Our instructional team and supervising staff at the Edmonton Hispanic Bilingual Association, consists of people who have lived or are entrenched in the Hispanic world, and are committed to carry out our organizational’s mission statement.
They include: volunteers, teachers, coordinators, students, colleagues, fans, dozens of people with links to the cultural, social and teaching midst in the Hispanic world.
President: Sofía Sanchez
Vice president: Vanesa Blanco Claramonte
Academic Secretary: Raquel Aviles
Byron Gonzalez BA in Education Sciences, with a minor in Spanish from the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua (UNAN) 1980, former Latin-American and Spanish literature professor at UNAN and coauthor of the class’ syllabus: “Taller literario” at the same university. Coordinated students’ work during the ‘National Alphabetization Campaign’ conducting research about the social and economic history of Cerro Blanco community in Nicaragua during 1980, this project can be found in Biblioteca Municipal de Muelle de los Bueyes, in Costa Atlántica, Nicaragua.
Byron was director of the a sociopolitical-cultural radio show called: “El árbol de la tormenta” from 1980 to 1982 transmitted by Radio Noticias on Sundays in Managua, Nicaragua. He was also a member of “Discurso Económico en los Textos de la Colonia” a research project dedicated to investigate: ‘Social History in Nicaraguan Literature’ participating from 1984 to 1986 for UNAN. His work have been published by “Ventana”, “Nuevo Amanecer Cultural”; “La Prensa Literaria” and “El Pueblo” in Nicaragua.
Avid lecturer at community poetry recitals during the 80’s in Nicaragua, as well as, guest speaker during a symposium honoring the painter Paul Delvaux (Belgium) in the University of San Jose de Costa Rica in 1987. Some of his published prose and poems can be found in magazines such as, “Andrómeda”, “Revenar”, “Escena” and in the cultural section of the newspapers: “La República” y “La Nación” in Costa Rica.
In Edmonton, he became an active member of a group of artists who created a monthly magazine called: “la guagua cultural”. Byron is the chief editor of the cultural section in “La tribuna latina” a newspaper dedicated to the Latino community in Edmonton, his prose and poetry have been published in this monthly publication for the past 10 years.
Byron has been a teacher in EHBA for the last 12 years, in which time, he has shared one of his greatest passions in life, Spanish language!
Hansy Herrera (Colombia)
Hansy was born and raised in Colombia. He graduated from Holy Cross College at Notre Dame (Indiana, USA) with a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts. Hansy holds a master’s degree in liberal arts from the Université de Lausanne (Switzerland). He has worked in developing curriculum for language instruction in the United States. Currently, he is studying Spanish and Latin American literature at the University of Alberta, where he is a Spanish teaching assistant. Hansy joined EHBA in 2013 and teaches introductory level courses. He brings to the institute a passion to teach Spanish and to share the Latin American culture.
Imelda comes from the state of Aguascalientes, located in the central part of Mexico, has over 20 years of experience teaching at different levels. She has participated in several training (Spanish as a foreign language) and cultural programs for workers in Ontario and, recently, she has worked in document translation. Imelda has a dynamic and creative personality, which is helpful and well received by most of her students, regardless if they are business professionals, occasional travellers, or teenagers who want to learn for fun. Also, Imelda loves sharing her Mexican culture and heritage; she enjoys teaching selected Mexican cuisine.
Jenny Osorio (Colombia)
Jenny was born and raised in Bucaramanga, Colombia. In 2006, she moved to Montreal, where she studied French Literature at College. In 2013, she obtained a BA in Hispanic Studies at the Université de Montréal. While doing her undergraduate studies, she cofounded and worked for several years at Échange Interculturel Arriviére, an organization that aims to integrate newcomers into Canada, by having French conversation workshops and cultural activities. Currently she is doing an MA in Spanish Applied Linguistics at the University of Alberta, where she also works as a Teaching Assistant in Spanish, and collaborates in different community projects. In January 2014, she joined the EHBA and teaches higher levels.
Raquel was born in Mexico City. She has a B.Ed. and a Master of Special Education, she also has completed the Professional Development Program for Teaching Spanish as Foreign Language, online course by University of la Rioja in Spain. She is a passionate teacher who loves to include the Hispanic culture in her classes. In her 10 years of teaching experience in Canada she has been a Spanish instructor and teacher trainer, and collaborated with Editorial Difusión in reviewing a Spanish course for children. She has organized cultural events with several institutions, such as Harbourfront Centre, University of Toronto, the Mexican Consulate in Toronto, and the University of Alberta.
Sofia’s passion is sharing her native language and culture. She believes that learning a new language opens the door to the construction of a better world. She was born and raised in Mexico City, and she received a BA in Hispanic Language and Literature from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). Currently, she is doing an MA in Applied Linguistics at the University of Alberta, where she also works as a Spanish Instructor. Sofia has more than seven years of experience as a language teacher; she devotes herself to teaching and learning. She teaches with joy and focuses her lessons in communicative tasks. Sofia also collaborates in different community projects that advocate for the value of cultural diversity: to build a world where there is room for many worlds.
Darcy Morrisette who has taken Spanish lessons at the EHBA now communicates in it with family at home. Professionally acquainted with new technologies, he first volunteered in 2012 and joined our administration, and now manages our website and he will be helping with on-line registration.
Our teachers are either native speakers or have a professional command of the language. Whatever their varied origins (Colombia, Nicaragua, Mexico, Spain, Cuba and others), all have had previous teaching experience. Their cultural, diversity and the variety of their accents enriches our students experience as they move on from one level to the next. All our instructional staff hold academic degrees in diverse areas, teaching diplomas, or are M.A or Ph.D. candidates.
Volunteers collaborate regularly with our association in administrative tasks, support for events and meetings, weekly attendance at breaks, periods of enrollment support, among other examples of their invaluable and indispensable help for the smooth running of our organization.
Graciela Suelt and Juan Espinaco are two of the original founding members of the EHBA in 1981.
Graciela Suelt (originally from Colombia) had been responsible for public relations, running dynamic social and cultural activities of our organization during the past few years. Graciela Suelt has since moved on to pursue other interests.
Juan Espinaco (originally from Spain) is another founding member, who holds of B.A., B.Ed., M.A degrees in Canada, introduced in 2012 a new curriculum, textbooks and program methodology. He has many years of professional experience under his belt teaching at diverse levels: college, high school, and was at the helm of EHBA since the inception of our programs. In 2012-13 he played a leading role in our administration. Juan has since retired.
Carlos Velazquez – Former President of EHBA
Fabiola Muñoz – Former President of EHBA from 2015 to summer 2017. Born in Mexico City, studied English Language and Literature at National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), worked as an assistant professor at the Foreign Language Learning Centre (CELE, UNAM) for their English department. She taught ESL and was a professor of literature, teaching at the High School level, for the Ministry of Public Education (SEP) in their Continuing Education department for 10 years. In Edmonton, she has been the CEO of Alberta Ironcraft for the last 7 years and she taught Spanish for Edmonton Hispanic Bilingual Association between 2010 and 2017.