STAFF

ELLY ROHRER

Board President & Executive Director

Though raised in Switzerland and upstate New York, Elly has always had a professional and personal interest in Latin America. Elly graduated from Tufts University with a double major in International Relations and Latin American Studies, and has substantial experience living, researching, and working with non-profits throughout Latin America. Elly began working with Investours in 2011 and served as Program Director for two years before initiating the transition to Human Connections in June 2014. She is thrilled to continue living and working in Bucerías as the Executive Director of Human Connections.

Email: elly@humanconnections.org
Phone Number: (011-521) 322-191-5309

MAYA MITRE

 Tour Program Director

Maya was born in the city of San Luís Potosí, México, and studied Tourism Administration. Her understanding of tourism has been deeply shaped by her professional experiences with indigenous communities, working closely with the Teenek and Nahua cultures of her home state, and with the Mayan culture of the Yucatan Península. Maya is a nature lover, is passionate about ultimate frisbee, and is convinced that every trip is an opportunity for learning and cultural exchange. She is excited that Human Connections creates a social commitment between visitors and the culture of her country.

Email: maya@humanconnections.org
Phone Number: (011-521) 322-157-0805

CASCADE LINEBACK

Student Programs Director

Cascade has been studying Spanish and traveling the world since she was a teenager. She graduated from Northern Arizona University with a major in Spanish and then taught English in Spain for two years. Cascade completed her Master’s degree in Hispanic Studies at the University of Washington and taught university, middle school and high school Spanish in the Seattle area before pursuing an international teaching post in Yangon, Myanmar, along with her Master’s degree in Education. Cascade is excited to bring her passion for language, culture, and experiential education to the Human Connections team and to live in Bucerías.

Email: cascade@humanconnections.org
Phone Number: (011-521) 322-245-0794

WILBERTH MIS

Cultural Tour Guide

Wilberth was born in the city of San Francisco de Campeche, Campeche, in southeastern México. He studied Management of Renewable Natural Resources in Mexico City. His professional career in Tourism started with indigenous communities in Calakmul municipality, in the state of Campeche. Working with Tzeltal and Mayan cultures and many people from all over the country, he developed a deep interest to understand their way of satisfying their primary needs without causing considerable damage to one of the most important Natural Protected Areas in Mexico, Calakmul. Wilberth is a nature lover and photographer, and is convinced that social development and environmental conservation can occur simultaneously. Wilberth is excited about how Human Connections has been promoting cultural diversity and responsible tourism in Bucerías, Nayarit.

Email: wilberth@humanconnections.org
Phone Number: 322-154-1289

MARIE HEIM

Global Fellow

Marie is from Burnsville, Minnesota and just graduated from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities with a Global Studies major, focusing on the Environment, Sustainable Development, and Spanish. During her time in school, Marie spent a semester studying international development and environmental studies in Ecuador before working on an ecological reserve and researching responsible tourism in a small village just outside of Quito, inspiring her to pursue work with Human Connections. Travelling throughout Ecuador and Perú sparked her interest in Latin America and made her appreciate global perspectives. Marie is excited to be living, learning, and working in Bucerías while helping to carry out Human Connections’ mission.

Email: marie@humanconnections.org
Phone Number: 001-952-378-0008

GAVI PERL

Global Fellow

Gavi spent six years of her early childhood in Turrialba, Costa Rica, which inspired in her a love of the Spanish language and learning about different cultures in Latin America.  She attended Rhodes College in Memphis, TN where she studied Spanish and Latin American Studies. While in college, Gavi spent a summer volunteering with a pre-school in Cuzco, Perú, and a semester studying at the Universidad del Salvador in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  After graduating, Gavi worked for two years at an immigration law firm in Memphis, completing employment-based visa applications for clients around the world. She then worked as a volunteer coordinator with a non-profit in Memphis to improve educational, economic, and health outcomes for women and children.  Gavi is passionate about traveling, ultimate frisbee, and spending time with family and friends. She is excited and honored to join the Human Connections team in Bucerías.

Email: gavi@humanconnections.org

MICHAEL SMETANA

Global Research Consultant

Michael was born and raised in Northeast Ohio where he graduated with a BSc in Biochemistry, from Notre Dame College.  He went on to spend two years as a Clinical Research Coordinator for the Mayo Clinic’s Human Integrative & Environmental Physiology Lab, in Rochester, MN.  After leaving the medical field, to travel and teach, Michael completed a MSc in Evolution & Human Behavior at the University of Kent, Canterbury, UK, where he was trained in anthropological and psychological research methods, with an emphasis on the evolutionary psychology of human behavior, bio/social aspects of human adaptation, and human/environment relationships, as well as contemporary issues and practical methods in conservation and development.  Michael is interested in bridging the biological and social sciences to promote justice by providing a more holistic representation of what is means to be human.  He is honored to join the Human Connections team, and promote social good by combining his passion for responsible tourism and cultural exchange in the community of Bucerias.

Email: mrasmetana@gmail.com

KENZIE YOSHIMURA

Design Consultant

Kenzie is from the small town of Hood River, Oregon. A University of Oregon graduate, she earned degrees in Spanish and Journalism with a focus in public relations. As a student, she completed several public relations internships and spent time abroad, studying in Spain, and volunteering with a non-profit in Perú. Kenzie is interested in both communication and cultural exchange as vehicles for positive change. She is honored to join the team in Bucerías and to combine her two areas of study in her work at Human Connections.

Email: kenzie@humanconnections.org
Phone Number: (+521) 322-118-9355

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Molly Fisher

Molly Fisher

Vice President

Molly is an accomplished educator and social entrepreneur who has dedicated herself to serving the needs of local communities through education, economic empowerment, animal welfare, and environmental program development. She founded two successful nonprofits and three social enterprises, several of which were in the Bucerias region. Molly, an Indiana University graduate with a B.S. in Biology and graduate certificate in Secondary Science Education, is currently the Executive Director of a nonprofit organization based in Chiapas, Mexico called Escalera. Molly spends her free time in the outdoors, traveling and hanging out with friends.

Corrina Jacobs

Corrina Jacobs

Secretary

Corrina served as Investours’ Chief Operating Officer for close to two years and is thrilled to be part of the founding team of Human Connections. She believes strongly in the power of travel and intercultural experiences to foster understanding and create a more compassionate world. Corrina graduated from Tufts University in 2010 with a degree in Psychology and Art History and currently lives in Austin, Texas, where she works for the child mentoring organization Big Brothers Big Sisters as a customer relations supervisor. In her free time, Corrina can be found doing yoga, taking painting classes, and seeing live music around town.

Kurt Mansperger

Kurt Mansperger

Treasurer

Kurt is currently a Senior Project Manager with a small technology consulting firm, Twin Technologies. Earlier in his career, he worked at Deloitte Consulting, building large scale eligibility systems for state welfare. He has a dual degree from the University of Maryland in Finance and Computer Engineering. He was a founding member of Investours, the company from which the idea for Human Connections originated. He is excited to be a part of Human Connections as it evolves to fit the needs of the Puerto Vallarta region. His excitement about using innovation to help people and educate tourists makes him a great asset to the team.