Meet Our Teachers and Staff!

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Founder, GoGo Español
Co-Director, Portland Early Learning Project

Jessica Swartz Amezcua, MA
(she/her)

I was born and raised in Washington, DC, and have lived in seven different cities (two of which were in Mexico!).

I spent the most magical, life-changing trimester in Cuautla, Mexico back in college. I made a pact with a friend not to speak a single word of English -- and both of us came out speaking with near-native fluency! It took me five years, but I found a way to make my way back to (my beloved) Mexico by working as a lab tech at the University of Mexico for two years. That single trimester in my second year of college set me on an incredible (albeit circuitous) path to where I am today - an owner of an amazing Spanish program where I get to share my passion for Spanish language and cultures through singing, reading, and playing. 

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Instructor

Ceci Orozco (she/her)

Ceci is originally from Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Finance Administration. During college, she did an internship with the Education Department at ITESO University, that involved first hand experience in leading the logistics for a week-long immersion in creative education, curriculum development, and in-depth educational conferences. This experience led her to find a passion for teaching.

When she moved to Portland in 2015, she volunteered as a Spanish interpreter with a Montessori School and taught kids yoga for Happy Mindful People. Right after that she met with Jessica and began teaching Spanish for PELP. 

Ceci is also a former athlete, certified yoga teacher and holistic wellness educator. In her free time, she enjoys exploring the great outdoors of the PNW, traveling, gardening and relaxing at home, unplugging from technology (so needed!). She visits her home country of Mexico whenever she can! Ceci has taught with us before and we are so excited to have her back teaching with us. 

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JR. Video Editor

Raquel Aurelia Amezcua (she/her)

   Raquel Aurelia Amezcua has been involved with PELP since she was three! First as a student in our preschool classes, then as a camper, and later as a volunteer counselor. If she didn’t have school and other obligations – she could almost teach our classes! (She certainly knows all the songs!) 

Raquel's current role at PELP is to create promotional videos for our Spanish programs, and help our teachers with their GoGo Espanol videos.  

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Content Creator & Researcher

Amanda Isabelle Amezcua (She/Her)

   A. Isabelle Amezcua is a voracious bookhound who constantly seeks new books, poems, writers, and other prose to consume.  Born in Washington D.C., raised in California, and educated in Oregon, she is now back on the East Coast.

   She got her B.A. in Philosophy and History at the University of Oregon, where she was one of the founders of Ex Animo, the first undergraduate philosophy journal at the University of Oregon, and is in progress to further her literary education via  Academic Librarianship. She's enjoyed researching and creating content for Gogo Español, and Portland Early Learning Project.

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Instructor

Marcela Rodas Bautista (she/her)

Marcela is originally from Guatemala City. She moved to Portland, Oregon in 2016.

She started teaching Spanish as a second language in Turin, Italy where she obtained her Bachelor's in International Relations.

When she returned to Guatemala she continued to teach Spanish to children and adults. She is also a circus performer and a movement arts coach for people of all ages.

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instructor

Delia Garcia (she/her)

Delia was born and raised in Monterrey, Mexico. She received her degree in Education in 2000 and also obtained a diploma in Special Education Studies. She gained experience working in an elementary school for six years, and has worked with various groups of teachers performing social services in rural areas in Mexico.

Teaching is one of Delia's passions, as she enjoys being a part of the learning process with young children. Delia lives in Beaverton with her ​husband, Abraham, and their three children Alejandro, Zulianny, and Sebastian.

She loves spending time with family, traveling, and going to the theater.

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instructor
SR. Video Editor

Pablo Usunoff (he/him)

Pablo Usunoff was born in Arizona, and was raised and lived most of his life in Argentina. He took a break from teaching Spanish for us so he could bike across Mexico (from Cancun to Tijuana), and then From San Diego to Rhode island. We're so happy to have him back! He's been instrumental in our big pivot to going virtual. He has put his film studies and musical talents to use by editing and creating videos for GoGo Español. His passion for music and cinematography really shines through in our videos! He also worked as an audiovisual translator for many years, as well as taught English classes to children.
When he's not working or riding his bicycle, Pablo loves to play with his pelota!

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Registration & Administrative Assistant

Kathi Kister (she/her)

      Kathi has lived in Portland for the last 20 years after making a home 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 The Pennsylvania State University.
      After working in admissions and financial for several years, Kathi became a stay at home mom to her two children. She has volunteered extensively in her children’s schools, music competitions, and soccer
teams. She is finishing her 7 th year at Westview High School as an ASPIRE mentor, which helps juniors and seniors navigate the post high school process.
       Kathi lives in the Bethany area with her husband and trying to get used to her empty nest although the children seem to like to test that quite a bit! She loves reading, volunteering, and traveling with her family.