Leadership Team

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Cristina Herrera, CEO & Founder


Cristina founded the Translatina Network back in 2007, in order to organized and empower the transgender immigrant community through leadership development and education.  Over the years she has served on countless panels, committees and boards in order to provide expertise on effective HIV prevention and community organizing. Cristina has been presented with awards and recognitions by NYC DOH, The AIDS Institute, City Council , the Queens Borough President and many organizations.

Cristina was formerly the Trans Program Coordinator  at the Lesbian, Gay Bisexual & Transgender Community Center (The Center), where she worked for eleven years. She oversaw the workforce development program that is specifically designed to meet the needs of the TGNC community. She has been working in the field of HIV prevention, advocacy and community organizing for 18 years.


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Laura Silvestre, Associate Director of HIV Prevention


Laura is the Associate Director of HIV Prevention at Translatina Network. She recently graduated with a Bachelors in Psychology from Brooklyn College. She is attending the Silberman School of Social Work in the fall to get her MSW degree. She will be learning under the Organizational Management and Leadership Method. Laura lives in Queens, New York and her ethnicity is Dominican.

She enjoys learning about ways to continue to support prevention effort for the LGBTQ community as a dedicated Ally.  Laura is currently in charge of daily activities at our HQ and is giving the organization a more 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.


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Charlotte Shum, Peer Health Coordinator


Charlotte was born in New York City with a passion for helping others. She believes in education as a means of advocacy and enjoys applying creative solutions to challenging situations. She is a member of many advisory boards and has devoted her life to drawing out the potential leaders of the communities she interacts with.


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Elizabeth Iza,
Peer Health Ambassador


I am Elizabeth Guzman, an Ecuadorian activist and entrepreneur. I fight for the rights of the LGBT community. When I was young, I began to experience people refusing to accept me because I am different. Growing up in a country where people like me were rarely accepted was rough and intimidating. Although my life was not easy, I worked hard toward graduating and earned my degree in Business Administration. At 19, I traveled to New York City in search of acceptance and a better life. I could finally begin to be myself without fear. I began my transition when I was 21 years old. I suffered discrimination and rejection, but it led me to activism, to standing up for the rights of us who are left behind. I have volunteered with organizations such as Lorena Borjas. I am currently part of the Translatina Network thanks to Cristina Herrera. I continue my journey as a survivor of a dysfunctional society. With the support of Translatina Network I will work hard to become a role model for our community and continue to fight for equal rights.


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Meilene Belmont, Peer Health Ambassador


Meilene is originally from Mexico and 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 Belmont is a Peer Health Ambassador at Translatina Network. She graduated from the TGNC Leadership Space ll, which is a workforce development program that incorporates the development of different soft skills, HIV Prevention, and Resume writing. She continues to grow her career in Translatina Network by assisting and providing community health services to the LGBT Community.


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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.


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Christine Perez, Peer Health Advisor


Christine is originally from El Salvador, but has been living in New York for 18 years. She began her transition back in 2001. She is a Trans-Advocate and enjoys speaking publicly on issues concerning the LGBTQ immigrant community. She participates in community outreach in Jackson Heights where she distributes information on HIV Testing, PrEP/PEP, medical services and other community resources. Christine leads our leadership Development work in NYC as one of our facilitators for our Brooklyn monthly groups and Queens weekly group at Voces Latinas. She loves being a resource to the community and enjoys serving the needs of her group members.Christine@translatinanetwork.org

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Nicole Teyuca, Peer Health Ambassador


Nicole is originally from Mexico and came to New York when she was 16, where she started living her life as female a year later. Back in those days, 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 a Trans-Advocate and enjoys speaking publicly on issues concerning the LGBTQ Spanish-speaking immigrant community, and she is not afraid to speak her mind in order to help others.