Meet Our Teachers and Staff!

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Director

Jessica Swartz Amezcua

Originally from Washington, DC, Jessica has lived in seven cities, including two in Mexico. During college, she spent a transformative trimester in Cuautla, making a pact to speak only Spanish, leading to near-native fluency. After five years, she returned to Mexico, working as a lab tech at the University of Mexico for two years. This pivotal college trimester set her on the path to owning a dynamic Spanish program, where she shares her passion for the language and culture through engaging activities. Through her program, participants explore Spanish through singing, reading, and play.

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Associate Director

Kathryn López Resto

Kathryn is proudly a Boricua from Las Piedras, Puerto Rico! Upon her move to Oregon, English was a foreign language to her, with Spanish being her first language. Her affinity for working with children has been a lifelong passion, driven by a heartfelt commitment to supporting kids who, like her, faced language transitions. With a Bachelor of Science in Conflict Resolution, Kathryn is currently immersed in her studies at Portland State University, hoping to pursue a Master's in Child Development to continue making a positive impact on young lives.

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Administrative Manager

Kathi Kister

Kathi has lived in Portland for the last 20 years after making homes in Pennsylvania (twice), Illinois (twice), and Southern California. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication with a business minor from the University of Southern California and a Master’s in Educational Counseling from Pennsylvania State University.

Kathi connects with schools and handles all communication with parents regarding class registration.

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Site Maintenance

Eileen Peterson

Eileen grew up in San Diego, so she's no stranger to seeing and hearing Spanish around her. She’s lived in Portland for seven years now, and she's still exploring all the city has to offer.

In her free time, Eileen enjoys reading, sketching, and playing the piano.

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Graphics Coordinator

Mariana Mora

Mariana, a multi-disciplinary artist originally from Colombia and raised in Florida, holds a Bachelor's in Visual Art and Emerging Media Management. Transitioning her creative talents to Portland, she has honed her skills as both a graphic designer and artist, blending her diverse cultural background into her work. With a passion for teaching, Mariana aims to share her first language and artistic expertise, inspiring a new generation of Spanish speakers through the power of design and creativity.