitless Horizons Ixil in the expansion of their programs which will directly contribute to improving education in Chajul.
Fun fact: During her childhood, Odilia was always looking for ways to get her hands on a book; although she didn’t know about literary genres, she always loved reading. One day, she wants to write her own book.
Operations & Community Outreach Manager
Eymi was one of the first girls supported by Limitless Horizons Ixil. She was at the top of her class throughout her schooling and received her bilingual (Spanish-English) secretary high school degree in 2012 from Colegio Utatlán de Santa Cruz de Quiché. Eymi joined the staff in 2013 as Program Associate. Eymi continues to study on the weekends, pursuing a joint B.A. and master’s degree in business administration at Mariano Gálvez University in Quiché and Quetzaltenango. In Eymi’s current role as Operations & Community Outreach Manager, she attends to youth and mothers, coordinates Youth Development Program activities and outreach, and manages accounting and operations.
Fun fact: Eymi possesses many extraordinary skills, but few know of her uncanny ability to imitate distinctive voices!
Artisan Program & Technology Coordinator
Cecilia completed middle school in Chajul with her grandfather’s support, and she wasn’t willing to stop there. She convinced her parents to allow her to continue her studies, leaving Chajul to attend Instituto Técnico Recursos Naturales high school in the city of Uspantán. In 2011, she graduated with a degree in computer studies and returned to Chajul to serve as a contractor with Limitless Horizons Ixil and the local health clinic. Cecilia began as our Saturday computer teacher and continues to teach our youth at the Limitless Horizons Ixil computer lab, preparing them with the computer skills needed for an increasingly technology-driven world. Cecilia became our Program Assistant in 2015, providing mentorship and training to fellows in our Emerging Leaders Program, and supporting with coordination and product design for our Artisan Program. Today, she manages our Artisan Program and office technology while continuing to teach computer classes to our scholars.
Fun fact: Cecilia is a trendsetter as the first person in Chajul to design a softer, lighter style of the traditional hand-woven huipil (blouse) that’s now very popular with women all around town!
David grew up in Chajul as one of eight siblings. His parents could not afford to send him to middle school, but he was able to continue his studies when he joined our Youth Development Program in 2008. Thanks to his hard work and resourcefulness, David graduated with a high school degree in primary education from the Escuela Normal Regional de Occidente in Sololá. As a student, David frequently completed his work-study and service hours in our library. David joined the staff in 2013, and his warm, engaging demeanor makes him a fantastic librarian. He manages the library’s daily operations, leads story hour and reading club, supervises interns and volunteering youth, manages inventory, and helps library members with their assignments. David is also pursuing a degree in agricultural engineering at La Universidad Rural de Guatemala in nearby Nebaj, as his future plans include tackling issues in Chajul related to health, malnutrition, and food access.
Fun fact: David loves languages, already speaking three fluently (Spanish, Ixil, and Quiché), and is eager to practice his growing English vocabulary with visitors.
Youth Development Program Coordinator
Marina is from Chajul and comes from a family of seven with limited economic resources. Her parents told her she would not be able to continue studying because they could not afford to send both of their daughters to school. However, she earned a scholarship from Limitless Horizons Ixil and was able to continue studying with her older sister. She attended Instituto Normal Mixto Juan de León and completed her degree in urban primary education. She was one of the first to graduate from the Youth Development Program and went on to work for several years as a librarian in the Saber Sin Límites Community Library. As the Youth Development Program Coordinator, she serves as the liaison between the organization and our scholars and their families, ensuring their academic and psychosocial needs are addressed. She also coordinates workshops, career panels, good grades celebrations, and tutoring sessions, while supporting with volunteer engagement activities. She is currently pursuing a university degree in psychology on the weekends.
Fun fact: Marina was a part of her high school’s soccer team. They would compete against other schools and always won their games!
Olga was born in Chajul and comes from a family that was deeply affected by Guatemala’s civil war. Although her parents never had the opportunity to study, they encouraged Olga and her siblings to obtain an education. Olga attended elementary school in Chajul before receiving a scholarship with Limitless Horizons Ixil that enabled her to continue on to middle and high school. During her time as a scholar, she completed her service hours at the Saber Sin Limites (Limitless Knowledge) community library, where she discovered her passion for art and working with children. While attending high school at the Escuela Normal Bilingue Intercultural in Nebaj, she worked for an educational program that supported youth ages 15+ in math and statistics and held internships that allowed her to combine her interests in art and education. Following her graduation from high school in 2017, Olga volunteered for three months with Save the Children on a variety of youth projects. When she learned about an opening at the Saber Sin Limites (Limitless Knowledge) community library, she knew the position was for her! As a librarian, Olga supports all of our library programs, helps with daily operations, supervises interns and volunteers, and facilitates learning for library members. She is currently pursuing a university degree in education on the weekends.
Fun fact: Olga loves dancing with her friends at home. In particular, her favorite is breakdancing and most of her moves she learned watching YouTube videos!
Capacity Building & Evaluation Manager
Jason split his childhood between the subways and skyscrapers of New York City and the rice paddies and coconut trees of Kerala, India. At the age of 12 in Bangalore, India, he witnessed the stark contrast between the modern headquarters of multinational corporations and the makeshift shelters of the surrounding slums. Ever since, Jason has been driven to understand and overcome poverty and inequality. That drive has led him along various career paths including working as a public auditor, facilitating youth groups in Los Angeles and Bolivia, and helping to expand participatory budgeting processes in New York. Jason finally embraced the field of international development and earned his master’s degree from George Washington University in 2014 with a primary interest in Latin American community-based development. He has been with Limitless Horizons Ixil since 2015 and is currently responsible for impact evaluation, organizational capacity building, and team professional development.
Fun fact: Jason is convinced that coconut oil, baking soda, apple cider vinegar, and green tea are enough for practically all one’s shampoo, conditioner, soap, deodorant, toothpaste, and other household needs… plus they’re all edible!
Heather grew up on the outskirts of Boston, Massachusetts, and has always loved traveling to new places and meeting new people. Since the moment she set foot in Guatemala in 2011, her love for the country has continued to grow. She became even more attached to Latin America during her two study abroad semesters in the Dominican Republic, where she interned with an organization supporting Haitian children living and working on the street. Shortly after completing her bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Spanish at Clark University, she moved to Antigua, Guatemala, and spent two and a half years working for a local nonprofit organization there. Graduate school brought Heather back to Boston, where she earned her Master of Public Administration degree from Northeastern University. Heather supports with external communications and grant writing.
Fun fact: Heather is an avid runner and loves photography.
Development & Communications Consultant
Emma was raised on a farm in Australia, later attending high school and university in Sydney, where she obtained her bachelor’s degrees in law and in business. After graduating Emma worked as a commercial lawyer for a global law firm in Sydney. Her aspiration to see the world and experience new cultures took her to Beijing China where she spent two years, working for Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots and learning Mandarin. The desire to travel took her to many more countries, however it was when she went to Guatemala to learn Spanish that she found a place she didn’t want to leave. Emma moved to Antigua Guatemala in January 2018, and spent two years working in the nonprofit sector before joining the Limitless Horizons Ixil team. Emma manages sponsor relations, fundraising, communications, social media, and community engagement trips.
Fun fact: Emma loves horses, she grew up riding and even went to Mongolia to ride through the steppe. Now she gets her horse fix at an equestrian center inside a coffee farm in Guatemala.
Operations and Project Development Specialist
Filipa grew up in Portugal and started traveling when she was very young, leading her to discover and be aware of many cultures and realities around the world. After completing her bachelor’s degree in law, she became involved in several volunteer projects related to education in Cambodia, humanitarian disaster relief in Nepal, and refugee protection in France. These experiences sparked her interest in community development, gender equality, and education, and strengthened her desire to work towards eliminating inequality and injustice in the world, especially in the most remote places. Filipa then decided to pursue a master’s degree in international law with a specialization in human rights at the University of Maastricht, in the Netherlands. After graduating, she interned with the United Nations Population Fund, Defence for Children International, and the European Union Office to Hong Kong and Macao. As Operations and Project Development Specialist, Filipa is responsible for monitoring and evaluating programs, accounting, and providing general support where needed.
Fun fact: Filipa has traveled to more than 50 countries so far and has the dream of one day setting foot in every country in the world!
After graduating from university, Joanna ventured off to remote parts of the world to discover new cultures, languages, and ways of life. What she realized through her travels was that the majority of the world’s population lack access to basic social services and quality education. This realization moved her to pursue a career working towards securing equal opportunities for overlooked and vulnerable communities throughout the world. Her career spans three continents, in which she works to increase the fundraising capacity of community-led projects and NGOs. She holds a BSc in Business Administration from Boston University and a MA in International Development from the University of Kent Brussels School of International Studies. Joanna is the grant writer and master storyteller for Limitless Horizons Ixil.
Fun fact: Joanna is a life-long student and is always open to learning new things. She believes that every living being has wisdom to share – even the birds and the trees!
Co-Founder & Advisory Director
Pedro grew up in Chajul during and immediately after the civil war when the community had very few educational opportunities. He was raised working in the fields, carrying firewood, and shining shoes to make a little money. Through sacrifice, luck, and very hard work Pedro became the first person from Chajul to attend university and obtain a bachelor’s degree. He completed a certificate in Maya world studies and his degree in civil engineering at the University of San Carlos in Guatemala City. He has earned his Master of Engineering degree and now works to improve water infrastructure in San Marcos, Guatemala. Since co-founding Limitless Horizons Ixil in 2004 with a more hands-on role in its first few years, Pedro’s role is now advisory and he supports Limitless Horizons Ixil with guidance on government relations, legal compliance, and financial security in Guatemala and has served as a guide for visiting groups.
Fun fact: Pedro’s favorite time to visit Chajul is during feria, the annual town fair.