Our Staff

Sean Douglas, Enrollment and Outreach Coordinator - Portland, ME

Sean comes from upstate New York where he attended the State University of New York at Geneseo. During his time in college he studied abroad in Barcelona, Spain. After graduating he returned to Spain to teach English as part of the Spanish Ministry of Education’s Auxiliares de Conversación program, teaching for one year each in La Rioja and Basque Country. After returning to the United States Sean worked for several years in immigration law, initially as a paralegal and later as a Department of Justice Partially-Accredited Representative with the Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project (ILAP) in Portland, Maine and the New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG) in New York, New York. At Mano en Mano Sean manages statewide outreach to and enrollment of students into the Maine Migrant Education Program.

207-598-8925 | sdouglas@manomaine.org

Edith Flores, Advocacy Co-Director - Milbridge, ME

Edith was one of the founding members of Mano en Mano and in July 2009 became our first outreach worker. Her family immigrated to the United States from Mexico when she was a child and followed the migrant farmworker stream before settling in Milbridge. Edith graduated from Narraguagus High School in Harrington and received her CNA certificate and worked as a nurse assistant in a local elder care facility before starting work with Mano en Mano.

(207) 745-0479 | eflores@manomaine.org

Rose Gruszecki, Migrant Education Regional Coordinator - Portland, ME

Rose Gruszecki is an elementary educator and recent graduate of the teacher certification program at Connecticut College in New London, CT. Over the past 5 years, she has worked in a variety of school environments with particular focus in bilingual and inclusive education. While working as a tutor and eventual student teacher at the Regional Multicultural Magnet School in New London, Rose became particularly interested in the school’s founding as a voluntary desegregation program. Her experience conducting research and developing curriculum on the school’s community history ultimately led her to connect with many other bilingual and social justice educators in the region who aim to bring critical conversations on race, class, gender and other aspects of identity into the classroom. In her position at Mano, Rose greatly looks forward to applying these experiences as a teacher to advocate for migrant families and build community in the central Maine area. In her free time, she loves running, learning to cook and contributing to her local newspapers.

207-745-2064 | rgruszecki@manomaine.org

Jessica Hardwick, Development and Marketing Associate - Portland, ME

Originally from Massachusetts, Jessica attended the University of Chicago and pursued a major in International Studies, while taking classes in both Spanish and Mandarin. After graduation, she moved to Shanghai, China, where she spent two years working with Chinese high school students who hope to study abroad in the US. After returning home, she is now serving with Mano en Mano as an AmeriCorps VISTA. Outside of work, Jessica is passionate about health and fitness, travel, language, and helping animals at her local shelters. 

207-745-4988 | jhardwick@manomaine.org

Leslie Monroy, Migrant Education Regional Coordinator - Milbridge, ME

Leslie was born and raised in Cali, Colombia. She came to live with her family in New Jersey when she was 10 years old. Leslie graduated from Drew University in 2014 with a major in Environmental Studies and Sustainability, and a minor in Archaeology and French. Right after graduating college she served for AmeriCorps: The Great Basin Institute Nevada Conservation Corps. There her conservation team worked on controlling plant growth for human consumption, helped build a fence for the national park, and planted native trees for conservation purposes. She's very passionate about conserving the environment and loves helping people as much as possible. On her down time, she likes to spend time with her loved ones, play tennis or draw.

(207) 598-8923 | lmonroy@manomaine.org

Leilani Mortland, Migrant Education Regional Coordinator - Presque Isle, ME

Leilani and her husband lived and worked with the deaf in Mexico and Uruguay for seventeen years before moving to Maine in May of 1999.  Not thinking that she’d ever get to use Spanish in Maine, she was happy to discover the opportunity to work with migrant farmworkers and their families in Aroostook County through the Maine Mobile Health Program (since 2012) and the Maine Migrant Education Program (since 2011).  After teaching her ten children at home for 25 years, she now enjoys teaching Spanish at Presque Isle High School. The time spent with the migrant workers keeps her Spanish current and provides her with the joy of serving others.

(207) 551-5998 | lmortland@manomaine.org

Christina Ocampo, Advocacy Co-Director - On leave until May 2020

Christina’s story begins with her family in Colombia and later takes place in New Jersey. Her immigrant story, culture, and family (including her two dogs!) are at her core. Christina graduated from Drew University with a double major in Environmental Studies & Sustainability and Anthropology with a minor in Italian. As an undergrad, Christina collaborated with CATA | The Farmworker Support Committee to lead a community-based research project that exposed food and environmental injustices faced by Latinx immigrant farmworkers. As a steering committee member and later a grassroots organizer for the Real Food Challenge, she fostered leadership and empowered youth to hold their university institutions accountable to investing in a food system that protects human rights. After working with the Blueberry Harvest School for three seasons, she is excited to continue to work on issues that deeply motivate her – farmwork, labor, immigration, justice and systemic change. In her spare time, she enjoys eating abuela’s home cooked meals with family, adventuring with friends, and traveling (and living) out of her backpack.

(207) 745-5539 | cocampo@manomaine.org

Juana Rodriguez-Vazquez, Migrant Education Services Director - Milbridge, ME

Juana first came to Milbridge 15 years ago to participate in Maine’s wild blueberry harvest. In 2013, she became involved with Comienza en Casa / It Starts at Home (link) to prepare her to be her son’s first teacher and prepare him for success in elementary school. Her active participation over the years and her commitment to sharing her knowledge and experience with other parents in the program led her to become a part-time AmeriCorps with Mano en Mano in 2014. Through this position, Juana was involved in a range of activities such as creating short non-fiction informational videos for other parents, helping to coordinate bi-lingual learning activities for families, and co-presenting about her experiences at national and regional events. Juana is pursuing her degree in education at the University of Maine at Machias.

(207) 598-7149 | jrodriguez@manomaine.org

Ian Yaffe, Executive Director - Portland, ME

Ian joined Mano en Mano's staff in 2010 as Executive Director. Prior to joining the team at Mano en Mano, Ian was working seasonally as Assistant Harbormaster in Massachusetts and as a cook in Colorado. He graduated from Bowdoin College in 2009 with a degree in Latin American Studies and Education and spent a semester at the Universidad de La Habana in 2008. Since joining Mano en Mano's staff, Ian has led efforts to build affordable housing for farmworkers in Washington County, partnered with the Maine Department of Education on statewide services for migrant children/youth as well as the annual Blueberry Harvest School, and facilitated implementation of Mano en Mano's strategic plan alongside community, board, and staff members. Outside of Mano en Mano, Ian is a Boatswain’s Mate 1st Class in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve and serves on the Boards of Directors of CEI and the Maine Philanthropy Center.

(207) 200-2523 | iy@manomaine.org

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Mano en Mano | Hand in Hand         PO Box 573, Milbridge, ME 04658         (207) 745-4988         Contact us