Our Team

Margarita Ramirez

Executive Director

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Being a Mexican who immigrated to the United States at a young age and a mother of two, I have experienced the barriers that the Latino community faces on a regular basis. This inspired me to become more involved in my community and help create ways to break down those barriers, which has led me to become the Executive Director of Centro Unido Latino Americano. In about a year, I was able to build a fantastic team of talented individuals to fulfill our goal of more accessible resources in health, career, education and cultural representation for my community.

Marisol Bermudez

Administrative Manager / Data Analyst

Hi there! I am from Columbia, I moved to Marion about three years ago. I was introduced to Centro Unido Latino Americano through a youth program called Vida Activa. My children were interested in the program and that is how I got involved with CULA. I want to make sure that our community is represented well and one way I do that is by keeping track of our numbers so that we are able to offer the best services to our community that meets their needs. 

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Laura Galindo

Office Manager

I was born in Los Angeles CA, but I was raised in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. I enjoy spending time with my two sons and being involved in activities that they enjoy. I love spending as much time with them as I can. I heard about C.U.L.A. a few years ago through Facebook and it was all very interesting to see all of the programs that they offer as a service to the community. As Office Manager I welcome people either on the phone or in the office and attend to their needs or refer them to the appropriate person to provide them with the best service.

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Lorena Cervantes

Helping Hands Coordinator

My name is Lorena Lopez-Cervantes and I am a proud native of Mexico but my heart belongs to the community I serve in McDowell. I had the privilege of getting to know CULA when I began volunteer work in 2017.

I believe all people should have access to nutrition and healthy foods, this belief has led me to become the coordinator of the Helping Hands Program where we distribute food every other week as well as provide necessary clothing and hygienic products. Please see me if you need any assistance with food or personal necessities! 

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Lilly Aguilar

Community Outreach Coordinator

I originate from Costa Rica and have been involved with the community in McDowell for more than ten years. I was involved since 2009 when CULA was founded, and during those times I was just about everywhere but now I coordinate community outreach for services and events. 

Since then I have seen the organization grow into what it is now and I am beyond delighted to still be a part of this growing team, I am here for my community!

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Rosalinda Arriola

Equity Coordinator

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Hi! I am from Guatemala. I have been living in the USA since 1988. I lived 2 years in L.A. California, 10 years in Washington, DC and the rest in Marion, NC. I have 4 wonderful children Bonnie, Gabriela, Alicia and Alvaro J.
I worked as a teacher for more than 30 years. I love to read, to crochet and take walks in nature. 
Recently, I started working at Centro Unido Latino Americano as an Equity Coordinator and I am so excited to serve a wonderful, hard working community.

Melissa Flores

Workforce Coordinator

I am Melissa Flores mother of two, a native of Honduras, and I am thrilled to be a part of CULA! Honduras is where I received my Bachelor's in Education where I also taught both children and adults alike for sixteen years before moving to Marion. As the Workforce Coordinator my goal is to place community members in dignifying jobs and to provide educational opportunities for labor skills that helps our community excel for their future. Visit my office anytime!

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Carlos Lopez

Coordinator for Youth Engagement

I originate from Mexico but I have grown up and lived in Marion for the past sixteen years. I am the oldest of two and have always seemed to fall into leadership roles throughout my life and for that same reason I began to volunteer with CULA and participated in an outdoor youth program. This is when I noticed that I can be an advocate for the youth in the community and get them prepared for their future with a strengthened mentality. Today's young people are the ones who will shoulder the weight of the future so I want to ensure that they get to experience theirs.

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Laura Zapater

Community Health Worker

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I am originally from Spain and moved to Marion over a year ago and began to seek jobs in social work and that is when I came across Centro Unido Latino Americano. I like to lead a healthy life style which is one of the things I promote as CULA's Community Health Worker.

I make sure the community receives knowledge and education on chronic, mental, and physical risks that can affect their life. A healthy community is a connected community!