puentes-new-orleans-_updated2(1)Carolina Hernandez

Executive Director

[email protected]

Carolina Hernandez, Executive Director
Born to parents from Mexico and El Salvador, Carolina grew up in New Orleans. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture from the University of Louisiana in Lafayette. After working in several architecture firms, Carolina founded her own firm, Noesis Design Associates in 2005. An active Puentes board member and volunteer since 2008, as well as a founding member of the organization’s civic engagement program, Carolina was elected to lead the organization on November 4, 2013. In just 6 months her leadership and immediate attention to establishing efficient management systems has significantly reduced the organization‘s overhead at the same time expanding our outreach and staff development.
Lisa ImageLisa Reyes

Small Busines Coordinator

[email protected]

Elizabeth (Lisa) Reyes, Small Business Development Coordinator
Born and raised in New Orleans to parents from the Dominican Republic, Lisa holds an Associate’s Degree in Business Administration and Accounting from Delgado Community College. She has over a decade of professional work experience in the staffing and non-profit industry. Over the past 8 years, Lisa has volunteered and worked at a number of non-profit organizations that serve the Latino community in New Orleans. She is currently a Board member of the United Dominicans of Louisiana, where she has held multiple roles within consecutive terms, including Secretary, President and Treasurer. She is also an IRS Enrolled Agent and a certified Legal and Medical Interpreter/Translator. Lisa is dedicated to motivating and serving others in hopes of enabling them to become productive and positive community members and citizens.
Scarlet GarciaScarlet Garcia

Homebuyer Training Coordinator

[email protected]

Scarlet E. Garcia, Homebuyer Training Coordinator
Scarlet is originally from Nicaragua and came to New Orleans at the age of 15. She graduated from O. P. Walker High among the top ten students in her class. She attended the University of New Orleans and obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts in 1995. She worked at Consumer Credit Counseling as a Credit Counselor and advanced into an Outreach position where she worked closely with HUD to conduct First-Time Homebuyer Seminars is Spanish for the first time in New Orleans from 1995 through 1997. She then moved into the Finance and Banking Industry working for various companies such as North American Mortgage Company, Washington Mutual, Wells Fargo Home Loans, Gulf Coast Bank and Trust, and JPM Chase Bank.


Korinna Sanchez

Program Coordinator “Escalera Program”

[email protected]

Korinna Sanchez, Program Coordinator of the Escalera Program
Korrinna holds a Master’s Degree in Latin American Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles. She has 12 years of experience as an educator in both Los Angeles and New Orleans. Growing up in southern California as a daughter of immigrant parents who struggled to understand an unfamiliar educational system, Korinna is committed to helping families in similar situations and advocating for equal opportunity education.

Julissa G

Julissa Gonzales

Community Organizer

[email protected]

Julissa Gonzales, Community Organizer
From Uptown New Orleans, she holds a Bachelor’s Degree in International Studies from the University of New Orleans. Julissa has a passion for helping others and giving back to her community; when she was just 7 years old, she was already volunteering at local charities and homes for the elderly. After high school, she lived and worked as a volunteer English teacher and adult literacy instructor for two years in a rural indigenous town of Guatemala. In 2009, after being introduced to Puentes through an interpretation certification training event facilitated by Tulane University, Julissa began at the organization’s community events and later completed an internship before becoming full-time staff. As community organizer, she develops several of Puentes’ community projects and events for Latinos in the greater New Orleans area.

Kenneth R

Kenneth Routon

Director of Research & Development

[email protected]

Kenneth Routon, Director of Research & Development
A sociocultural anthropologist by training, Kenneth has lived and taught English in Mexico (1997), conducted two years of ethnographic research in Havana, Cuba (2003-2006), held teaching posts at several universities across the country, taught and published extensively on West Africa & the Caribbean, served as contributing editor for Media Notes at Anthropology News, and worked as a curator at the Lower Ninth Ward Living Museum in New Orleans. He is a recipient of a Fulbright-Hays research grant (2003-2004) and an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship (2006-2008). His book Hidden Powers of State in the Cuban Imagination explores how ritual idioms of power feed the political imagery and exercise of state power in Cuba, and vice versa.



Below you will find information on our Board of Directors. Please click on the name of each Member to open or close his or her info.

Salvador Longoria

While practicing law, Salvador Longoria has served on the Board of the New Orleans Pro Bono Project, Loyola University’s President’s Council, Catholic Charities, Advisory Board Member and President of the Hispanic Apostolate, Archdiocese of New Orleans. He served as a supervising attorney for Tulane Law School’s Cuban Detainee Clinical Project and is an Appointee on the Louisiana State Advisory Committee, United States Commission on Civil Rights. He previously served as an appointee for the Louisiana Pan American Commission and was an appointee and chairperson for the United States Department of Commerce Advisory Committee on the Hispanic Population. At present Mr. Longoria serves on the Racial Harmony Committee for the Archdiocese of New Orleans and on the board of Second Harvest Food Bank. He also presently serves as a Commissioner of the Regional Transit Authority, community board member of Entergy New Orleans, and an advisory board member of the Jesuit Social Research Institute. Mr. Longoria currently serves as President of the Board of Directors of Puentes New Orleans.

Martín Gutiérrez

Martín has been employed by the Archdiocese of New Orleans since 1997. He currently serves as Vice President of Community Services Ministry. Programs that Martín oversees include: services to immigrants, Hispanics, refugees, homeless, domestic violence, anti-trafficking, community services, education, and home-rebuilding. He currently serves on several boards and commissions including: Catholic Charities USA, ASI Federal Credit Union, Racial Harmony Committee for the Archdiocese of New Orleans, and UNITY for the Homeless. Martín is a former banker with 13 years of banking experience and currently serves as a Board member of Puentes New Orleans.

Bertha Montenegro

Bertha Montenegro has been in the Banking/Lending industry since 1989. She is currently the Area Sales Manager for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage in Louisiana, responsible for overseeing the entire production team and developing and implementing strategies to grow and develop Wells Fargo Home Mortgage (WFHM) presence in the market. Prior to joining WFHM she was a Senior VP/COO at ASI Federal Credit Union where she managed all aspects of Lending and branch operations. Bertha started her career as a Loan Officer with First NBC, now Chase Home Mortgage where she held several positions including Regional Manager for Louisiana, Texas, Florida and Oklahoma. Ms. Montenegro currently serves as a Board member of Puentes New Orleans.

David Gallegos

David Gallegos is employed with the Advocacy Center as a Program Director. He is responsible for overseeing several non-legal programs including the Client Assistance Program, Protection and Advocacy for Beneficiaries for Social Security (PABSS) and Work Incentives Planning and Assistance Programs. Mr. Gallegos is active on several non-profit boards; he is the past Vice-Chair of the Brain Injury Association of Louisiana and is a Board member of the Language Access Coalition, the Greater New Orleans Disaster Recovery Partnership (GNODRP), Tulane Children’s Health Project Committee, Medicaid Purchase Plan Advisory Council and Work Pays Coalition. Mr. Gallegos is also involved in Latino-Focused committees and is currently a Board member of Puentes New Orleans.

Ana Gershanik

Ana Ester Gershanik, the writer of the “Nuestro Pueblo” weekly column for The Times Picayune, was born in Rosario, Santa Fe, República Argentina. She is married to Dr. Juan Jorge Gershanik, a physician specialized in Neonatology. They have three children: Alex, Viviana and Esteban and six grandchildren. They have lived in New Orleans since 1979. Ana has undergraduate degrees in Elementary Education and in Political Science, a Master’s Degree in Secondary Education and a degree in Piano. She is a member and past officer of many civic and charitable organizations at city, state and national levels. At present, she serves on the Boards of Trustees of the Committee for Better New Orleans, Healthy Lifestyles Choices, Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, Puentes New Orleans, United Way Women’s Leadership Council and Young Audiences. She also serves on CADA (Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse) Hispanic Committee, the advisory committees to Loyola University School of Humanities and Sciences, Tulane Cancer Center, Tulane Children’s Health Project and WLAE Ana has been the recipient of several awards including the New Orleans Professional Chapter of Women in Communications’ 1994 , Helicon Achievement Award for Merit for her work as a columnist, the 1993 “Aqui New Orleans Aplauso” Award and the 1994, “Que Pasa New Orleans” Award for outstanding work in the field of communications, the 1997 Role Models by the Young Leadership Council and 1997 Family Service of Greater New Orleans Outstanding Persons and 2000 YWCA Role Model. Along with her husband Juan, Ana has been very active working with Latino students in Orleans and Jefferson Parish Public Schools implementing programs aiming at self esteem, motivation, and prevention of alcohol and drug abuse. Together, they were honored by the March of Dimes and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and St. Charles Avenue Magazine recognized them as 2009 Activists of the Year. In 2005, they were presented with the Galvez Cup by the New Orleans Hispanic Heritage Foundation , the Open Door Award by the Greater New Orleans Foundation and were recognized as Champions of Public Health by Tulane University School of Public Health.

James D. Huck, Jr.

Dr. James D. Huck, Jr., is a professor at Tulane University in the Stone Center for Latin American Studies and functions as the Center’s Graduate Advisor. Dr. Huck earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Foreign Service with a Certificate in Latin American Studies from Georgetown University, and both his MA and his Ph.D. in Latin American Studies from Tulane. He served as the founding Director of the Johnson Center for Latin American Studies at Albright College in Reading, PA (1998-2000) and returned to New Orleans in January, 2001, to assume his current position at Tulane. He sits on the Executive Committee of Tulane University’s Center for Public Service and is currently a Board member of Puentes New Orleans.

Richard Martínez

Richard Martínez joined the Greater New Orleans Foundation in 2007 and currently serves as program officer. He has over 12 years experience in the nonprofit sector. From 1994 until 2005, he was the Executive Director of the Multi-Service Center for the Homeless in New Orleans. Richard taught urban studies at the University of New Orleans from 2005 to 2007 and he holds a master’s degree in urban and regional planning from this institution and a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering technology from the City University of New York at City College. Richard is a 2009 Hull Fellows and 2007 Bryan Bell Metropolitan Leadership Forum graduate. Mr. Martínez currently serves as Board member of Puentes New Orleans.

Enrique Moresco

Enrique Moresco was diagnosed with AIDS in 1993. He is currently Director of Operations at NO/AIDS Task Force; is a founding member and immediate past Chair of LAAN - the Louisiana AIDS Advocacy Network-; Immediate past Chair of the - Louisiana Commission on HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C-; a founding member and current Treasurer of LLHC - Louisiana Latino Health Coalition for HIV/AIDS-; and Past Chair of the NORAPC - New Orleans Regional AIDS Planning Council-. Enrique is currently a Board member of Puentes New Orleans.

Jessica Venegas

Jessica Venegas is Director of Strategic Partnerships for Community Solutions where she supports the 100,000 Homes Campaign, a national movement of over 150 communities working together to house 100,000 vulnerable and chronically homeless Americans by July of 2014. Prior to joining Community Solutions, Jessica staffed a long-term partnership between Common Ground and UNITY of Greater New Orleans to help create 3,000 new units of affordable and supportive housing in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. She has also held executive positions at the Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations and the Community Preservation and Development Corporation in Washington DC. Jessica holds a B.A. in Urban Community Development from Azusa Pacific University and a graduate certificate from the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Urban Redevelopment Excellence (CUREx). In 2008, she was named an inaugural fellow of the Louisiana Effective Leaders Program, and in 2009, she was recognized as a Louisiana Heroine by the Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations. She currently sits on the boards of Puentes New Orleans, the Louisiana Housing Alliance, and Academy of Hope. She is based in Washington. D.C.