Team Category: Board of Directors

Mónica Maria Hurtado

Mónica Maria Hurtado

Mónica is originally from Colombia, and has been living in US/Minnesota since 2001. She is a health and racial justice community organizer doing work on policy, advocacy and community-based research. She is part of efforts to create a multiracial, multiethnic coalition to address issues around immigration.

Walter Abrego

Walter Abrego

Walter is a Salvadoran immigrant living in the Twin Cities. His work centers on international philanthropy, agroecology, climate change, and equity. Prior to moving to Minnesota, Walter worked in political campaigns in Texas. Walter holds a Master’s of Public Administration from Texas Tech University and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Northern Iowa. Walter currently works a Program and Grants Associate at the McKnight Foundation, where he helps advance McKnight’s international work in Latin America and Africa.

Ruth Meza

Ruth Meza

Ruth is the proud daughter of two immigrant parents – her father is from Mexico and her mother is from El Salvador. They met and wed in California, then migrated further north to the beautiful state of Minnesota. Born and raised in the diversity of the Twin Cities, she was the first in her family to graduate from high school and obtained an Associate’s Degree from Century College and a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Minnesota. She is a youth worker for a dual-immersion charter school in Saint Paul, a Lead Facilitator in workshops with a nonprofit called Irreducible Grace Foundation, and a partner with COPAL.

Peggy A. Ponce

Peggy A. Ponce

Peggy is actively involved in social and cultural activities with the Ecuadorian and Latin American communities in Minnesota, developing strategies to empower them. Prior to moving to Minnesota, Peggy played an active leadership role in youth movements advocating for social, economic, political and cultural development of underserved communities in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Peggy earned an Associate Degree in Social and Political Economy from the University Madres de Plaza Mayo, and she holds a Master’s in Food Engineering and a Doctorate degree in Food Chemistry from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Peggy currently works as a Senior Scientist in the Dairy Industry, where she leads strategic technical activities

Henry Jiménez

Board Member

Henry Jiménez

Henry is the proud son of parents who were undocumented. His father from Tepic Nayarit, Mexico, is a truck driver and his mother from El Departamento de La Libertad, El Salvador, is a housekeeper at a hotel. His parents were finally able to purchase their first home when Henry was in high school in Las Vegas, NV. Soon after, he earned a scholarship to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) and earned a dual degree in Women Studies and Political Science. Henry has called Minnesota home for 8 years. During this time he has earned a Masters in Advocacy and Political Leadership from the University of Minnesota, Duluth. He came to Minnesota with no family but now has a family of his own. He is married to Jennie Jimenez and has a beautiful 8 month old, Lucía Jimenez. Henry was appointed by the Legislative Coordinated Commission to his current position as Executive Director at the Minnesota Council of Latino Affairs on December, 2015.

Erika Hernandez

Board Member

Erika Hernandez

As a first-generation Xicana college student pursuing Chicane and Latine Studies at the University of Minnesota, Erika Hernandez is determined to create safe and brave spaces of solidarity and self-empowerment for and by brown Latine youth. From a stranger in her own land to the student president of the Latine student organization at Minneapolis College, Hernandez’s most recent work is centered on the Raíces Youth Development Program at Centro Tyrone Guzman. Through her community-driven advocacy and leadership, her desire is for her youth to see their potential to unapologetically reclaim their space and stories. As the most recent board member of COPAL MN, Hernandez has been accepted to represent the organization at the 2019 cohort of the Movement Politics Leadership Program by TakeAction MN. Hernandez is excited and humbled by this opportunity and is looking forward to learning and collectively work towards building and achieving a sustainable and equitable Minnesota for all.

Amanda Otero

Amanda Otero

Amanda grew up in Fargo, North Dakota, although her roots come from Mexico and Nicaragua. She has been asking tough questions and organizing those around her for as long as she can remember, but she was introduced to more formal community organizing in college. She was told being an organizer is like being a professional revolutionary, and she was sold.

Amanda has experienced organizing in a variety of settings: with Latinx communities in Minnesota, at Catholic Churches, in Central America, and currently as the Deputy Director at TakeAction Minnesota. She is thrilled to be joining COPAL’s Board of Directors to be in deeper relationship with and invest in the Latinx organizing ecosystem in Minnesota.