Jade Parker-Manderson -- Executive Director

Jade is a Registered Nurse from Australia who is specialized in Pediatric Emergencies and Nursing Education. A former University Lecturer of Nursing, she has spent the last six years working and volunteering in the Public and Global Health sectors around the world. She has lived in Guatemala since the end of 2014.

When she arrived in Guatemala, she didn’t expect to fall in love with the country and its cultures. After four months, she decided to stay and dedicate herself to supporting the health of the people through NGO work and medical education in private and public hospitals around the country.

Now as the Executive Director of Nursing Heart, Inc. | Asociación Corazón de Enfermería, she is looking forward to continuing to advance the work of NHI in the communities. Her dreams and goals for the future of Nursing Heart include creating a Nursing Education Program in Guatemala to empower local nurses through enhanced nursing education, clinical skills training, and a holistic medical approach.

César Santos -- Clinical Director

César’s inspiration to become a nurse originated in the figure of Santo Hermano Pedro, whose story he knew since childhood. He knew he wanted to serve the people in a similar way. “We have a multicultural and multilingual country, and I wanted to be able to serve in a common way, regardless of background,” Cesar says. In his first nursing job, he learned to be as “human” as possible when providing care. “I saw all kinds of people in different stages of life, young and old. I learned so much but I knew I had to move on to keep learning.”

César’s philosophy of care is to maintain his spiritual and moral values that he has acquired over his life and from his parents. In his work planning clinics with ACE partner communities, he prioritizes respecting others and responding to them based on their stated needs. César enjoys being able to provide hospitality to ACE’s visiting nurses, and takes pride in being able to give them confidence to learn and in the care they offer to patients in Guatemala. “We are all on the same plane, with the desire to help those around us.”

Sara Castañeda -- Manager of Services

Sara is originally from Guatemala but lived in the U.S. for almost nine years. She has a degree in computer science and electronics with experience working in the industry for 15 years. In July of 2012, she was looking for opportunities to volunteer with an organization that would help her continue to speak English. That is when she met Ron Noecker. She fell in love with the work of what is now known as Asociación Corazón de Enfermería.

Sara finds meaning in service, organizing ACE general and women’s clinics alongside community leaders and organizational partners. She deeply enjoys interpreting for medical teams and using her management skills to enhance the learning and travel experiences of visiting groups.

Blanqui López -- Pharmacist

Blanqui came to pharmacy through her work with other medical NGOs around Antigua. She studied for pharmacy at the University of San Carlos of Guatemala and through the Ministry of Health. As she learned more about pharmacy, she also learned just how much she loves being an educator. Blanqui enjoys being as specific as possible while developing relationships with clinic patients. “I make sure they have the confidence to ask me a question if they don’t understand something. I love having this connection and being able to serve people in this way. Sometimes people just need to be heard,” she says.

Blanqui tries to transmit her and the staff’s passion for their work to ACE’s visiting groups of nurses. This is informed by her outlook that if someone is passionate about something, they are loving to share that passion everywhere they can. “Passion for hospitality, care, and respect lead to productive and healthy environments. I try to share these things with our groups to remind ourselves why we do the work we do.”

Javier Orellana -- Administrative Assistant

The chance to help people and simply meet people from his country motivates Javier in his work. “Through my work with Nursing Heart, I’ve been able to visit communities that I didn’t know about and meet people I never would have met. It is awesome to see people happy and thankful for the work that we can do.”

Javier works hard to prepare for groups’ travel. “It’s satisfying to make sure that when a group comes, every little detail is prepared and organized just how it’s supposed to be. I can see it in the satisfaction of the groups in their experience. It is a great motivation and something that I really like about the work that I do. I know that with every detail I’m dealing with in preparing the trip, it will matter to someone and improve their experience in some way. I always think about the joy that I am giving people through my work, and it’s a privilege to be a part of the groups once they arrive as well, and in the communities.”

Javier also uses his construction background to help support the NHI stove and comunitario programs. “In this part of my work I’ve been able to talk to community leaders to ensure that the stoves go to families that need them the most.”