Founder & Executive director
Reyna Montoya is a 2016 Soros Justice Fellow and 2017 Echoing Green Fellow.
Reyna was born in Tijuana, Mexico and immigrated to Arizona 13 years ago fleeing violence. She is an undocumented/DACAmented community organizer, an educator, and a dancer. She is a 2016 Soros Justice Fellow, which enable her to start Aliento. She also serves in the first Teach For America DACA Advisory Board. Reyna holds bachelor degrees in Political Science and Transborder Studies and a Dance minor from Arizona State University; she also holds a M.Ed in Secondary Education from Grand Canyon University. She has engaged in local, statewide and national platforms to advance justice for immigrant communities. In 2013, she was the lead organizer, who prevented an immigration bus of undocumented immigrants from deportation in Phoenix, AZ for the first time in the nation’s history. In the same year, with the help of the community, she stopped her father’s deportation. She was also one of the organizers that led the Hunger Strike in 2014 to fight for DAPA/DACA. She hopes to share her talents and skills with the community to co-create healing spaces, political change, and leadership development of our immigrant youth.
Ileana was born in Mexico City and immigrated to Phoenix 11 years ago with her family fleeing insecurity. She holds a bachelor degree in Psychology and a minor in Spanish Literature from Arizona State University. In 2009 she was racially profiled at a traffic stop, taken to jail, and put into deportation proceedings. Thanks to the community’s support and knowing her rights she was released, and her case was terminated. Her mission in life is to nurture and share her talents, relationships and skills to empower immigrants to become agents of change. It was music the form or art that helped her heal from the traumatic experiences of deportation proceedings. She now enjoys performing at community events to share her and her husband’s music, bringing songs of healing and inspiration.
Diego was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona. He is a proud son of Mexican parents. Diego is a graduate from Arizona State University where he studied design, marketing, and business. Diego found one of his passions, photography, when he got involved with the Immigrant Rights Movement in 2011. He has been key to record part of living history of immigrants in Arizona. Diego is the man behind Aliento's logo, branding, and web development. He uses his creativity, talents, and skills to amplify the stories that are happening in immigrant community in Arizona.
You can see more of this work at www.diegonacho.com
Leadership Development Director
Máxima Guerrero is a native of Morelos, Mexico and resides in Akimel O'Odham territory [Phoenix, AZ]. Her passion and commitment in community organizing and advocacy for social change comes from personal experience and exposure to the hateful rhetoric that derives from politics. Máxima has been a part of both national actions and mobilization in D.C and in Arizona. Working within immigrant, migrant, and indigenous communities, she strives to bridge migrant indigenous identity as relatives and original descendants of Abya Yala (‘The Americas’) through her organizing and mobilization. She is a part of the Indigenous People Power Project, which focuses on building the skill and support within indigenous communities. Locally in AZ, Máxima has been engaged in multiple social issue and electoral campaigns, which include: the historical recall election of Russell Pearce, Operation Butterfly, Stop the Bus ICE, and most recently taking Arpaio out of office in the 2016 election- an overall advocacy with and for ‘undocumented’ community. She holds experience in political education, popular education, and training in multigenerational and bilingual settings while acknowledging the intersection among various social movements. Máxima is a part of the Dream Summer Alumni Council, DACAmented, and is also the co-founder of Ganaz Apparel- a cultural conscious athletic brand.
Jose Patiño was born in Mexico, raised in the Valley of the sun, Phoenix, AZ. He migrated at the age of six with this family and is part of the 1% DACAmented people in the U.S. with a master’s degree. He is an educator, and an activist. Jose holds a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Arizona State University and a Master’s Degree in Secondary Education from Grand Canyon University. Jose became involved in the Immigrant Rights and Dreamer Movement in 2009. Ever since then Jose has been standing up against the injustices that undocumented immigrants face. He stopped a bus of undocumented immigrants who were set to be deported, engaged in a direct action where he interrupted President Obama’s speech, and has lobbied for the DREAM Act and Immigration Reform. Due to Jose’s activism he was featured in The Washington Post, MSNBC, NPR, Univision, Telemundo, Buzzfeed, Think Progress, among others. He was also featured in the documentaries The Dream is Now and Underwater Dreams.