Staff Members

Seattle Team

Mario Flores
Co-Executive Director
Mario is our Co-Executive Director, overseeing all of Global Visionaries' Programs in the US and Guatemala. He first joined GV in 2006 as a Country Coordinator in Guatemala. Mario brings to GV his leadership and management​ skills, knowledge of restoration, and experience in environmental education and community outreach.
Born and raised in Guatemala, Mario understands the importance of community involvement and collaboration in social and environmental justice projects. After studying Agronomics Agriculture at Universidad San Carlos de Guatemala, Mario joined an International Crew for EarthCorps, a Seattle-based NGO. This experience ignited his passion to continue working in environmental restoration as well as social justice and environmental education. Mario remained with EarthCorps as an International Crew Leader, and later spent one year as an EarthCorps Outreach Intern in Seattle. After completing this internship, Mario returned to Guatemala where he organized and managed an eco-service learning project. This effort brought together 35 international volunteers from the U.S., Mexico and Argentina to restore trails and a natural park as well as build a native plant nursery facility. Mario first joined GV in 2006 as a Country Coordinator in Guatemala. He was promoted to Country Program Director before then transitioning to the Seattle office as Program Outreach Manager. Mario was promoted to Program Director in May 201​​3.
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Sarah Popelka
Co-Executive Director
Sarah is our Co-Executive Director, overseeing all of Global Visionaries' Development & Operations. She brings over 20 years of experience in nonprofit development with her to GV. She holds a Master of Science in Nonprofit Management with an Emphasis on Global Studies from Northeastern University.
Sarah joined GV in March 2019 as the Development Director and became Co-Executive Director in June 2019. She has nearly 20 years of experience in nonprofit development, with organizations such as JDRF, American Diabetes Association, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Rite of Passage Journeys, Child & Youth Finance International and most recently Southwest Youth & Family Services. Sarah holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication, Minor in Spanish from the University of Iowa and a Master of Science in Nonprofit Management, Emphasis on Global Studies from Northeastern University. Sarah traveled in an international program, Up With People, as a young adult, studied at Universidad de Santiago in Chile, and briefly lived with her husband and two kids near Amsterdam. She has a deep love for traveling and gaining new cultural experiences. With the insight that cross-cultural experiences help to develop and deepen respect for others, she was drawn to the mission of GV, knowing that our next generation of leaders should have a global perspective and care for humanity.
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Jennifer Jallos
Operations Manager
Jennifer brings over eight years of operations and administrative experience with her to GV. She holds a MA in the Humanities from the University of Chicago specializing in Epistemology and Social & Moral Philosophy.
Jennifer received her BA in Philosophy with a minor in Legal Studies from Nova Southeastern University in South Florida, where she is originally from. Jennifer is passionate about encouraging youth to question, discuss, and reflect on the social, moral, and environmental structures they operate in. From her own experience as an at-risk youth, she believes engaging young people in this kind of critical thinking will support them in being more aware of themselves and the world around them, therefore becoming leaders of change in their own lives and their communities. In her spare time, Jennifer can be found reading, working on craft projects, and exploring her new home in the Pacific Northwest.
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Cassidy Nelson
Program Manager
Cassidy holds a BA in Global Studies and Spanish from The New School, in New York City. She has spent over 15 months living, working, and studying in Ecuador, Cuba, and Argentina.
Given the profound impact international exchange has had on her own life, she is eager to help more young people become global citizens and committed to making cultural immersion accessible for all. In New York, Cassidy worked with several nonprofit organizations focused on immigrant rights, refugee resettlement, educational access, and intercultural education. She is driven by a commitment to intersectional, community-centered social justice and is excited to contribute to Global Visionaries as a Program Manager. Cassidy spends her free time listening to podcasts, embroidering, reading, weaving, and hunting for vintage clothing.
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Guatemala Team

Aurelio Hernandez
Guatemala Senior Director
Aurelio has worked with GV since 2003. Prior to his involvement, he worked with El Centro Linguistico, La Union in Antigua. He coordinates all on-the-ground activities in Guatemala, connecting GV with local partners for service projects and cultural exchanges.
He has worked in Tourism and Hotel Management since 1994, and holds a degree in Business Administration from the Universidad de Francisco Marroquin. Aurelio enjoys working with foreign visitors to Guatemala and believes strongly in the benefits of building partnerships between Guatemala and foreign organizations toward a common goal of creating a better living standard for all Guatemalans.
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Billy Lopez
Country Program Director
An Antigua native, Billy graduated in an accounting career in 2007 and is currently studying Auditing and Public Accounting at la Universidad de Mariano Galvez. In his last year of high school, he began to volunteer with GV, and was deeply impacted by the work he did constructing a school near his hometown.
Before becoming involved with GV, he was a regular teenager, unaware of the injustice around the world. He stayed involved with the project for the rest of the year, adopting the school as his final project. That same year, he was invited to be on the Guatemalan GV staff. With GV he is a trip leader and specializes in cultural exchange, team building, and leadership. He loves challenging paradigms and helping students develop a new way of perceiving the world during their learning adventures with GV. Of his experiences with GV, he says “I’ve learned that education is the most important thing to make change in myself, and from this acknowledgement can extend change to my fellow countrymen, working together to build a just world. My dream for GV is to create the same opportunities that I’ve had for other Guatemalan youth.”
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Eduardo Cordova
Program Assistant
Eduardo has been a participant and volunteer with Global Visionaries since 2013. He graduated with a degree in business administration.
Jose Eduardo Cordova Alvares was born in Antigua Guatemala and currently lives in Ciudad Vieja (Old Town) Sacatepequez. He has a passion for social and environmental justice and loves working with youth. Eduardo says he loves empowering young people because every person can make a difference and youth are central to positive change.
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Claudia Hernandez
Program Logistic Coordinator
Claudia Irene Hernández García was born in San Miguel Escobar and has been with Global Visionaries since 2013 after processing coffee with her family for 9 years.
Claudia values the strengths taught at GV, including leadership, integrity and honesty. She received a degree in Tourism in 2007. Claudia also believes that by stepping out of our comfort zones we can become global leaders. “Education creates better opportunities for youth”.
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