"This is our story, our fight, our identity"

About Translatinx Network

Translatinx Network has both a local and national focus, with a mission to promote the healthy development of trans people through the delivery of a wide range of information and services. Through promotion, outreach in education, and capacity-building, we encourage and strengthen the creation of safe and productive environments for TGNC+ community members.

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How Our Story Began

The driving force behind Translatinx Network is our transfeminist peers and colleagues. Our initiative was born of their collective efforts fighting for Translatinx rights in New York. As community members and providers, we continue to lead the way while remembering: “This is our story, our fight, our identity as Translatina women” – we are a strong team, and we deliver strong results! We are an exceptional team providing everything you need to stay informed and actively engaged with your community.

Our Mission

Translatinx Network increases the capacity of all transgender community members through advocacy, education, and social support.

Our Vision

Our vision is to implement sustainable programs that improve the quality of life of all transgender community members for years to come.

Our Core Values

At Translatinx Network, we value freedom, kinship, dignity, and personhood:

  1. We value the Freedom to live in our truth.
  2. We value the Kinship that connects us.
  3. We value Dignity and it is reflected in all aspects of our work.
  4. We value our right to Personhood.

Leadership Team

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Cristina Herrera, CEO & Founder

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Cristina founded Translatina Network in 2007, in order to organize and empower the transgender immigrant community through leadership development and education. Cristina was formerly the Transgender Programs Coordinator at the Lesbian, Gay Bisexual & Transgender Community Center (The Center), where she worked in various roles for eleven years. In her final role there prior to moving into a full-time staff leadership at TN, she oversaw the development of workforce development programming specifically designed to meet the needs of the TGNC community. A leader in the field of TGNC services, HIV prevention, advocacy and community organizing for 18 years, Cristina she has served on countless panels, committees and boards, and has been presented with awards and recognitions by NYC DOH, AIDS Institute, New York City Council, the Queens Borough President, and many organizations.
Cristina@translatinanetwork.org 
phone: (917) 583-9307
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Diana Mantilla-Raad, Associate Director of Prevention

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Diana provides overall direction, management, and development for prevention programming at the organization. Prior to joining Translatinx Network, she worked as the Latin American Program Liaison Officer at the Auschwitz Institute for the Prevention of Genocide and Mass Atrocities. In 2020, Diana graduated Magna Cum Laude from the Geneva Academy with a master’s degree in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law. As an intersectional feminist and human rights activist, Diana is currently supporting the Colombian Truth Commission as a voluntary researcher for their gender team and is an active member of the Colombian Studies Group’s NY chapter.
diana@translatinanetwork.org
phone: (929) 519-1393
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Laura Silvestre, Director of Programs

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Laura oversees day-to-day operations and administrative tasks at our main office. She graduated with a Bachelors in Psychology from Brooklyn College, and just recently obtained her MSW with a focus on Organizational Management and Leadership from the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College. Laura has successfully brought a modernized and youthful point of view to our programming. She is also an active participant in the DOHMH’s Women’s Advisory Board to help in the efforts to end HIV/AIDS. In 2019 she received the Newcomer Award from the DOHMH's New York Knows team for her efforts and contributions to fighting the HIV Epidemic.
Laura@translatinanetwork.org
phone: (929) 413-1154

Coordinators

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Meilene Belmont, Senior Coordinator for TGNC Services

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Meilene provides community outreach, and co-facilitates leadership and support group programming. Originally from Mexico, Meilene came to the United States when she was 14 years old. Back in 2016, Meilene was working as a hairstylist in Brooklyn, where she gained her amazing customer service skills. She began transitioning in 2012 and continues her journey to this day. Meilene’s participation in TN’s TGNC Leadership Space program in 2016 enhanced different soft skills, elevated her resume, and provided the foundational expertise in HIV prevention, contributing to her being hired into her current position on the TN team.
meilene@translatinanetwork.org
phone: (929) 391-7411
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Simon Chartrand, Workforce Development Coordinator

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Simon is a Workforce Development Coordinator at Translatinx Network. His interests include serving transgender and immigrant communities. He participated in the TGNCNB Leadership Collective, where he learned how to organize within trans, gender nonconforming, and nonbinary organizations. He helped develop trans-focused events and co-facilitated a transgender support group in Queens. He previously taught French language courses at CUNY Hunter and Baruch, where he discovered his passion as an educator and activist. In his free time, he likes to take his puppy to the dog park.
simon@translatinanetwork.org
phone: (929) 533-8653
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Nicole Teyuca, Community Engagement Coordinator

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Nicole provides community outreach and co-facilitates support and leadership programming. Originally from Mexico, Nicole came to New York when she was 16, where she started living her life as female a year later. Nicole is a passionate advocate, speaking openly about her experience in the days when there was no place for transgender girls to go to look for help or education, about hormones or any others issues that they were going through. She lived mostly in Spanish neighborhoods like Jackson Heights in Queens, where she and her transgender sisters struggled with discrimination and sexual and physical abuse on the street. Sex work was the main way to survive, since jobs and health education were extremely limited. Nicole’s experience navigating this environment led her to activism: she is particularly passionate about HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment and mental healthcare access, especially in undocumented communities. She began her career in advocacy at 17, volunteering at Spanish community organizations, doing outreach and participating in forums representing the transgender community. During the era of Stop and Frisk, she was arrested several times just for walking in the streets, and responded by volunteering at community organizations that were eventually able to end the discriminatory policy. Nicole enjoys being an advocate and speaks publicly on issues concerning the LGBTQ Spanish-speaking immigrant community.
nicole@translatinanetwork.org
phone: (929) 413-2717
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Alma Arias, Outreach and Benefits Coordinator

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Alma is a Peer Health Specialist at Translatinx Network. Born and raised in San Diego, CA, she came to New York City in 2014 where she began her transition in 2016. Since then, Alma has been on an upward journey to claim her gender and Latinx identity, while mobilizing and resisting alongside her community. It was in her hometown of San Diego where Alma also worked in the community of City Heights as a volunteer for Mid-City CAN in their Media Department and the International Rescue Committee as a mentor, guiding and getting refugees and undocumented immigrants equipped for their citizenship exams.
Alma@translatinanetwork.org
phone: (929) 413-5115
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Lila Rivera, Community Enrichment Coordinator

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As the Community Enrichment Coordinator for Translatinx Network, Lila provides community based programming around accessing HRA assistance through the city, as well as educating the community through civic engagement initiatives. She was born and raised in Brooklyn NY and is the first in her family to complete a Bachelor's degree from CUNY Brooklyn. She has long advocated for underserved communities through food justice programs, as well as serving internationally as a Peace Corps Volunteer with the community members of Thailand. She currently sits as a County Committee Member for her district in Sunset Park, Brooklyn in which she establishes relationships with local community leaders and members.
Lilandra@translatinanetwork.org
phone: (929) 842-4010
As the Career Development Coordinator for Translatinx Network, Vil will link graduates of the FORWARD program, and clients seeking employment support to employment opportunities, workforce development programs, supportive services, and other community resources. Vil specializes in educating the general public and LGBTQ community on the spread and prevention of HIV/AIDS, including working with high-risk populations as well as individuals infected with HIV and partaking in campaigns to prevent and educate about Transphobia. Vil is skilled in motivational interviewing, HIV counseling, emergency response, HIV and STI testing, CLEAR intervention, and HIV treatment. Vil graduated from Pace University in 2016 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Global Marketing Management.
Vil@translatinanetwork.org
phone: (929) 413-0702

Advisors

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Christine Perez, Senior Health Educator

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Christine leads our community outreach in Jackson Heights where she distributes information on HIV Testing, PrEP/PEP, medical services and other community resources, in addition to facilitating leadership development programming at our monthly group in Brooklyn and weekly group in Queens. Originally from El Salvador, Christine has been living in New York for 18 years and began transitioning in 2001. She is a fierce community advocate and enjoys speaking publicly on issues concerning the LGBTQ immigrant community.
Christine@translatinanetwork.org
phone: (929) 413-9817
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Jose Franco, Peer Health Advisor

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My name is Jose Franco, I’m from El Salvador, I moved from my native country due to the homophobia that we have to endure, due to lack of sensitivity of Homophobic people, I suffered a lot of abuse due to my sexual orientation and not only from people outside of me, also for my family; Thanks to a trans woman who helped me connect to Translatinx Network TN). I have recently graduated from the Outreach Education which is a peer education training program at TN and now I feel more confident, I have learned that nothing is impossible if one sets out to achieve it in the best way that it should be done, also to love myself no matter what they say about me, doing what my heart dictates, in order to help others who are going through the same thing.
Jose@translatinanetwork.org
phone: (929) 842-3999

Specialists

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Ammerly Hernandez, Peer Health Specialist

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My name is Ammerly Hernandez, I’m a transgender woman from Peru and I came to New York City back in 2005. I started my transition at the age of 21 and it has been a long journey with a lot of challenges which it made me a strong person. Facing many obstacles have helped me to develop appreciation for everything I have accomplished in my life. I graduated college in 2014 and I’ve earned an Associate degree as a Medical Assistant. Working in the “Straight” world somehow made me a little bit insecure about myself and that’s why I’ve recently started to reconnect with my community; in addition, I have joined a support group at Translatina Network. Also, I attended the TGNC Leadership Program which I successfully concluded. I’m very excited to become a member of this beautiful family and looking forward to a new career path.
ammerly@translatinanetwork.org
phone: (929) 413-3971

Support Staff

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Nikki Vega, Peer Group Facilitator

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As a Peer Group Facilitator, Nikki co-facilitates the Trans Masculine group that meets every Tuesday. Nikki also occasionally supports TN staff on various projects and provides programmatic support as needed. As a queer, trans Latinx person, they highly value being a part of a community which values all parts of their identity and extends the same compassion back to the community. In addition to their work at TN, Nikki works full-time as a therapist with several practices in New York State.
Nikki@translatinanetwork.org
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Elena Waldman, Administrative Assistant

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Elena Waldman has been fighting the binary since 1964. Born and raised in Queens, their personal, professional, and academic life has been dedicated to dismantling systems of oppression and violence. Elena is also a well-known self defense and Karate instructor, and has collaborated with a diverse spectrum of organizations, from local PTOs to the annual Trans Wellness Conference, from South Asian advocacy groups in Queens, to harm reduction centers in Philadelphia. Come visit Translatinx Network, and Elena (and their dog, Potato) will be happy to greet you!
elena@translatinanetwork.org
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Olive Daddi, Project Assistant

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As a Project Assistant, Olive supports TN staff on various programs and provides admin support as needed, in addition to being a full-time MSW student. They formerly helped to develop TN’s Workforce program, and are glad to have the opportunity to be back at TN once again.
olive@translatinanetwork.org
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Davíd Eli Patiño, Media Specialist

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Davíd oversees and maintains the organization's online media presence, including our website, Instagram, Facebook, and outreach emails. Prior to joining Translatinx Network, Davíd worked as a chaplain at Bellevue Hospital Center. Davíd recently graduated with an M.A. from Union Theological Seminary where he focused on Postcolonial Christian Ethics and Latinx, LGBT Ministries. He has participated in programs such as the Columbia University's Beyond the Bars Fellowship, the Trans* Seminarians Leadership Cohort, the Hispanic Summer Program, and Cristosal's Global School of Human Rights seminar on Addressing violence against LGBTIQ+ people. Prior to moving to New York, Davíd graduated from Stanford University with a B.A. in Political Science, after which he worked for Google Inc. and Transgender Law Center. Throughout his career, Davíd has worked for the advancement of racial, economic, LGBT and gender justice through advocacy, community building, and political engagement. 
david@translatinanetwork.org