Silvia Armas - Support Program Coordinator
Ms. Silvia has been with AIS for 6 years. She has 10 years of experience working as a teacher in numerous schools in Guatemala City, and has taught all levels from Pre-K to 12th Grade. She has also given reading, writing and emotional therapy workshops. Ms. Silvia graduated from Instituto Guatemalteco Americano as an Elementary Bilingual Teacher. She received her Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from the San Carlos University, and her Master's Degree in Education Psychology from Galileo University. In her free time she loves to dance, swim, play video games, read, and travel, among many other hobbies.
Emily Bloss -
Second Language Coordinator K-12
Emily Bloss is originally from Michigan, but calls Guatemala her home. She graduated from Spring Arbor University with a B.A in Spanish and Teaching English as a Second Language and is currently enrolled in the Masters in Teaching English as a Second Language Program. She loves working with students at AIS.
Madeline Lusk -
Service Learning Coordinator
Ms. Madi grew up in San Francisco, California and studied International Affairs and Spanish Language and Literature at Skidmore College. Before the pandemic, she worked in Guatemala City as a Princeton in Latin America Fellow at Campus Tecnólgico, also known as Silicon Valley con frijoles. She returned to San Francisco in 2020 and worked for two years at Marshall Elementary, a school whose population is predominantly newcomer students from Central America and Mexico. There she supported teachers and planned and facilitated bilingual afterschool and summer programs. She is really excited to be back in Guatemala and in a role where she can share her passion for service learning with AIS students. In her free time, she likes reading, gardening, baking, volunteering, eating comida típica, and learning about Guatemalan history and culture.
Ms. Elisa Velásquez
Ms. Eli will be focused on social-emotional wellbeing, which will complement Ms. Carmen's role as College and Career Counselor as well as the other services provided by the Student Services team.
Her work will allow us further to ensure the best learning experiences for every student each day. Licensed in Psychology from the Universidad del Valle de Guatemala (UVG), where she graduated Magna Cum Laude, Ms. Eli is a Montessori trained educator, neuropsychologist, and specialist in integrative psychotherapy. Her main motivating interest is to support wellbeing for those she serves with a special emphasis on childhood development. Please join us in welcoming Ms. Eli to our team!
Carmen Wirtz - College Counseling
Ms. Carmen graduated from the University of Chicago with a B.A in Psychology. She also holds a certification in Steiner -Waldorf Teaching from Emerson College, England. She has taught in Guatemala, Spain and the United Kingdom. She had her own preschool, La Casa del Sol, in Guatemala City. Ms. Carmen worked as an education consultant for many years and still does when families need her help. She also has extensive knowledge on homeschooling programs.
Nora Barbero - ESL Support
Ms. Nora has been a Spanish as a Second Language Teacher at AIS for the last 4 years. She graduated from the University of San Carlos de Guatemala with special focus on teaching Spanish as a Second Language (L2). Before joining the AIS community she worked for the Peace Corps, in a linguistic project at Francisco Marroquín, and taught Spanish at the University of Arizona.
Olga Silva - Support Program, 3rd - 7th Counselor
Ms. Gabriela was born in Guatemala City and has lived in Antigua Guatemala for 30 years. In 1999 she graduated as an elementary school teacher from Colegio La Salle. She has a Specialized Teaching Degree in Learning Disabilities and a Bachelor's Degree in Psychopedagogy, obtained at the Universidad del Valle de Guatemala. She has been working for more than 10 years in the area of education, where she has taught classes in different grades at the primary level. During the last two years she worked as a coordinator in a school in Antigua, supporting students, teachers and parents in the different problems that arise at the student level. In 2021 she dedicated herself to work independently as a tutor teacher supporting children of different school grades in virtual and hybrid education. She enjoys working with children providing them with support and tools so that they can develop independently in their daily lives.
Ms. Cristal Mendez
A professional with love and dedication to what she does every day. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Teaching Degree, which has allowed her to learn and develop professionally by combining psychology and psychopedagogical principles. Her professional experience includes working with children who have learning challenges and applying the principle of cognitive and socio-emotional rehabilitation. Her work with children awakened in her a passion for education, and that is how she decided to study a master's degree in Intervention in Learning Difficulties at Instituto Superior de Estudios Psicológicos of Spain, ISEP. Cristal enjoys going to the beach, taking photos of landscapes, spending time with her family, and loves listening to music.