Cristina Herrera, CEO & Founder
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.
phone: (917) 583-9307
Laura Silvestre, Director of Programs
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.
phone: (929) 413-1154
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.
phone: (929) 391-7411
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.
phone: (929) 533-8653
Nicole Teyuca, Community Engagement Coordinator
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.
phone: (929) 413-2717
Christine Perez, Senior Health Educator
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.
phone: (929) 413-9817
Lila Rivera, Peer Health Specialist
Lila born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. I am a first generation Latina in my family to complete a B.A. degree in Psychology from CUNY Brooklyn College. Being a public servant and an advocate for communities of color is something I constantly strive to do and learn from. I began branching my interest in non-profit work when I got involved with working in community gardens that would provide families with fresh and accessible produce. That later bloomed into serving internationally through the Peace Corps with the rural youth and communities of Thailand. Eventually I will like to continue my education focusing on community or forein development.
phone: (929) 842-4010
Alma Arias, Peer Health Specialist
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.
phone: (929) 413-5115
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.
Nikki Vega, Peer Group Facilitator
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.
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!
Olive Daddi, Project Assistant
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.