Board, Staff & Volunteers 2023
Our nonprofit is served by an active and
hardworking Board, Staff and Volunteers
who contribute time and talents to advance our cultural mission.
Dr. Ana Maria Tekina-eirú Maynard
Dr. Ana María Tekina-eirú Maynard is a
proud blood descendant of the Tainos of Boriken.
She is the Visionary and Founding
Executive and Artistic Director of the Puerto Rican Cultural Center
(501C3). Founded in 1997, it is the only center in Texas and the
Southwest affiliated with the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture for
authentic, high-quality cultural programming. As Executive
Director, her duties span every responsibility required by a
nonprofit Senior Executive. As Artistic Director, Dr. Maynard is
trained by Island masters and is an expert resource on the Mainland
for Puerto Rico's cultural heritage. She is a historical and
cultural researcher, playwright, choreographer, songwriter, teacher and
multi-disciplinary performer of Puerto Rico's traditional music and
dance. Since 2001, the cultural center's achievement and quality
have been validated by repeat support from grants at the city,
state and national levels.
Tekina-eirú is a Master Certified Spiritual Life Coach, and
credentialed ACC by the International Coach Federation. Dr. Maynard
is an innovator (11 patents) holding a doctorate in Electrical and
Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon. Her combined expertise
is unique in Texas and the Southwest.
Read Full Bio.
Founding Executive & Artistic Director, Choreographer, Playwright
Teacher - Traditional Dance & Music (all ages), Coqui Class, Taino Traditions
David P. Maynard
David Maynard is a technical and business leader with 30 years of experience in
the design, engineering, security, management and delivery of innovative
information technologies. In the early 1990's, David helped bring low-cost,
IP-based dialup Internet service to Texas by customizing the UNIX operating
system kernel to extend low-cost network connectivity to users via traditional
telephone lines. David's efforts resulted in dramatically lower costs to
provide business-class service at the dawn of the modern public Internet.
David, who is also married to Tekina-eiru, lends his expertise in Marketing and
IT Services to the Puerto Rican Cultural Center's Advisory Board. He is a
member of the PRFDance musician ensemble and has enjoyed annual percussion and
music workshops with Puerto Rican masters such as Pablo Luis Rivera, Tito
Matos, Tico Fuentes, Raul Ayala, Jorge Emmanuelli, Orlando Laureano, and
others. David teaches beginner percussion to youth and adults, and enjoys his
small acting roles in PRCC's annual musicals. David is also an active member of
the Austin Shambhala Meditation Center where he currently serves as Center
Percussion Teacher & PRFDance Company Musico
Advisory Board - Marketing & IT Services
Rich Vazquez has 15 years martial arts experience, 5 years in Afro-Diaspora
martial arts experience, 2 years of instruction in afro-diaspora martial
arts, and is currently studying under Maestro Mike Quijano in the martial
arts of Cocobale, calinda and juego de mani.
Cocobale Teacher - Ancestral Fighting Arts (Sticks & Machetes)
PRFDance Company - Senior Dancer
Beginner Percussion Teacher
Rich has many years of nonprofit experience as Executive Director and
training other nonprofits. He served as Executive Director of
the Scottish Rite Theatre, one of the oldest perating theatre buildings in
the US. He also has produced, directed and written plays for many years.
Rich teaches Cocobale -- Ancestral Fighting Arts with sticks and machetes --
for the Puerto Rican Cultural Center's educational program,
He also teaches beginner percussion. He has been performing with Puerto Rican Folkloric Dance,
the cultural center's company as a dancer, actor, and singer since 2017 and was promoted to
Senior Dancer in 2019.
A native of Puerto Rico, Yolanda move to the US in 1980 to pursue a
career in the beauty industry. She is a Cosmetology instructor,
hair designer and fashion consultant. Throughout her career she has
opportunity to become a national educator for renowned companies,
working with performing artists, for National Theater, Washington DC,
Kennedy Center, Washington DC, Fashion Weekly, New York, Director of
Color at the Graham Webb Academy, Arlington VA, and, as an Education
lead for Paul Mitchell the School, Austin TX. She moved to Texas in
2008, where she joined the Puerto Rican Cultural Center's performing
company as a Dancer, Actor, and Wardrobe Advisor; she continues to
design wardrobe for major productions including their large annual
musical based in oral history. Yolanda is a Hair Designer at Ulta, Bee Caves, TX.
Company Costumes & Props
Alejandro is a native of Pennsylvania, where he graduated from Villanova University, and has
been living and teaching in Austin for 6 years. He was born to a Guatemalan mother and
Puerto Rican Father. He has been teaching middle school math in Austin since 2013 and
offers his passion for teaching to the percussion students at PRFD. His interest in
music came from his father and brothers. While he was a teen, they were on stage
playing in the local churches worship team playing congas, piano, bongos and singing.
Parrandas were a yearly tradition that exposed Alejandro to musical tradition of
Puerto Rico such as plena, bomba, aguinaldos, musica jibara and more. After they
taught him to play Latin percussion as a teen, in college he explored his interest in
dancing. While at Villanova University, he joined an undergraduate performance team
where he develope his skill in dancing and teaching different style of dance, such as
bachata, salsa, chachacha, mambo. It wasn't until moving to Austin that he returned to
playing percussion at the PRFD Center.
Since 2013, Alejandro has learned traditions of bomba and plena from master
musicians from Puerto Rico such as Jorge Emanuelli Nater, Tico Fuentes, and Tito
Matos. he has been an active member of PRFD since 2013 as a percussionist and
singer in the PRFD music ensemble. In 2017, Alejandro began teaching
these traditions alongside
David Maynard in advanced and beginner percussion classes.
Percussion Teacher & PRFDance Company Musico
Maria Mercedes Tureyguanani' Maynard
Tureyguanani' is a Computer Science Major at the University of Texas at Austin,
and Chief Social Officer for the Chi Beta Delta sorority.
She graduated from McNeil High School at the top 3% of her class. She
participated in the Majestics Dance Team, Majestic EliteCo and was
a medal winning participant of the McNeil High Westling Team.
Exposed to Puerto Rico's folklore since birth, Maria has been
participating in PRFD's cultural arts programs since the age of four. In
2015 Maria was promoted to Dancer in the adult performing company where
she enjoyed taking workshops and sharing the stage with Masters direct from
Puerto Rico (see Mom/PRFDance Director's bio).
Maria began teaching Youth Dance in 2011, and taught folkloric
and contemporary dance for PRFDance's Teen program, and retired to focus on
college. Maria assists her director mom with summer field research for
for PRFDance's original bilingual musicals that bring to
light untold stories in Puerto Rican history.
Tureyguanani is a consecrated Tekina (leader of
ceremonial dance) for her Taino pueblo, El Concilio Taino Guatu Ma-Cu A
Boriken and enjoys dancing Areytos on the beaches, in the mountains, and
on the bateys (ceremonial grounds).
Field Research Assistant - History & Culture
Adminstration, Board & Advisories
Dr. Ana María Tekina-eirú Maynard,
Dr. Maynard is the Founding Executive and Artistic Director of the
Puerto Rican Cultural Center, founded in 1997 as a nonprofit
501(c)(3). It is the only cultural center in Texas and the Southwest
affiliated with the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture for the offering
of authentic, high-quality cultural programming. As the visionary
since the cultural center's inception, her Executive duties span every
responsibility required by a nonprofit Senior Executive.
Read Full Bio.
Founding Executive & Artistic Director
Executive Board - Founder
Charlotte Marie Lopez Diaz
Charlotte Marie Lopez Diaz is a cultural manager with a special focus on her Puerto
Rican heritage. She also holds a Master's Degree in Administration and Cultural
Management from the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus. She did her
Bachelor's Degree in Advertising and Public Relations and a Minor in Acting also at the
University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus. She worked as the Communications and
Activities Coordinator at the Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music Preparatory School
(2018-2020), and as a social media manager in the digital theater magazine Falso Mutis
(2020-2021). She has been involved in the Puerto Rican artistic scene by: being part of
El Teatro Rodante under the direction of Dean Zayas (2013-2017), and a member in the
Puerto Rican theater company La Bicicleta (2019-2021). Charlotte is proud to join the
Puerto Rican Cultural Center as Administrative Staff Member supporting nonprofit
operations and marketing (2023-present).
Administrative Staff Member
Marketing and Facility Rentals
Jenny Irizarry-Deleza is the Puerto Rican Cultural Center's Board President.
She enjoys her fulfilling work at the Travis County Health and Human Services and
Veteran Services Department who offer basic needs and services to the community
through partnerships with state and local organizations.
Jenny has been an active member of the cultural center since 2002, organizing fundraisers
for major events.
In January 2018, she rose to Rose Irizarry's Board President & Secretary
position after her mom retired after 15 years of service. She passed on her
Secretary position to a new Board member in 2021.
In addition to her Board posts, Jenny continues as Fundraiser Lead for special
events. She is also the Chair of the Damas Committee,
a volunteer service committee who provides front-of-house and audience support
for cultural center major events, and fundraisers through community-targeted
President, Executive Board of Directors
Special Events Fundraiser Lead & Chair of Damas Committee
Dr. Amanda Masino
Amanda Masino, Ph.D., is a geneticist and environmental educator whose approach to
research applies scientific investigation to community-engaged goals. She applies this
"Science + Social Justice" model as Associate Professor of Biology and Chair of Natural
Science at Huston-Tillotson University (HT), a historically Black college or university
(HBCU) in Austin, Texas. Amanda created and directs HT's STEM Research Scholars Program,
which has provided over 180 undergraduate research experiences from 2014-2022. Amanda
led an NSF-funded re-design of HT's Natural Science curriculum to emphasize inquiry-led
learning and embed research skills into coursework. Her own research projects include a
resident-focused investigation of affordable housing impacts and the environmental
health of our homes, a collaborative project investigating urban wildlife as
environmental sentinels, and student-led analysis of cardiovascular health disparities.
Secretary, Board of Directors
Fundraising & Development Team
Amanda co-created HT's new Environmental Justice major, co-founded and organizes HT's
annual environmental justice conference, the Building Green Justice Forum, and mentors
environmental student group Green is the New Black. She also directs the St. David's
Foundation Scholars, a pre-health career enrichment and scholarship program which seeks
to diversify health fields, and mentors HT's chapter of the Minority Association of
Amanda is Executive Director of the Austin Community Data Coalition, a non-profit that
organizes collaborations for community research, and Co-Director of the Dumpster
Project, a K-12 environmental learning program. Amanda also serves on the City of Austin
Zero Waste Commission and on the boards of the Center for Maximum Potential Building
Systems and Community Resilience Trust.
Amanda earned her B.S. in Zoology from Texas A&M University and her Ph.D. in Genetics
and Developmental Biology from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. In
2019, she was chosen by the American Association for the Advancement of Science and Lyda
Hill Philanthropies as an IF/THEN Science Ambassador. Amanda began serving on PRCC's
Advisory Board in 2020, and has been serving as Board Secretary since 2021.
Julio I. Cotto
Julio I. Cotto is Senior Vice President of the National Hispanic
Institute and Director, Lorenzo de Zavala Youth Legislative Session.
He is Adjunct Faculty at Austin Community College,
Department of Humanities.
Julio joined the Puerto Rican Folkloric Dance
performing company as a dancer in 2004, and today participates
in the music ensemble. Since 2019, Julio is a member of the Board of Directors,
and has served as PRFDance's Business Advisor since 2016.
Board of Directors, Business Advisor
Dr. Lourdes Rodriguez,
Prior to joining the Foundation in 2020, Lourdes served as Associate Professor
and Director of Community-
Driven Initiatives at the Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at
Austin. Lourdes also worked as
Program Officer at the New York State Health Foundation, and from 2004-2012,
she co-directed the Urbanism
and the Built Environment track in the Department of Sociomedical Sciences,
Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.
As a public health practitioner, and in both academic and philanthropic roles,
she collaborates, develops and
evaluates initiatives to improve health with people most impacted by health
Board of Directors
Lourdes has a Doctor in Public Health from Columbia University, an Master of
Public Health from the University
of Connecticut, and a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Biotechnology from the
University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez.
Dr. Rodriguez is a member of the National Academy of Science,
Medicine's Roundtable on Population Health Improvement and currently holds an
appointment as an Adjunct
Faculty with the UTHealth School of Public Health Austin Regional Campus.
A longtime member of the Puerto Rican Cultural Center, Lourdes began
serving on PRCC's Advisory Board in 2020 and served as Board Vice
Presidency in 2021/2022.
Advisory Board Members
Dr. Cesar Salgado
Cesar A. Salgado is Associate Professor in the Department of Spanish and
Portuguese and Graduate Adviser in the Program in Comparative Literature at The
University of Texas at Austin. He teaches graduate seminars on colonial and
postcolonial New World baroque literatures, the "Origenes" group and journal in
Cuban literary history, James Joyce and Luso-Hispanic modernism, the politics of
archival fashioning in Caribbean studies, and contemporary literary theory. His
articles on Cuban, Puerto Rican, and Latin American and comparative literary
topics have appeared in Revista Iberoamericana, Cuadernos americanos, Inti,
Apuntes posmodernos, Revista Encuentro de la Cultura Cubana, Actual, Critica,
Journal of American Folkore, La Torre, and The New Centennial Review. Dr.
Salgado is author of From Modernism to Neobaroque: Joyce and Lezama Lima
(Bucknell University Press 2001) and coeditor with Alan West-Duran and
Maria Herrera-Sobek of Latino and Latino Writers, a reference encyclopedia
(Gale/Scribners 2004). He is currently at work on a manuscript currently titled
"Caribbean Counterfeits: Essays in Critical Archivology." Cesar has served
as PRCC Advisor Board since 2020.
Iris A. Albizu-Rivera was born and raised in Puerto Rico. Ms. Albizu earned her
Juris Doctor at the
Inter-American University School of Law in San Juan, Puerto Rico. After obtaining
her J.D. , she barred in Puerto Rico as an Attorney
and Public Notary. Ms. Albizu started
practicing in Puerto Rico and developed a clientele based in civil litigation
with emphasis in Family and Estate Law. After moving to the Washington, D.C. area,
she worked as a federal
contractor with the Department of Justice in a complex high-profile
litigation. Now, having relocated with her
family to Austin, Texas she opened Albizu Law Firm focusing her practice in
federal controversies, especially in the area of Immigration. She also maintained
her office location in
Guaynabo, Puerto Rico where she practices with her father, Mr. Angel R. Albizu,
Sr., to help individuals non-residents in the Island with their legal matters
in Puerto Rico.
For more information on
legal services, please access www.albizulaw.com.
Ms. Albizu enjoys giving her time and expertise to different
Non-Profit organizations and offering pro-bono legal services,
and also has handled humanitarian immigration issues.
She is an active pro-bono attorney for
American Gateways and Bernardo
Kohler Center in Austin, TX.
She serves as Legal Advisor for Puerto Rican Folkloric Dance, Inc.
As born in the beautiful Island of Puerto Rico, Ms. Albizu is a
Native Spanish Speaker. She is a mother
of two beautiful children and her husband works as an Architect for an
PRFDance Corporate Attorney / Legal Advisor
Administrative Staff & Volunteers
Betty A. Tovar
Mother of Mia and Miranda Cazares, students of PRFD since 2010.
I am very proud to be a part of this great
Puerto Rican Cultural Center family, who taught My daughters
the value of Cultures and the value of the human being.
Betty is Lead of our Souvenir Inventory Team and supports
sales, hospitality, and backstage assist for major productions.
Lead Souvenir Inventory & Sales, Hospitality Team,
Backstage Assist - Youth Performances
Sara is married to Jose and is a mother of two preteens Isabella and
Philip. Sara has a Masters of Science in Social Worker which
she received from the University of Texas in Austin. She currently works as
licensed school social worker in the Austin Area. Sara and her family have
been coming and attending classes at PRFD since Isabella was 6 months old
and are committed to the mission and the community. Sara and her family have
been back and forth between Iowa and Austin for schooling and are happy to
once again be back "home".
Souvenir Sales & Inventory Team, Hospitality Team,
Backstage Assist - Youth Performances
Jaime Torres is a native born Texan and has found himself being led to the Puerto Rican
Cultural Center. He is helping the Center continue to blossom in its cultural mission as
a photographer. He¿s keen on cultural-arts, cars, indigenous traditions, poetry,
capoeira angola, and finding a better way. Enjoy his photography:
Zera Thompson was raised in Texas. She attended St. Phillips College
in San Antonio, TX. (1992-1993) and afterwards moved to Austin to
work for Dell Computer Co. (1993-1999). In 2000 she moved to Round
Rock, TX. She changed career into the health field as a Certified
Nurse Aide (2002- 2012) and continues to serve our community . She
also started her own business Imajinu Artography by Zera in 2009.
She is currently continuing her education in the Photography and
Marketing program at Austin Community College in Austin, TX. Zera's
children have danced in PRFDance's youth programs. Zera also has
many other talents, including event planning, culinary, marketing,
and photography, all of which she shares with PRFDance as time
permits. Zera has been with PRFDance since Spring 2004, and served on
the Board & Staff since 2005. A freelance photographer
since 2004, Zera contributes her talent and expertise in Artography
as PRFDance's long-time Company Photographer.
believes wonderful memories last forever with the perfect picture.
Thanks to Zera's wide array of talents, we have many wonderful
memories to enjoy over and over again!
Maria Mercedes Capestany
Born in Caguas, Puerto Rico (Savarona) of a Taino mother and
a Puerto Rican/Spaniard father. At the age of 15 moved to NY where I finished
high school. Married and have
four beautiful daughters, three beautiful grand daughters, and two
handsome grandsons. When my youngest daughter went to school I decided to
go to college and received a BA in Accounting. Went to work for an oil
company in NY. 15 years ago my husband and I moved to Florida and I love
it. Now I am retired and helping my beautiful daughter, Ana Maria
(Director) with PRFDance. I also watch two of my grand daughters after
school. They keep me very busy but I still have time to help Ana Maria and
work in my garden.
Social Media Educator - Boricua Recipies
Special Events Team
Roxanna Honstein - Front of House Team
Edwin "Ed" Baez
Edwin "Ed" Baez was born in the Bronx, New York and raised in
Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico. With Mother from Rio Piedras, and
Father from Camito, Edwin graduated from Rio Piedras Republic of Colombia
High School. Afterwards, he joined the military (1978-1985) and graduated
in military admistration and science communication.
A 1993 graduate students from University of Texas at Austin, Ed is Technical Staff
and teaches at the Dept. of Physics. Ed attended the Austin Graduate School of
Theology Associate Ministries of Jesus Cristo (2002-2004) and is member of the
Royal Ranger SR Commander at a Pentcostal Church.
A Southwest Key Charter School board member since 1993, he has also worked
an AISD P.E. Teacher (1993-2000), and an afterschool Instructor in basketball
Ed has a beautiful wife and one son at U.T. (mechanical engineering),
the other at San Marcos Baptist Academia. Edwin is a
"die hard" Roberto Clemente fan and travels to Puerto Rico
and New York to collect baseball and basketball cards. Ed loves to teach
children how to start up sports cards collections and plans
to have a card shop when he retires. Edwin is thankful to God for the
blessings in his life.
Special Events Hospitality Team
Advisory Board - Professional Consultants
In addition to the Advisory Board members listed above,
PRFDance is served by additional professionals who make themselves
available for inkind professional consultations.
Joe is an professional accountant working for Travis County. He served as
long-time Accountant and Board member of Roy Lozano's Ballet Folklorico de Texas,
a 30-year old performing arts organization dedicated to Mexican folkloric dance.
He has been PRFDance's Accounting Advisor since our 1997 inception.
Advisory Board - Accounting
Contact us if you feel a calling to join our volunteer-run nonprofit mission.
For more information:
Dr. Ana María Tekina-eirú Maynard
Puerto Rican Cultural Center
Cultural Center Address: 701 Tillery Street #13, Austin TX 78702-3738 (Map & Directions)
Mailing Address: 15228 Quiet Pond Court, Austin TX 78728-4555
Copyright ©1997-2023 Puerto Rican Folkloric Dance, Inc. All rights