Cristina Herrera, CEO & Founder
Cristina founded Translatina Network in 2007, in order to organized 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.
Laura Silvestre, Associate Director of HIV Prevention
Laura oversees day-to-day operations and administrative tasks at our main office and co-facilitates leadership programming. A recent graduate with a Bachelors in Psychology from Brooklyn College, Laura is currently working towards her MSW with a focus on Organizational Management and Leadership at Silberman School of Social Work. Laura is a younger Dominican woman, and 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.
Meilene Belmont, Peer Health Coordinator
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.
Elvia Mata, Benefits Coordinator
Elvia was born and raised in Corona, Queens NYC, to immigrant parents from the Dominican Republic. Growing up in an immigrant community profoundly shaped elements of her life that have molded her into who she is today. Watching the struggles of her father, relatives, and other members of her community such as separation from their homeland, the process of becoming legal residents, and in some fortunate cases eventual citizenship has fueled her interest in servicing those within my community. She has been able to achieve this in small but meaningful ways starting off as a peer mentor in LaGuardia Community College within the CREAR Futuros initiative. As a Media and Communication major at CUNY School for Professional Studies she has been able to incorporate both her developing
knowledge and people skills while interning for Movement for Justice in El Barrio. There alongside a team of interns they focused on immigrant workshops, organizing protests denouncing family separation at the border, and organizing workshops for children educating them on the history of migration. As a member of the LGBTIA+ community her goal is to continue to carry out unified and intentional teamwork that is focused to migrants whom are transgender and nonconforming.
Simon Chartrand, Workforce Development Coordinator
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.
Christine Perez, Peer Health Advisor
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.
Pearl Love, Peer Health Advisor
Pearl is a transgender female from Taiwan. She is an activist and a educator. Pearl enjoys providing information on HIV prevention and promoting safer sex. Pearl is part of Translatina Network’s peer leadership training.
Krisla Canales, Peer Health Specialist
Krisla was born and raised in Houston, TX to Honduran immigrants. She is currently attending Hunter College pursuing a major in Latin American Studies. Her academic interests center around Latinx feminism and domestic violence.
Gogo Graham, Media Specialist
Gogo is the media specialist at Translatinx Network. Based in Brooklyn, NY, she operates a fashion brand that caters to the TGNC community with specific focus on the economic empowerment of trans/NB femmes of color.
Nicole Teyuca, Peer Health Ambassador
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.
Gianella Robles, Peer Health Ambassador
Gianella is Peer Health Specialist of HIV Prevention at Translatina Network. She is Certified as Medical Assistant with an Associate Degree, and she is attending New York Medical Center. Her ethnicity is Peruvian. Her passion is to contribute to the community in different forms to prevent and treat HIV/AIDS.
Alystair Augustin, Peer Health Ambassador
They/Them or He/Him
Alystair was born in New Jersey and raised by a loving and accepting Trinidadian mother. They’ve been out as trans and queer since high school. Alystair is a nationally registered EMT, and equity in EMS and the larger healthcare system is very important to him. Their passions include visual art, food justice, prison abolition, and destroying colonial gender constructs.
Elena Waldman, Administrative Assistant
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!