Team

  • Brenda Acosta

    Brenda Ali Acosta G. holds a degree in Accounting and Finance, and Computing. She has fifteen years of accounting experience. Her career in accounting began at AMOCSA, an insurance company, as an accounting and administrative assistant from 1998-1999. Subsequent employment includes Reencaushadora Moderna as an accounting assistant from 1999-2000, Penelas y Sireras as a general accountant 2000-2004, the New Haven León Sister City Project as administrative assistant in 2004, Sucesión Mantica Berio, S. A. as general accountant from 2005-2013. Brenda was hired as an accounting assistant in July 2013 and is responsible for our small business projects.

  • Lesbia Alvarado

    Born in León on September 18, 1975, Lesbia is married with one son. She holds a degree in Tourism Business Management from the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Nicaragua (UNAN) in Leon. Lesbia has experience as a tour operator and has worked as a bookkeeper for an appliance business. She has worked for ViviendasLeón since November 2007 and is currently our program officer for agro-forestry programs.

  • Lucila Baldizon

    Lucila holds a degree in Tourism Business Management from the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Nicaragua (UNAN) in Leon. She worked as a translator for 8 years with an organization traveling all over Central America and the United States. She lived in The Netherlands for 4 years where she was part of Kofi Annan Business School Foundation and holds a degree in Business Management with emphasis in Entrepreneurship for developing areas. She worked for ViviendasLeon in 2015 as a guest speaker and became our Program Officer for Global Education in February 2016.

  • Brenda Bustamante

    Brenda is the founding program director of the Youth Arts Program for ViviendasLeon. She has a degree from the Universidad Nacional Agraria (UNA) in Agronomy with a specialty in soils and water. She holds a license in pharmacy from the Universidad de Occidente (UDO) and has studied arts and crafts at the technical college, INATEC in Leon. Prior to her current position, she taught arts classes for vulnerable children at INPRU in Ocotal.

  • Carolina Galo

    Born in León on April 23, 1971, Carolina is the mother of two children. Carolina lived in Austin, Texas for four years where she attended high school. She holds a degree in Tourism Business Management from the University of Commercial Science of León and owns an internet cafe business. Beginning in 2008 she worked as a translator for various organizations including ViviendasLeón. She joined VL as a full time bookkeeper, and travel coordinator in 2009.

  • Indiana Garcia

    Indiana Garcia is our full time director in León. She is responsible for daily administrative operations, coordinating travel groups and communications between San Francisco and León. Indiana helped found ViviendasLeón in 2003. She is fluent in English and Spanish and holds a degree in Tourism Administration from the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua (UNAN) in León.

  • Martin Juarez

    Martin has recently earned undergraduate degrees in Latin American Studies and International Studies from the University of San Francisco.  During his tenure at USF he was a senior government executive assistant for the USF Student Senate, and an Advocate for Community Engagement (ACE) paid intern at the ViviendasLeon offices in San Francisco.  He was the president of Alpha Epsilon Omega, USF chapter in 2015-16, and numerous other related community service responsibilities.

  • Rob Lawrence

    Rob has extensive experience in non-profit organizations and board affiliations. He holds degrees from Harvard University and Pepperdine University. He has worked as a non-profit consultant, and for organizations with an environmental focus.

  • Annie Longsworth

    Annie Longsworth is a brand and communications leader committed to positive change through business. She launched The Siren Agency in January 2015 after three years as CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi S. Through a combination of ongoing insight collection, strategic discovery, and social storytelling, Siren is devoted to helping tomorrow’s brands solve their hardest problems and build relationships with their most important customers. Annie has a BA from the College of Wooster, Wooster, Ohio and earned an executive MBA certificate in Sustainability from the Presidio Graduate School in the spring of 2010.

    She is former chairperson and lifetime member of Sustainable Brand’s advisory board and has spoken on green consumer behavior, communication issues, and business responsibility at numerous conferences and events. Annie was an original partner on the Global Green Brands study, which looked at consumer preference and purchase behavior of sustainable brands around the world. She began her career as an editor, working for Inc. Magazine as an intern on the Inc. 500, the annual list of the fastest growing public companies. She then worked for a variety of publications at Ziff- Davis Publishing Company. 


  • Evan Markiewicz

    Evan is the Founder and Executive Director of ViviendasLeón. He is responsible for overseeing program development, communications, and financial management. Until 2003, Mr. Markiewicz worked under the auspices of the New Haven/León Sister City Project, an internationally recognized non-governmental organization, where he developed ViviendasLeón and other construction programs targeting the needs of rural Nicaraguan communities. Mr. Markiewicz graduated from the University of Southern California in Architecture and holds a Master of Architecture degree from Yale University.

  • Dr. Sunil Parikh

    Sunil Parikh is an assistant professor in the School of Public Health at Yale University. Sunil joined the board of ViviendasLeon while on faculty at the University of California, San Francisco He received his M.D. from John Hopkins University School of Medicine and his M.P.H. in epidemiology from the School of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley. He has been working on studies of malaria and tropical infectious diseases in sub-Saharan Africa for over 10 years and currently has active projects in Uganda, Burkina Faso, and Nigeria. He also serves of a non-profit working to prevent strokes in Africa.

  • Cristhian Rojas

    Cristhian is a recent graduate from the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua in Leon (UNAN) with a degree in Social Work and an emphasis on community development management.

  • Peter Scherr

    Peter is an attorney specializing in labor and employment law.  He holds degrees from Syracuse University and Brooklyn Law School, and is a member of the California, New York and New Jersey state bar associations.

  • Lise Shelton

    Lise is the assistant head of school at The Bay School in San Francisco. She has a career in independent school education focusing on history and diversity. She holds a dual major, bachelors of arts degree from Wellesley College in Chinese Studies and History, with a minor in Political Science.

  • Dayle Smith

    Dayle Smith is currently the Dean of the School of Business at Clarkson University in New York. She was formerly associate dean of Undergraduate Studies at the University of San Francisco McLaren School of Management. She is the recipient of numerous awards and authored over 25 books and other publications. Prior to taking the Dean's position at Clarkson, Dayle was a Professor of Leadership and Organizational Behavior at USF in addition to a of the a Visiting Professor and Fulbright Scholar in Hong Kong.