Meet the Team
Espere - HAITI
Psychologist, Country Administrator
Gendy Valmire, originally from the north of Haiti, studied Psychology at the State University of Haiti; Faculty of Ethnology. At the Institut national d'administration, de gestion et des hautes études internationales(INAGHEI), he also undertook studies in accounting from 2011 to 2015. He is currently undergoing specialization training in EMDR therapy. Since 2017, Gendy has been working at Espere Community Counseling Center as a counselor. He works with vulnerable people, and sometimes in very remote areas. He does awareness-raising sessions and team outreach to promote knowledge and understanding of the psychology profession in Haiti.
Magdaline Lous Jean
Magdaline Louis Jean is a psychologist and trainer. She has been working at Espere Community Counseling Center since 2021. Her work involves caring for people with psychological problems. Magdaline work with girls and women who are victims of sexual violence. She also has training in group psychotherapy, which has enabled her to work with children with adjustment difficulties. She is currently earning a master's degree in Development Sciences, as she'd like to pursue a career in humanitarian aid and be able to combine her knowledge of psychology with that which she's currently learning.
Isaac Ducleon, born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, studied Psychology at the Université d'Etat d'Haïti - Faculté d'Ethnologie, earning a bachelor's and master's degrees in Psychology, with honors. Mr. Ducléon also studied communications at the Institut Supérieur de Communication Internationale (ISCI) where he was awarded a scholarship for advanced training in audio-visual communication and photojournalism with Haiti Reporters; a Turtlee Three Foundation program co-funded by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Isaac has experience and training in many aspects of mental health, including trauma, bereavement, resilience, severe mental illness, and addiction recovery.
Espere - MEXICO
Suraya Merlos Cruz
Psychologist, Country Coordinator
Suraya Gpe. Merlos Cruz earned a B.A. in Psychology from the Universidad Autonoma de Baja California, Mexico and a Master in Family Therapy from the University of Guadalajara, Mexico. She is a TBRI® Certified Practitioner, and has other training in brief therapy, couples therapy, legal and forensic psychology of the family, and issues of childhood and adolescence, focused on respectful parenting and trauma-informed care. Since her beginnings as a psychologist more than 15 years ago, she has been dedicated to working with vulnerable populations, collaborating in various government institutions as well as civil associations in operational and coordination positions, as well as a workshop leader and psychotherapist in the private sector. She currently works as a psychotherapist in private practice and is a member of the psychotherapy committee of the Universidad Autonoma de Baja California. She is also the Coordinator of Espere Community Counseling Mexico, where she provides support to various social assistance centers in the State of Baja California, as well as works in collaboration with other civil associations and government agencies that work in favor of children, adolescents and families.
Lia Saray Gomez
Lia Saray Gomez graduated from Universidad Xochicalco. She has gained experience since her graduation in the field of mental health with children, adolescents and adults. She has worked in governmental institutions such as DIF Municipal, Subprocuraduria DIF Estatal Tijuana with vulnerable population, in private practice as a therapist, and in the field of teaching. Currently, she has joined the ESPERE team, an activity that adds to her work as a trainer and therapist with adolescents and adults.
Cindy Estrada is a child and adolescent psychologist, trained at Universidad Autónoma de Baja California and Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán. Passionate about working for child and family mental health, she has worked with children in vulnerable situations since 2018. She currently works in an orphanage in Tijuana, as well as in private practice, in addition to being a facilitator for Espere Community Counseling Center.
Espere - ADMINISTRATION
Founder, Executive Director
Erika Charles, originally from Provo, Utah, is the founder and director of Espere Community Counseling Center. She earned a Master’s of Education at University of Nevada Las Vegas while teaching elementary school in an urban neighborhood, and a Master’s degree in International Disaster Psychology at the University of Denver. She is a Mental Health and Psychosocial Support specialist, with experience working in Ghana, Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, and Haiti. She has worked as a consultant on a variety of international disaster mental health response projects in addition to her work with Espere. Erika lives in Haiti with her husband, daughters, and a growing backyard farm.