Archives: Team

Rosie Thale

Communications Specialist

Rosie Thale

Rosie grew up in Chicago, IL and attended Oberlin College in Ohio before moving to Minneapolis, MN. As a Spanish and Latin American Studies major, she’s interested in understanding and fighting back against the harm the U.S. has caused to Latin America and its peoples. In her free time, she likes to hike, bike, backpack, and spend time with friends around a campfire.

Guadalupe Antonio 

Engagement & Vaccination Clinic Assistant

Guadalupe Antonio 

I was born in Oaxaca, Mexico and came to the United States accompanied by my 1-year-old daughter Karla in 2006 to provide her with a better education. I am so grateful to be part of this great team that is COPAL and thereby serve our entire Latino community.

Mari Hermeding

Environmental Justice Intern

Mari Hermeding

Mari is a rising senior at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University (CSBSJU) in St. Joseph, Minnesota. She is pursuing a double major in environmental and peace studies with a concentration in Environmental Justice and the Latinx Experience. 

On the CSBSJU campus, Mari participates in a variety of organizations. She is the Creative Director for Extending the Link, the social justice documentary group at CSBSJU, and is currently producing their 15th film.  She works as the Climate Justice Coordinator for the women’s leadership center on campus, and advocates for a healthier planet through programming, educational materials, and expedition trips

She hopes her internship with COPAL pushes her outside of her comfort zone and tests her Spanish-speaking ability. She is excited to connect with her fellow COPAL employees and nurture long-lasting relationships.  

Columba Reyes

Columba Reyes

Columba Reyes was born in Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico and immigrated to the United States in 1989. She lived in Dallas, Texas for ten years, working at Brady Community Center in the field of social work and outreach for the Latino community. In 1992, she graduated from Bible School where she developed the areas of women’s ministry, youth ministry, children’s church, evangelism, and more at her home church. In 1999, she moved to Minneapolis, MN where she was part of the movement to petition a Mexican Consulate in Minnesota because the Latino Community was growing rapidly.  
 

It was then that she began to see the need for representation in her own community. She worked to create the immigrant group “Club Morelos” (now called “Club Cuernavaca-Axochiapan-Morelos”) with the assistance of the Mexican Consulate. At the same time, she created the roots and ties between the City of Minneapolis and the City of Cuernavaca, giving birth to a Sister Cities Program that is the bridge between both cities for their mutual economic, cultural, artistic, educational, and health benefit. She is the current Executive Director of CAMINO Cuernavaca-Minneapolis Sister Cities Organization and continues dedicating herself to supporting Latinos living in Minneapolis and their future descendants. 

Moriah O’Malley

Development Director

Moriah O’Malley

Moriah grew up in southern Minnesota outside of Northfield. After moving out of state for almost a decade, she returned home to Minneapolis, where she now lives with her partner and two cats. Throughout her life and across the country, Moriah has seen the disproportionate effects white supremacy, patriarchy, and late-stage capitalism have had on immigrants and communities of color. Moriah has found a passion for disrupting these systems through fundraising for organizations led by the people most impacted by injustice. In 2022, Moriah joined COPAL to help achieve autonomy, wealth, and prosperity for immigrant communities across Minnesota. In her free time, Moriah likes to run, bike, spend time with friends, explore nature, and travel.

Clara Ugarte Perrin

Communications Director

Clara Ugarte Perrin

A native of Lima, Peru who holds more than 25 years of experience working at the international level throughout Latin America, the Caribbean, and the United States with governments, multilateral organizations, and the private sector, Clara’s comes to COPAL with the experience needed to connect, inform, and listen to the Latino community. Clara is excited to be a part of the team and work toward COPAL’s mission of uniting Latinos in the state in order to build racial, gender, social, and gender justice. 

Mónica Sosa Arriaza 

Engagement & Vaccination Clinic Assistant

Mónica Sosa Arriaza 

Mónica Sosa Arriaza is a Public Health student at Saint Paul College. She graduated in May 2022 with her associate’s degree. In 2023, she will begin at the University of Minnesota to earn her bachelor’s degree in Healthcare Management. Monica is a first generation student with Salvadoran parents. She loves being able to help the community, especially the Latino community. Her focus is to be able to use her knowledge of her health in order to raise awareness about diseases and how they can be avoided. COPAL has been a fundamental part in the growth and approach to the community since she began working in the vaccination clinics.

Mike Castillo

Radio Coordinator

Mike Castillo

A good number of years ago, I was born in Villahermosa, Tabasco,​Mexico, and it was in Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico, where I had the opportunity to enter, professionally, this exciting world of electronic communication, thanks to my father’s heritage (he was also a broadcaster) and for my mother (she played the piano, the guitar). I am a musician and believe me, since then, November 1, 1969, they have been the greatest blessings that God has given me.

I have lived through the biggest and most notorious changes in the history of music, radio and television, both in terms of content and technology. Specializing in transmission formats as well as in electronic evolution, I began to work with 45 and 33 R.P.M. acetates, cartridges and open-reel tapes, which for our young people today must sound like the Twilight Zone; I was touched by the arrival of the DAT system, the CD, the minidisc, and the arrival of computing as an indispensable work tool…

I must comment that, even with this technological development, the growth of this industry, which is the most important engine of economic growth, would not have been possible without the talent, creativity, and genius of those who work inside and outside the booths and studios of transmission. I was lucky enough to work from 1979 to 1985, for the company of one of the pioneers of radio broadcasting and promoter of the radio record company in Mexico and one of the most important radio organizations in Latin America: Grupo Radio Centro, where they gave me the long-awaited opportunity to direct and lead a station with pop/rock music, in English in 1980, to first place in the audience; but before arriving at that company considered by me as the University of Radio, I started, perhaps like everyone else, “doing everything”, from sweeping, learning to make manual connections for remote controls, operating the cabin controls, recording , producing, making the newscasts that were, at that time, my great passion and that, as I discovered the other areas that make up a Radio station, I fell in love with what they allowed me to do for a time here in Minnesota… The Direction of programming; With that feeling, I was part of the growth of one of the largest radio companies in my beautiful country, Radiorama Organization (1988 – 1999), currently has many stations, between its own and affiliates, of which, I only did the formats and programs of some of them and I was able to visit almost the entire province of Mexico. I had the great opportunity in November 1985, designing, as Operations Manager, a Radio and Television System, in the State of Morelos. With all this baggage of learning, I also had the opportunity to enter Television, by the way, and not to vary, in the most important company of this medium in my country, Mexico, Televisa (1997 – 2003), where the largest production of Hispanic programming for broadcast here in the United States of America and I invite you to listen to my voiceover, in the program “AL FIN DE SEMANA”, which was broadcast nationally. Not to tire them out, I was brought to the United States in 2003, to the State of Alabama, and from there, I had the opportunity to come to Minnesota with that company 18 years ago. And, recently, with much THANKS and much emotion, I met a great friend of mine, Francisco Segovia, Executive Director of COPAL, whom I met about 14 or 15 years ago, being an extraordinary activist and back then we came together to invite to our community to carry out mobilizations/marches to ask for an update/reform of the Immigration Law and now he invited me and I accepted to join his wonderful work team, with whom I identified a lot in the concept of service to the community and with the well-charged energy, as if I were starting my career as an announcer, that February 9, 1971… and doing what is my passion and that I still love: RADIO WITH A HISPANIC VOICE, I am Mike Castillo, your servant!

Claudia Lainez

Employment and Career Counselor

Claudia Lainez

Claudia grew up in El Salvador during the Civil War. At the age of 17, Claudia immigrated to the United States. Formerly an organizer with the National TPS Alliance (NTPSA), Claudia has dedicated much of her life to fighting the injustices faced by TPS holders and undocumented immigrants. Through NTPSA, Claudia learned of COPAL and moved to Minnesota from California to work at our Workers’ Center.

Eduardo Peñasco

Immigration and Democracy Organizer

Eduardo Peñasco

Eduardo is an immigrant from the state of Veracruz in Mexico who has lived in the Dakota County community in Minnesota for over 18 years.

He is the father of three beautiful daughters whom he loves dearly and is passionate about various forms of art such as dance, music, drawing, and painting in addition to his interest in social justice and photography.

His interest in graphic arts led him to learn screen printing and he has developed this trade independently for the last 15 years and curiously, this trade connected him with the social movement since he closely participated for 2 years in a group called Northland Poster Collective led by renowned artist Ricardo Levins Morales.

He is currently working on an associate’s degree in graphic design at Penn Foster College in Arizona.

Other experience in social work came from belonging to the Minnesota Goodwill-Easter Seals Parent Project organization for over 8 years where he began as a participant and completed group facilitator training and is still involved.

He began his work doing community outreach during this pandemic for COPAL and is currently the Organizer for Democracy and Immigration and is specializing through courses and practice in the area of​​organizing and community power-building, leadership development, and advocacy. popular education.

He is very proud to belong to COPAL and welcomes its values ​​and principles, and above all, he wants to be able to contribute to making Minnesota a fairer state for our Latinx community.